Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness Review – Remember When JRPGs Were Cutting Edge?

Editor’s Note: This is a review coupled with a video review. You can watch the video review above, or read a transcript of the video below.

While it may not be my favorite console, the PlayStation 2 is by far the most treasured device in my collection of video game hardware. Though the early 2000’s era of gaming it belonged to was known primarily for mainstreaming the hobby (and bringing Microsoft into the fold), it was also the golden age of the console JRPG…and Sony led the charge with a dizzyingly large pile of high quality games that defined the genre for an entire decade.

With the power granted by the sixth generation consoles, JRPGs went from top-down, often isometric affairs to full-blown 3D epics that allowed the player to move around and battle within sprawling landscapes in third person viewpoints. Sure, you may laugh at me making such a mundane feature seem world-shattering, but to JRPG fans who were lucky enough to own a PS2, that era remains one of our most fondly remembered, and part of that is due to the gigantic leap in quality the genre experienced during the generational advance.

JRPGs hit their stride during that era, and one of the most celebrated of that group was tri-Ace’s Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time. Though fans are split on whether they enjoyed the ending or not, most agree it had the best gameplay of the series – if not the entire PS2 JRPG library.

Unfortunately, as the PS2 era grew smaller in the rear view mirror and Japanese developers began adopting western RPG gameplay mechanics, the hope for another middle-era JRPG (as opposed to the retro 8bit indie stuff we get by the droves) began to fade.

star ocean 5 01-25-16-5

…and yet here we are, witnessing not just the rebirth of Star Ocean, but the possible rebirth of the PlayStation 2 style JRPG as well.

Chances are good, if you’re a diehard JRPG fan who tears up at the mention of Sony’s second console, you are buying (and playing) Star Ocean 5 already. If not, and you wonder if the nostalgia trip is worth $60, you came to the right review.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness takes place between the 2nd and 3rd games of the series, and tells the story of Fidel Camuze, the planet’s most renowned swordsman and son of one of its most powerful politicians. After his hometown is attacked and he runs to the capital city to request aid, he finds a mysterious girl with odd powers whose safety overrides any other obligation or sense of duty he has. The story then revolves around the mystery behind this young girl and the proxy war that is being fought in her name.

There are points where the story does drag a bit, especially near the middle where the party is constantly splitting up and the girl is shuttled in-between the different factions involved in the conflict, but it’s not so bad that it becomes cringe-worthy. If anything, it’s the two leads – Fidel and Miki – who make it worthwhile.

star ocean 5 04-19-15-8

The developers claimed they wanted an older, more mature protagonist to better reflect the age of Star Ocean fans who have, naturally, grown a bit older since the last entry. What this gives us is a lead character who doesn’t whine, who is a competent leader, and who doesn’t exhibit the kind of flakiness his predecessors did. Fidel is a confident man in his mid-20s whose only fault is the emotional distance between him and his father; a divide mainly caused by his desire to not be accused of using his last name to gain unfair social advantages.

His childhood friend, Miki, is also a bit more mature than most JRPG lead heroines. Frequently exhibiting a very strong and obvious maternal streak, most of Miki’s private action scenes revolve around her being the party’s “den mother”. Whether it’s gathering up towels and clean clothes for a long trip or calming down other party members who cave to their emotions, Miki is a self-actualized young woman that – in my opinion – really stole the show.

Of course, Star Ocean fans know the meat of the series has always been its “private actions”. The little snippets of character development that occur at specific points in the game’s towns are back again, only this time they’ve been streamlined a bit. Perhaps even dumbed down.

You may still enter into a “private action” phase whenever entering a town, but the scenes themselves are nowhere near as involved as they were in previous games. The vast majority of them simply have you and the other party members standing in place and gesturing, with actual interaction being depressingly rare. Those expecting to have in-depth conversations where they can select their own responses to guide the character’s relationship levels will be disappointed. Though there *are* some decent private action scenes (Victor has the funniest, in my opinion), they are too few and far between.

star ocean 5 03-21-16-1

One thing where the game unequivocally excels would be the visuals, which unlike the private actions or predictable plot, are solid throughout the entire game.

Having made a PS4 version of the game paid off, because the 60 frames-per-second smoothness and lighting effects are the best I’ve seen come from a JRPG, and those who have had to subsist on NISA and Compile Heart RPGs for the last few years might have to take their heart medicine before putting the disc in the system.

