Star Ocean seems like it would be a wonderful game. It is set in space and the graphics are bright and colorful. The Earth is dying and it is up to you (and a ship full of expendable crew members) to find a new home. This game is from Square Enix, makers of fine JRPG games. The downside is the very last gen game play. I've played all of what Star Ocean has to offer before. Save points? Closed off battle arenas? Sorry. No thank you. If Final Fantasy XII on the PS2 could figure out how to make battles part of the regular map, then this retooled XBox 360 game should too. Plus, I swear I saw menu elements and heardmenu sound effects reused from Kingdom Hearts. This game is for fans of very old school JRPG games. Everyone else should pick up Final Fantasy XIII.
On one hand, Star Ocean: The Last Hope has all of the characteristics that make for an epic JRPG. On the other hand though, it's held back by a lot of missteps that have plagued JRPGs for years now.
Star Ocean is set in the future and has a very science fiction feel to it. The game starts in the future, after World War 3. Man has destroyed the Earth and if forced to look onward to the sky. It's a really interesting set up. It makes for a great overall story ark and it's a great excuse to explore the universe, hopping from planet to planet.
The story has you moving from planet to planet, which kick off minor story arks along the way. Most of the subplots are pretty good, but some are a little weak. Changing the location every few hours helps to keep things from becoming stagnate. Each location looks and feels differently and they each feature unique enemies.
Typically you will be gaining a new character at each planet you stop at along the way. A lot of the support cast feel a little tired and cliche. And there are even few party members that are annoying enough to grade on you after time ('kay?).
Although most of the story is pretty good, the dialogue can be atrocious at times. Like many JRPGs, the dialog reads like it was written by a 10 year old. It's bearable for the most part, but you'll find yourself rolling your eyes every once in a while.
The real time battle system works pretty well, but it has some flaws. The flaws typically aren't noticeable until you fight a tough battle. The hit detection seems off. Also the parameters for using items and spells during battles, is never made clear. It makes sense that you can't use an item in the middle of an attack, but there seems to also be some sort of hidden criteria. I found myself running around the battle field hitting triangle every few seconds, to see if the game would let me use a healing item. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.
All in all, it's a great space epic, with some annoyances.
I am not sure if this happens every time but, when you save it automaticaly updates your system data. DO NOT turn off you system even if the auto update has yet to start it will screw up the trophies and you wot be able to play without having to reset the system ( This is more to keep others from making this same mistake)
The good chunk I got to play before I made the mistake though was purely breath taking and my only regret is that it got cut short.