I only beat this game a few days ago, but I can't seem to get it out of my head. I still can't believe it. This isn't a brand new game, in fact, it was originally released on the japanese Super Nintendo, but for me, it was the definitive role-playing experience for the PSP. The story begins simple enough, with three patrolmen in the village of Kratus, Roddick, Millie, and Dorne, saving the small town from a group of bandits, but a sudden petrifying illness threatens their home planet of Roak, and two members of the Terran Alliance members from Earth, Ronyx and Ilia, revealing that the illness is actually a biological weapon fired at their planet by terrorists. Now Roddick, Millie, Ronyx, and Ilia must travel to Roak 300 years into the past to obtain the only possible cure, the blood of the original contractor of the disease, the demon lord Asmodeus, but Dorne can't go because he caught the disease. Battles are real-time, similar to the Tales series, but with more freedom in movement, which is nice, and characters level up and learn new skills like in any other RPG, but skill points can be distributed to abilities for on the field, such as cooking, appraising, etc., which is great. The dungeon design is great, with caves, and high-tech lairs. The game mixes heavy fantasy elements with light sci-fi themes reminiscent of different sci-fi movies. This is a very good approach, as it makes the game pretty enjoyable, especially very late in the game when, um, I shouldn't spoil anything that far. The game has very good writing, with a bit of humorous dialogue and moments. There's also a colorful cast of characters, which is always a plus in an RPG, because great characters always tend to make the story more interesting. The battle system is also a heck of a lot of fun. The game gets better the more you progress through it. All in all, it's a really fun game that no RPG fan should pass up.-Dan B. Jr.
Concept 9: A c lassic RPG finally comes to the US and shows that it's one of the best games of its kind.
Graphics 8.5: 2D sprites and an overhead view help add to the game's old-school charm, and the new anime cutscenes definately look good.
Sound 8.5: The BGM is fine, but the real highlight is teh voice acting, featuring talent from voice actors such as Yuri Lowenthal, Grant George, and Tara Platt.
Playability 9: For the most part, the game is very accessible, but there are some tough boss battles.
Entertainment 9: The game grows on you after a little bit, but once it's done, it'll be worth all the tears and sweat you put into it.
Replay Value 9: Old-school charm and wonderful writing make Star Ocean an enjoyable and long-lasting experience worth playing again once or twice.
Other Helpful Reviews for Star Ocean: First Departure
Overall, Star Ocean is a great, solid, classic RPG. I have to say that I was surprised by the voice acting and cut scenes. I remember playing the original and going through the game struggling to read what was going on, ... Read Full Review
This JRPG was originally on the Super Nintendo Entertainmeny System (SNES) back in 1996 and the start of one of Enix's better JRPG series they've made. Basic story is Roddick (who name you can change if you want) and his... Read Full Review