In all seriousness, this new chapter of the Star Ocean series is tremendously gorgeous. The textures, the light rays cast by the setting sun, the flowing clouds, the draw distance showing off the vast terrain, very few games spurred me to obsessively take screenshots like this one did. Just stepping out into the Resulian plains, with its wide open and Xenoblade-esque look and feel, are enough to sell even the most demanding graphics nerd on the game.

Now, what about the gameplay? Well, combat is the core of every decent JRPG, and if the combat is lacking then it’s likely that no other feature, no matter how well done, will save the game. Though I have some gripes with Star Ocean’s combat, none of them were enough to drive me away from playing through it.

star ocean 5 07-12-16-(5)

First of all, the combat still retains the mechanics of the two previous Star Ocean games. The cancel bonuses, the parrying (No blindside attacks like Star Ocean 4 though), and the switching between long and short attacks all return in this latest entry, only with one difference: Your party has ballooned to seven combatants.

While I do love having such a large party, I have a theory that it inflated the game’s internal numbers to such a degree that creating a balanced system was too much of a chore for the developers to properly tackle. This is most evident in the fact that the default starting difficulty – galaxy – is incredibly easy. Aside from a couple fixed fights and one boss who is incredibly cheap with his attack range, the entire game is a walk in the park for anyone who even remotely understands the game’s mechanics. Doubly so if you play as Victor and exploit his insanely powerful and wide-reaching distance attacks.

Making matters worse is the smallish nature of the combat area itself, which is so lacking in circumference that if you start the battle as a spell caster or ranged attacker, you will accidentally flee from battle due to being outside of its legal boundaries. It became so bad that after a few dozen forced escapes from battle, I decided to never switch to a ranged party member again.

If there were some way to create a starting formation that your characters would default to when combat starts they might have been able to avoid this. As it stands now, however, it’s almost impossible to “main” a ranged hero.

star ocean 5 07-12-16-(3)

Another downside to the battle system would be the disagreeable camera, which seems to resist any effort to keep it raised at any decently viewable angle. The camera feels like it constantly resets, and when it does, it is far too low to the ground to see the character you’re controlling.

This is especially bad since with six other party members and around four or five monsters, it can be hard to distinguish who you are closest to and what enemy you are currently attacking. Auto-targeting remedies that to some degree, but it isn’t something I feel the player should be forced to use just to circumvent the poor line of sight the camera saddles them with.

So combat is easy and sometimes counter-intuitive…so what saves it?

The role system the game gives the player is probably the best new addition to the Star Ocean series. What these “roles” are is a set of A.I. routines that, besides governing how a computer-controlled party member acts, it doles out bonuses to certain key statistics or abilities. These roles, when set, can increase offensive magic, decrease guarding damage, shorten spellcasting time and everything in-between. It sounds simple, but when you have around a hundred of these “roles” and realize that each character can equip up to four of them, you begin to see how easy it is to exploit the game.

star ocean 5 03-21-16-5

A good example is how cheap it can get is when you combine the “berserker” and “dead man walking” roles. With berserker more than doubling your damage and dead man walking nullifying the negative aspects it normally hampers you with, putting such a combo on a frontline fighter is akin to placing the game on easy mode…which might not be a good thing unless you’re trying to beat a post-endgame boss.

Combat becomes better once you’re able to select a higher difficulty, and when you fight the tougher adversaries in the post-endgame dungeon, so your enjoyment of the game’s battle system depends solely on how patient you are in waiting until you reach that point. Until then, however, you’ll have to endure 10 second fights and a roster of enemies that give you no real reason to heal.

So is it worth buying? Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is an RPG that is built specifically for the PlayStation 2 crowd who still pine away for the mid-2000s and the days when Japanese developers hadn’t yet played Skyrim. Those who want another JRPG from that era that is unashamed to be Asian (complete with Fiore’s bouncing breasts, which might make up for Miki’s “diapers”) and delivers on the promise of taking Star Ocean into the current generation shouldn’t be disappointed. Though it has quite a few annoyances to deal with, they are relatively minor and shouldn’t dissuade you from playing it. Though I wouldn’t blame less hardcore fans if they waited for a price cut.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 using a retail copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict 7.5

The Good

  • Gorgeous visuals & 60 frames per second
  • New “role” system is clever, fun to exploit
  • Fidel & Miki are well written and easy to identify with
  • Combat is highly enjoyable, at least in the late game areas
  • Feels like an RPG from 10 years ago

The Bad

  • Far too easy through most of the game
  • Large party roster causes formation/A.I. problems
  • Private actions could have used more depth/interaction



  • Aikia

    Despite it’s flaws, SO5 was a fun game. I think your review nailed it!

