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Probably the biggest bomb this year: A sad review of Star Ocean 5

Tri-Ace. A breakaway team from the original Tales of Fantasia, it has since then created many rpg classics such as Valkyrie Profile, Radiata Stories etc. Tri-Ace has also been involved in other big titles such as FFXIII-2, Danbooru Senki W and even God Eater 2. But its main title has to be the Star Ocean series.

It has been six years since Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope was released on PS3. Hence fans and the gaming industry were heavy with anticipation after the PVs were released. A string of premium tie ups for preorders was announced after that. They spared no effort in promotion. But alas, one picture tells it all.

This is from the Amazon page. And seldom has it been this bad. And while there is a culture of negativity in cyberspace, the reviewers are not snarks. Indeed many are loyal fans of the series. And even they could not help but slam the latest sequel.

One of the biggest gripe was the battle effects. The battle system itself looked promising. You could do weak and strong attack. And enemies have armour. The idea is to do weak attacks first, making them unable to guard against strong attacks. But even their promotional image showed the problem. The effects were so flashing, you cannot even tell what the characters are doing. Hence you cant even tell if their armour is down. 

Another  horrible failure is the lack of details. The trailers look fantastic. But thats where it ends.  There are only 5 streets and only ONE inn, and only 5 buildings you can enter. That is pathetic for any console game.  There is not even a cave, there is no arena, the conversation sucks, it is  already horrible. 

Pacing is horrible too. The dungeons feel like a method to simply extend gameplay, with chests that you have to keep coming back to open, and a flimsy storyline only padded by the dungeon detours and the extra dungeon. 

The storyline is a joke, it is simply about a girl that keeps getting kidnapped again and again. No sci-fi element, for a sci-fi rpg that is already fatal. And it is just too flat. You dont get drawn in. Even the characters dont help. 

From loyal fans,

 "this is probably the shortest sequel in the entire series"

"I even completed the last SO 3 times, but I won't replay SO5"

" The graphic looks so plain"

"I cleared it in 24 hours."

"Why can't we skip events?"

"The camera for battles is too close. I can't see."

"The space battles are all talk and no graphics. What a joke"

"Probably the only pluses in this game are the music and the sexy Fiore"

All in all, a horrible end to a hugely anticipated title. In 3 weeks, Amazon slashed its price from 8600 to 4400 yen. And resale price dropped from 1000 yen to 500. It is a good thing I did not preorder this for some reason. The rest of the world,  be warned. This title is coming to you soon.

Written by Don

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