TGS '07: Star Ocean: First Departure Hands-On

We get a first glimpse at the PSP version of this RPG classic.


GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

TOKYO--We recently got some hands-on time with Square Enix's upcoming PSP role-playing game, Star Ocean: The First Departure, and the game seems finished. Of course, depending on how you look at it, it's been finished for 11 years. First Departure is actually a remake of the original Star Ocean, which was released in Japan in 1996. However, it never made its way to North America, so there's no better place for it to show up than on the PSP, where it will also be the first Star Ocean on a current generation portable system.

The first thing we did upon starting a new game was name our blue-haired hero. Of course, we aren't sure what we actually named him, because all the characters were in Japanese. Next, a cutscene began aboard a big spaceship helmed by a grizzled captain. Something seemed to go horribly wrong, and then out of nowhere an entire planet exploded, during which the ship was caught in the blast. Apparently disabled, the ship floated through space before crossing paths with a blue planet, where down below...

A cute, purple-haired girl runs down a forest path in an anime-style cutscene. Meanwhile, two boys sit chatting in a living room--that is, until the girl bursts in and dragon-punches one of the boys, in slow motion no less. The boy who got hit is kind of a GI Joe-looking blond kid, and his buddy is you, the blue-haired hero. Everyone has tails, and we don't mean back stories. The two boys have thin brown monkey tails, and the girl has a bushy purple fox tail.

Unusual appendages and shoryukens aside, the three of you team up and head into town to investigate whatever has gotten your purple-haired friend so excited. If we didn't know better, we'd say it were the town itself, which looks outstanding. The game features 2D sprite characters on 2D backgrounds, which are flawlessly drawn and complemented by ambient lighting effects nearly everywhere you go. Star Ocean will be a very good-looking PSP game.

After talking to townspeople and gathering information, we set out to investigate, entering the fully 3D overworld. After just a few steps, we were ambushed by thugs in a random encounter. They were sad-looking creeps, dressed in brown with wimpy swords. Our blue-haired guy, on the other hand, had a huge katana. We controlled him in real time while the CPU controlled our two mates. We simply ran up to the thugs and hacked them to pieces with our friends. While we aren't ever crazy about random encounters, we do like the fact that these battles are so interactive, and potentially so quick.

After fighting a few more foes, we arrived at another town that looked much older than the one we started in, as if it were built on ruins. Unfortunately, that was all the time we had with what is shaping up to be a solid RPG for the PSP. When we know more about Star Ocean: The First Departure, we'll make sure to tell you.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 27 comments about this story
27 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for mingfu

Great Game

Avatar image for NuKkU

Star ocean is good i will be lookin out for this

Avatar image for Rakzyphon

This could be good. I have a used copy of Second Story, so it screws up on disk two a little. It was ok. My only real complaint was Claude, he was such a wuss. Talk about a flat character. (no pun intended)

Avatar image for maxAGI

Yeah, I played the SNES version, hopefully SE improves the battle system for this one.

Avatar image for moh2in

star ocean:till the end of time was an amazing game... let's hope this one lives upto the same name

Avatar image for travid

**** ya about time lol iv plyed the SNES romed version of this game and it was ****ing bad ass i hope the remake is as cool YA WAY TO GO SE!!!!!!

Avatar image for sniper2k0

Yeah I liked Second Story. The draw was there are a possible 80+ endings. Only finished it twice, once for the dude and once for the chick. Love the battle system.

Avatar image for FantasticalZom

Second Story was awesome, but to each his own... Can't wait for the re-releases!

Avatar image for dredzz

Second Story sucked, it had potential, but it sucked

Avatar image for zgreenwell

I have the original super nintendo game. I love this game. I can't wait to play the remake, hopefully in English. Star Ocean the Second Story was the greatest JRPG ever made!

Avatar image for BajenVaNamnet

Second Story in the PS1 was great. Hopefuly, this will be too.

Avatar image for My_Name_Is_Sin

I wonder what the load times will be like

Avatar image for aries8269

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for X-7

Can't wait.

Avatar image for aots_twilight

Since I wasn't able to play the first game... I'm looking forward to getting a copy

Avatar image for CharmedGamer

Yeah I played this on emulator last year. It's a jewel I'll say that. Even has Claude's father as a main character.

Avatar image for Cloud737

Well, it seems some things have changed a little from the SNES version considering event script, but they seem a bit minor, though. Oh, and for your info, Gamespot, the blue-haired character`s name is most likely Ratix if they didn`t change it during the remake. I`m really looking forward for the remake. :D

Avatar image for Doolum

sounds interesting.will definitely check on this one

Avatar image for ryu516

ClaudeLv250 - "However, it never made its way to North America, so there's no better place for it to show up than on the PSP, where it will also be the first Star Ocean on a current generation portable system." Note: Current. :)

Avatar image for comthitnuong

Remakes are always nice. I was never a hardcore gamer back then so its good that they put these out

Avatar image for haloguy888

Looks Fun! :D

Avatar image for AnFangs_Endes

Mmm, monkey tails and Katana's ... me like :D

Avatar image for ClaudeLv250

Um, Hello? You people have an entry for STAR OCEAN: BLUE SPHERE, you know, the REAL first portable Star Ocean from way back in 2001?

Avatar image for ocdog45

ill play a star ocean game when it comes out on the ps3

Avatar image for Blace_07

This game sounds amazing and I can't wait to finally play the first game in the series.

Avatar image for ninjasam

dats what im talkin bout, we need more shoryuken's in games If the huge amount of amazing games coming to psp doesn't convince people to buy psp over the ds, nothing ever wll.

Avatar image for tevwalker13

this game looks really good, cant wait to get it.