  • MegaRay

    “Fidel & Miki are well written and easy to identify with”

    ^ More like other characters sux, and Fidel/Miki are well written in comparison to those characters. I wish they put less money on graphics and more on the story and characters :/

  • Derek

    Such a damn pity it got bad reviews from the big press. Thanks Neptunia and CH for ruining jrpgs for everybody with your special brand of autism fantasy while quality characters are left to rot in mediocrity.

  • KissDisqus

    So I assume this is at least better than that pile of steaming SO4?
    I’m sure it would have taken more time to make the video but some editing would have been nice instead of having 10 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay through a very bland map.
    Trying to showcase the supposed gorgeous graphics, some of the private actions, the range caster escape problems etc. in the video should be a given.

  • Guin

    I beg to differ. I have a greater appreciation for 4 now after I’ve finished 5. Yeah, I said it.

  • Guin

    Hey now, why are you putting them up on the spot when it’s not even their fault why SO5 underperformed?

  • Guin

    Eh, they’re a lot better than Edge at least. The only thing they lack is actual character development unless you go out of your way to access PA’s every time.

  • Guin

    As much as I’ve liked what I got out of this game, a 7.5 is far too generous. The glaring flaws and shortcomings from both technical and narrative perspectives really impede what could’ve been a revolutionary step on the JRPG genre. A 6 would’ve been more appropriate.

  • Jumanji Joe

    No talk about the censorship? That seems kinda shady…..

  • Narmy

    That’s what he always does for some reason.

  • blackice85

    Does he? It comes off kinda trollish, but he might just hate Neptunia for whatever reason. Regardless, whether they’re bad games or not doesn’t keep others from being good.

  • MegaRay

    “while quality characters are left to rot in mediocrity”

    I hope you aren’t referring to SO5’s characters with “quality characters”.

  • MegaRay

    They only censored Miki’s pantsu…

  • Diaper-grade pantsu to be exact

  • Landale

    Panties on one character were changed slightly. Yep, not mentioning that detail in a review is some shady shit.
    Censorship sucks, sure, but unless it’s sweeping fucking changes like the shit Nintendo tends to pull lately, it’s not really worth bringing up repeatedly. And they did bring it up here once before.

    http://nichegamer.com/2016/03/28/square-enix-gave-star-ocean-5s-miki-bigger-panties-in-fear-of-western-criticism/

  • MegaRay

    Edge?

  • Guin

    Not sure if sarcasm or legitimately oblivious.

  • I kinda enjoyed the 4th. Coming from someone who played all of em.

    All still have better protagonist than Fayt.

  • Jumanji Joe

    You sound like a sjw. “It was ONLY a little censorship SHITLORD”

  • I personally don’t like zany tongue-in-cheek jokes in my RPG…

    …but boy max nepping happens!

  • Jumanji Joe

    ANY censorship is worth mentioning. Being okay with it makes you part of the problem.

  • Narmy

    I’ve only played 3 and 4, and I definitely think 4 is better. Mainly because the setting of 3 is incredibly boring, at least 4 lives up to its name and lets you travel the stars.

  • MegaRay

    Im serious :/

  • Guin

    >Edge better than Fayt
    What alternate universe did I jump into?

  • Bizzaro Sol I guess?

  • Landale

    That’s not even close to what I was saying. But sure, have fun thinking that. Wasn’t aware the line between me and that shit was “Do I find one small change worth dedicating multiple articles to?”

  • Guin

    Edge Maverick: SO4 protag. You would have a field day with him.

  • MegaRay

    But when reviewing a game, you review what you played, and experienced. Maybe this reviewer didnt look under Miki’s skirt :P

  • Agrias Oaks

    The rage and tears generated by Fiore’s outfit were all I needed :p

  • KissDisqus

    “complete with Fiore’s bouncing breasts, which might make up for Miki’s “diapers””

    It’s right there in the article. I really doubt more needed to be said about it in the review.

