I got no idea how this game scored 6.0 from gamespot...this game is SURPRISINGLY GOOD
Games I find AWESOME (will consider replaying)
1. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (GS rating 6.5)
2. Persona 3 Portable (GS rating 8.5)
3. FF crisis core (GS rating 9.0)
Games I think is fun but not great (will not consider replaying)
1.Lunar silver star harmony (GS rating 8.0)
2.Hexyz Force (GS rating 7.5)
3.Legend of Heroes Trails In The Sky (GS rating 8.0)
*I know Trails In The Sky is pretty popular but I personally find its battle mechanics way too simple, just my personal opinion
Games I don't really enjoy (will not even bother completing once)
1. FF tactics (GS rating 8.0)
2. Tactics Ogre (GS rating 9.0)
3. Disgaea Afternoon of Darkness (GS rating 8.0)
For those who totally disagree with my taste in games and is starting to hate me, help yourselves by stop reading this review and go read one that pleases you.
For those who agree or those who disagree but is curious as to why I think so, you might wanna read on.
Before I begin the actual review, I do not hate tactical rpgs. In fact, I love them, but the ones I listed in my "hate" list has way too much pointless grinding which I do not enjoy.
Alright, now for the actual review. There are several criteras a game normally has to meet for me to like it, and I will list them down here. This will also give you a better idea of what type of gamer I am.
1. I like games that has no missables
I think this point is pretty self explanatory. Why must so many JRPGs have so many damn missables, are the developers just trying to screw with us? Games are meant to be fun, and I hate it when I have to search up on all missable what so ever even before I openned the plastic wrapping of the game I just bought and DANG, spoilers showed up all over my screen *#&@#!!. Star Ocean First Departure does contain missables, but it is implemented in a very lenient way. For the missables that has tight time limitations to obtain, they are pretty easy to find and for those that are hidden, you can practically go back and retrieve them anytime after they are available until very late in the game, and the game even has the courtesy to warn you when that point of time comes. In comparison to Trails In The Sky's carnelia books collection, this game's missables are way more friendlier, and so I will let this one pass.
2. I like games that does not pick on noobs
Have you ever played a game whereby after pouring more than 10 hours in your character you realised that you made the wrong build and need to restart? I get that for every god damn new game I play. Truth be told, this is the only game I have played that did not force me to restart due to a bad mistake I made, because no matter which wrong skills you let your characters learn, even if you deliberately tried to f up your character, he or she will still turn out with the perfect build later on due to the level cap of game. Thus, this is an excellent game for me who is not a hardcore powerleveling gaming lover.
3. I do not like games with pointless grinding
Back to the reason why I did not like those 3 games mentioned above. In FF tactics, I wasted more than half the actual game play time just trying to obtain all the classes and special characters I wanted, in Tactics Ogre you have to capture 27 dragons if I am not mistaken just to get 1 special character and since uber characters is not allowed in that game you really have to waste time playing each battle properly, and lastly in Disgaea the level cap is 9999 to obtain certain classes you have to hit level 2000 in 1 character just to abandon him later with a fresh new lv 1 character with the class you want, not to mention the optional boss is level 4500......and just getting 1 of my guys to lv 200 is already a pain in the ass. Thankfully, in Star Ocean First Departure, no grinding is necessary because some character skills when used properly can give you more money and experience points than your psp's ram can handle. In other words, this game caters to all types of players, including lazy bums like me. (I only used the money trick though, not the experience one :p)
4. I hate games that levels its monsters with you
Its ok to make fights challenging, but not every fight has to be a big fight. This is a mistake made by FF tactics, and this time it's a big mistake, because if you accidentally leveled up too much such that your underleveled equipments are too weak to fight the overpowered enemies, your gear dependent characters are gonna be totally useless. Thankfully again, this game has no auto leveling of monsters so own all you want you big bullies!
5.I like games that has decent battle mechanics
What exactly do I mean by this? An example of a game with simple battle mechanics; I hit monster, 5 hp, monster hit me, 2 hp, I hit monster, 4 hp, monster died....plain, dull, boring. What we want is not just you hit me and I hit you back, we need more than that. In Star Ocean First Departure, not only does it have the standard critical chance, miss chance and spells, it also has dodge chance, choosing to dodge on purpose, jump attack to hit flying enemies, daze chance to stun opponents, hit to interrupt spell, chance to prevent spell interruption, chance to teleport to enemy's face, chance to teleport to enemy's back etc etc. This game has quite a diverse set of features to keep battles fun and interesting, and is also one of the few games where I really enjoyed each and every random fight I got into.
6. Last but not least, I like games that do not require walkthroughs to play
I did not play this with a walkthrough, except spending 5 minutes checking out the hidden missables =).
This concludes my review. Final words, Star Ocean First Departure is darn awesome, screw gamespot for giving it only a 6, ill give it a 9, which I have not given to any other psp games except persona portable 3.