  • MegaRay

    Never played SO4. I heard it was a bad JRPG so yeah. I dunno how much improvement SO5 characters got compared to SO4, but they still suck…

  • Landale

    They did mention it. It got its own article. It didn’t need to be stuffed into a review too.

  • blackice85

    That’s the thing, it was a stupid change, but it was so minor that you’d have to go out of your way to notice it. Not anywhere close to the level of changes made to #FE for example.

  • It’s getting increasingly easier to subsist only on SJW tears these days.

  • MegaRay

    Exactly.

  • Guin

    I personally thought it was ok. My only gripe about it was the MC. Everything else was decent to good. It’s because of the current attitude of constantly comparing the new stuff with the old as I’ve seen with the SO fanbase.

    Not every game can be SO2. Deal with it.

  • “Not anywhere close to the level of changes made to #FE for example”

    NOTHING and I mean NOTHING deserves to be butchered as bad as #FE

    It’s like NoA is trying to win the censorship award or something…

  • KenAyagami

    Well.. I know neptune is a pretty mediocre game at best.. neptune game is like a guilty pleasure for jrpg.. is either you like it or you hate it.. :)

  • I know. I know.

    But I still want my SO2 mark2

  • Heck yes! Still waiting for someone to release the full Calnus garage kit.

  • blackice85

    What’s extra baffling is when you hear about all the changes they made, you’d expect the original to be pretty explicit or risque, but it’s not. It’s very tame, so it’s not even like they were toning down an M game for T. It really is like they were doing it just to piss people off.

  • MegaRay

    Well, I got into JRPGs a little late last generation. So I did kinda skipped on the unpopular JRPGs. However I agree with what you said. I loved Zestiria, then when I see the comments, its like “its bad, Symphonia / abyss is way better”.
    Well, I did enjoyed Zesty more than them.

  • blackice85

    The problem for me is that so many reviews are too polarizing, like it’s either the best game or the worst ever.

  • Guin

    Zestiria will never be one of my top 5 Tales, but I didn’t think it was bad either, especially when actual garbage like Legendia and Tempest exist. It’s just very middling along there with Eternia and Rebirth.

  • Yeah, it’s inane.

    > Censoring cleavage
    > Bikini
    > Panties
    > Age
    > What?

    really? I see more skin at the evening news than this crap!

    that’s Muslim-land level of censorship already.

    Bless the gits who made loadline.

  • scemar

    Why?

    I’d say it’s a shame people still read big press reviews.

    Everyone should know they are trash by now unless they’re living a delusion and still rely on them.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    An extremely, granite-solid 6 would be secure for SO5, yeah.
    Maybe if you found your new waifu a 6.5

  • I seconded the 6.5

    Extra points for keeping Fiore’s design intact.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    “this is at least better than that pile of steaming SO4?”
    YES
    WAY BETTER

    THE PROTAGONIST IS NOT A WHINGING C**T WHO GIVES CRAZY FemHITLER OF NuEARTH SPACE NUKES DESPITE EVERYONE SAYING NOT TO AND THEN, WHEN SHE INEVITABLY BLOWS UP THE EARTH (because femHitler is crazy), GOES ON TO LITERALLY SULK AND BRING DOWN THE MORALE OF EVERYONE BUT HIS ASSERTIVE CHILDHOOD FRIEND

    F**K SO4
    F**K IT SO HARD

  • scemar

    everyone getting their panties in a bunch

    they’re just big retro granny panties

  • Tales of Abyss and Symphonia. There.

    Also I kinda hated the sausage fest tumblr force-fed me with SoreyxMikleo crap. Not Bamco fault though…

  • Guin

    Destiny, Innocence and to a lesser extent Graces for me. Yeah, my choices aren’t the most accepted, but whatever.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    BETTER: characters, character endings (they are once again character endings, not just additional scenes of characters), graphics, gameplay, framerate, writing

    WORSE: space theme is almost utterly nonexistent, which is fair since this is SO, but the only good thing SO4 had going for it was the ever-present space theme which was the original appeal of the concept behind SO to begin with.
    A.I. is meh but the game’s easy so meh.

    MEH: writing, because everything about this is pretty much an amalgamation of every SO that came before it, especially SO3 (excluding the series-ruining ending). Also a lot of the “cinematography” I guess you’d call it can be very lacking.
    Environments can feel very empty too.

  • MegaRay

    Im not saying it has to be on everybody’s best games list. Just to know its actually a good game, because people call it a bad game, not a bad Tales game. Differences are big :/

  • blackice85

    That’s an important distinction to make, I agree. Sometimes a game doesn’t fit well with the rest of the series, but itself isn’t bad.

  • MegaRay

    Mine (in no order) would be Grace, Zestiria, Symphonia DoNA, Xillia and abyss. Never played Destiny nor Innocence :/

  • Guin

    Elicoor II had a lot more locales and life than Faykreed though. I do think they should’ve spent more time in modern space settings though because the sci fi aesthetics in 3 were nothing short of amazing. Venturing SO3 Earth would’ve been a blast.

  • MegaRay

    Yes. You try to tell people that and they’d reply “your taste sux lol” :/

  • Guin

    When it comes to English only Tales, you’ll have to try Vesperia sometime. It’s regarded as the best, which I’m not gonna lie it is, but a tad overrated.

  • MegaRay

    I dont have an xbox :(
    I am one of those people who’s still holding for a PS3 translation or PS4 port.

  • AH C’MON EVERYBODY MADE MISTAKES MATE!!! EVEN THOUGH THIS ONE DOOMS AN ENTIRE PLANET POPULATION BUT HEY ALT. EARTH AMIRITE?

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    People really gotta learn to pick their battles.

    I mean I’m not saying you can’t think the change is stupid, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t discuss it, but this isn’t like #FE where the changes are far more excessive and sweeping. And I’m not even saying that “small” changes are inherently better, Fatal Frame V had a “small” change and it outright screwed up the story which is far worse than almost any other censorship issue I’ve seen in years.

    But something like this? Yeah, a small note of it is all it really needs, not multiple paragraphs or some shit.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    Considering the fact that I genuinely believe NoA is ashamed of anything that isn’t mario/zelda/kirby/pokemon or otherwise equally child-friendly, I’d believe that.

  • Guin

    You should’ve also mentioned how the “seamless” interactions affected battles. It was really annoying having blocks of text of characters speaking while fighting enemies.

  • blackice85

    I’d wager that Bamco will have a PS4 remaster of the PS3 version at some point, likely near the end of the lifecycle.

  • MegaRay

    I hope so too. I mean its a given they’ll want to rerelease some of their games, I just hope they pick the right ones :)

  • blackice85

    Yup, the change was small but also didn’t effect the story or characterization or anything else really. Still a stupid change, but probably not worth boycotting over, unless you feel like spiting yourself.

  • Somehow I can picture Takao bullied to wear that kind of thing…

    …hmmm

  • blackice85

    Well they did for Symphonia, and they used the PS2 Japanese-only release as a base, so I’m just going off precedent. They know it’ll be an easy sell.

  • I should clarify that I love Abyss and Symphonia but hated Zestiria’s fan

    Agreed on Destiny and Innocence. It made me go “what?”

  • MegaRay

    “hated Zestiria’s fan”

    ^ Hey, I am offended!

    jk :P

  • Eh, only the SoreyxMikleo tumblr crap fans.

    Should’ve clarified. Sorry.

  • MegaRay

    No problem, I figured you mean “fanbase” not “fan” :D

  • Guin

    So you didn’t like Destiny and Innocence?

  • Yes, it’s trivial and doesn’t affect the game in a major way. People know that. Well done for pointing out the fucking obvious.

    But the more you let them get away with this kind of censorship, the more they will do it for future games. Because they know they can get away with it.

    The Slippery Slope is most definitely NOT a fallacy, given specific examples of censorship in past examples, such as Bravely Default.

    Remember I’m NOT telling you to boycott the game. I’m just saying that the more people have this “what they censored didn’t affect the story/characterization so it doesn’t matter” attitude will only make it worse. You’re basically an indirect censorship apologist.

  • Yep. They were too darn bad. Esp. Innocence. Funny that one got fan translation back in the days.

  • Kiryu

    He always blames CH for everything,they probably were also responsible for Fukushima.That guy has real psychological problems.

  • BurgerUnit

    I respect where you’re coming from, but as far as I know, we got the same version of the game as Japan, as the change was made before it was released even over there.

    In cases like these, for me its more of

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Still really dumb that they changed it to begin with.

  • It needs to be mentioned to some degree, and put in a negative light.

    Because after all, there is a chance that people (especially average drones and normies) may have missed the article about the censorship itself.

    But of course, you didn’t think about that did you?

  • blackice85

    A good point too, they didn’t censor it for the West, they just changed it while in development. At what point is it no longer a change in design but censorship? We have to draw the line somewhere, which is what my point was. It’s not black and white.

  • ……

  • It was a panty-shot at first. Then it was changed into a diaper.

    They’ve self-censored because of the Western SJW backlash or the potential Western SJW backlash.

    Hope that helps.

  • It was a panty-shot at first. Then it was changed into a diaper.

    They’ve self-censored because of the Western SJW backlash or the potential Western SJW backlash.

    Hope that helps.

    I guess for you it is completely okay as long as it’s still in development.

    You completely reek of an SJW.

  • Landale

    “Average drones and normies” aren’t going to give a flying fuck no matter how often you beat them over the head with information.

    But of course, you didn’t think about that did you?

  • Guin

    I’d argue that Innocence wasn’t bad especially when there are worse entries. The story was standard, but the concepts behind it like reincarnation was interesting. Characters had a lot of interaction and dynamic with them. Same can be said about Destiny. The only thing I can’t really defend are the dated battle systems. They’re more or less products of the time.
    I say Innocence was a good choice to be fan translated. Would you rather waste your time with Tempest?

  • blackice85

    Christ, did you not read what I wrote? I’m simply not taking an absolute stance on it as you are. Calm down already, and don’t be so quick to label me an ‘SJW’ lol.

  • The more they get informed, they more chance they have of opening their minds up to this kind of thing. Even if it’s a brief summary.

    I personally think it’s a worthwhile thing to do, and I do believe the more censorship becomes something that gets mentioned in reviews, normies will latch on to it and open their minds.

  • Yeah actually I have mis-read your post there, prob because I had a lot to drink tonight. No offence intended, I take it back for that post I made

  • Valwin Mediaz

    My wife

  • Carl did mention the granny panties at the end of the review.

  • blackice85

    No problem then, we’re good.

  • BurgerUnit

    I know why they did it. My main hangup is that I get the version the developer intended, which is usually the version released in Japan, and not some version altered by some middleman goony SJW for ‘Western
    sensibilities’.

    But it makes it tricky when they self-censor, as I am pretty sure the creators wanted the original pantsu.

    For the record I didn’t buy this game, mostly because I didn’t really like one since Star Ocean 2 but this change they made was a factor too.

    Anyway, I think we can all agree – fuck censorship in all forms. :-)

  • Landale

    Not enough for some people, as you can see. It’s not enough to mention it. It’s not enough to give it its own article. It must be brought up and condemned constantly. It must sway the entire coverage of the game forever. If you don’t, you’re shady, you’re an SJW, you’re an apologist.

    Or one could just ignore fanatical people. That works too.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    So Miki’s panties were the only thing censored? That seems weird considering Fiore’s outfit. Well I might pick it up when it’s cheaper since it did get censored.

  • Timothy Flynn

    You forgot the really annoying defensive battles that can put a stall to the game due to dumb AI. That’s a problem I have right now with the second defend Anne mission. All the enemies attack her, but my team mates just watch. Plus, Anne dies in about 3 seconds and with 5 enemies attacking, it’s impossible to save her.

  • ScarredBushido

    SO5 doesn’t have any PA like this one…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dmvj2x3MQ4

  • ScarredBushido

    i forgave kobayashi when he said at the AX2016 he wants to focus more on Cleavage in future games lol

  • Landale

    Can’t say those fights ever caused a problem for me. Honestly, I was kind of surprised when I saw people saying they were difficult. I suppose someone neglecting the roles and such would have a problem, but otherwise I can’t quite figure out what made them hard.

  • blackice85

    Hey, it’s as good a focus as any I say.

  • ScarredBushido

    i really dislike the way they did the PA. that is the main reason why i loved Star ocean. i hope that if they make a SO6 you can PICK who you become attracted to, miki is bland compared to reimi imo. only good thing about miki is her sieyuu which voice yui yuigahama the best girl in Yahari.

  • ScarredBushido

    Fiore > rest

  • blackice85

    Yeah I the scenes are cool, but I never cared for the hidden affection stat that determined the ending.

  • ScarredBushido

    maybe you should read the REASON why they changed the panties.

  • ScarredBushido

    i honestly have not finished the game yet. i assume though i don’t get to bang fiore lol

  • BurgerUnit

    He is some kind of recovering creep/perv, and so attacks anything with fanservice as some sort of repentance.

    I am not making this up. Came up a number of months ago when I believe one of the Neptunias was announced for a PC port.

    I don’t think shitting on games in comments sections will help his healing process.

  • blackice85

    Oh, I don’t know about SO5, haven’t played it yet. I meant the older titles, where you’d activate PAs (sometimes prompting a response to a question), and they’d influence the affection stats of party members in not so obvious ways. Even for ones not present, or you haven’t even met yet.

    It’s forgivable given when they were made, but I do hope they can improve upon it.

  • ScarredBushido

    oh okay haha.

  • ScarredBushido

    i’ll laugh if the only thing FF15 brings to the table is graphics. seriously square enix cares more about FF brand then their other brands.

  • Kiryu

    I personally found reimi quite annoying and prefered meracle,can’t comment on miki since i havent played S05 yet.

  • Kiryu

    Graphics is all what it looks to me.All i hear people say is;look at those graphics,it looks so good.

  • ScarredBushido

    im just comparing reimi and miki. i too prefer meracle and also myuria.

    cat girls ftw

  • ScarredBushido

    it was funny seeing edge all depressed but after winning a battle he’s still smiling lmfao

  • ScarredBushido

    should see the tears regarding someones tits in King of fighters haha

  • Guin

    Depending on how much of a fujo you are, you’d likely enjoy Noctis and co. “broing” it out.

  • Guin

    No joke. Anne is really that squishy even with defensive roles and multi synthed equips (which most likely only be accessories at that point).

  • Guin

    Hana > All

    The only thing that sucks is that she isn’t playable.

  • Landale

    I never bothered with making equipment actually. Still never had a problem. Might have something to do with me having long since set Miki up for doing absolutely nothing but spamming heals, but that wasn’t really something I did specifically for those fights.

  • GonzoLewd

    >Reimi
    >Annoying
    Check yo’self fool

  • Jumanji Joe

    “Let’s not talk about the game in its review” wut

  • GonzoLewd

    It’s a diaper now, so it still appeals to diaper fetishists.

  • GonzoLewd

    >Symphonia DoNA
    The worst game in the series?

  • RPGEndBoss

    Her boobs bounce to the beat of the music.

  • Sangaz

    Might sound daft but I don’t like how there are no poses on level up and stuff, well no there are, but you kind of just catch them out the corner of your eye as you’re forced back to Fidel.

  • machariel00

    I just finished this game last night. I have to say I really liked the game although I was disappointed in few areas (the world was pretty small, the game could have had actual side quests like SO1 and SO2 remakes), I wish there had been more scifi stuff.

    The post-game is a bit meh since it feels like quick and pretty lazily stiched dungeon, I’m not sure if I’ll bother with that.

  • MusouTensei

    I once read about a head patting scene (I guess Fidel headpats Miki?)

    was changed for the west into a thumbs up or so, is that actually the case?

  • I completely understand your point about being the version the developer intended.

    When developers self-censor due to Western sensibilities/SJWs/feminists, I absolutely class it as censorship, because the developer had to change something due to fear of backlash – which means he/she had to remove something that was originally in his/her creative vision.

    A bit like Juri from SF5 – original story art depictions show her with cleavage, then when she appears in the actual game, she was covered up with an inner bodysuit.

    So to me, as long as there is evidence that original content was censored even during/in development, then it’s a pretty much a black and white case.

    But it’s going to get harder and harder to prove anything if developers keep self-censoring during development, because there are going to be times where they won’t show any evidence of a “previous” or “original” design at all.

  • Smug

    The thing is that japanese folks have also the same censored product since it was internationally altered to fit “western sensibilities”. Take that as you will.

    But feel free to be a cuck with a short vision

  • Smug

    “It’s okay for censorship to exist because I’m a western consumer sheep with no discipline and using slippery slopes”

    Thanks for reminding us why you’re a faggot

  • Smug

    It is “censorship” because the reason was that it was altered to not hurt baby western sensibilities.

  • Smug

    “Still a stupid change, but probably not worth boycotting over, unless you feel like spiting yourself.”

    If you stayed true to your principles, you would ignore this game.

  • Kiryu

    And they blamed us for that mess.

  • chaoguy

    See- SHES fine, but the pantsu aren’t??
    It just boggles the mind.

  • MegaRay

    Well I loved the story, and twists in that game. My favorite story in any Tales game. Just my opinion.

  • glasssoldier

    Very nice review!

  • Mr0303

    Shame to hear that there are issues with the camera. For any action oriented game this becomes quite annoying for me. I think I’ll skip this one.

  • Suzaku

    I think a 7-7.5 is what I’d give it right now… 30ish hours in and I haven’t encountered anything that is standout bad. There’s only a few minor gripes I have but still having a blast playing it. Backtracking can get a little tedious but I really enjoy the battles and how fast they are so it counteracts some of the tedium.
    There’s a chance that the rest of the game and ending might cause me to lower the score, I’ll find out when I likely finish it this weekend.

  • Tristan (Chili1)

    Why the glorification of PS2 era JRPGs specifically? JRPGs never really died; maybe large scale JRPGs became smaller in number, but they never died. During the PS3/360/Wii era there were Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Nier, Resonance of Fate, Xenoblade Chronicles….

  • Suzaku

    I really enjoyed SO4, don’t care what people say about it, I liked the whole game. I’ve enjoyed every Star Ocean, even though I got pissed at the “twist” in SO3… it didn’t ruin the 100+ hours I put into it before that.

  • Kiryu

    Nostalgia.While there are new jrpgs around now some of the old ones died;Xenosaga,Suikoden,Wild Arms,Chrono series etc,all these games are dead and people have a hard time to face it.

  • Kiryu

    Don’t try to look for any logic with these people,it would only give you a headache.

  • ProxyDoug

    I always wanted to play as the famous communist leader.

  • Marc Duarte

    When it comes to defending one of our most sacred and cherished rights – freedom of speech and expression – from being infringed upon, EVERY battle is worth fighting, regardless of scale. And think of it like this: If you ignore the small battles right now, they may grow into large ones later on that you have little chance of winning, because you failed to act early on when your chances for victory were far greater.

  • EinMugenTenshin

    Lol, never got to that point. Pretty funny. ^_^

  • Marc Duarte

    Head patting isn’t even exclusive to Japanese culture. I’ve seen it done in Western cartoons before. If what you read turns out to be true, then the change was stupid and completely unnecessary.

  • Guin

    Xenosaga finished. Not in the way they intended, but still wrapped it up all things considered.

  • Guin

    I was in your shoes until lategame happened. Seriously, you will feel the disappointment come at you.

  • What exactly is the problem those SJW inbreds have with head-patting anyway? I cannot seem to think of anything that would be offensive about it?

  • Needs less mosaic

  • Minuteworld92

    miki best

  • Kiryu

    I know,it’s just some people can’t let go of the past and blame Compile Heart that these games don’t exist anymore.

  • Guin

    Besides that one autist, I don’t quite buy that reasoning. CH games are obscure in overseas circles and are usually seen as nothing more as fanservice romp fests. Modern FF’s are usually the go-to punching bags when it comes to JRPG complaining.

  • Valwin Mediaz

    diaper girl ? lol

  • Feniks

    Amazed we’re getting a Star Ocean 5 at all.

    Some depressing numbers for those who pine for the golden age of big budget JRPGs.

    PlayStation 2 sold 21 million in Japan alone
    PlayStation 4 is currently at 3 million sold in Japan

    The future is Pokémon Go (someone kill me).

  • Nagato

    Wah-wah~

  • Nagato

    There’s definitely been a decline in quantity (as well as relative budget), but I’d rather point to that generation’s handhelds as proof of the genre continuing to exist.

    That being said, the glorification of PS2 era JRPG’s is rather baffling when one takes the SNES and PSX into account.

  • Jumanji Joe

    Talk is cheap. This is the generation of tumblr pandering.

  • Captain Vidya

    “It’s creepy.”

    Because, you know, showing affection to someone you care about is apparently “creepy” nowadays.

    I wish there was more to it than that so I could at least have something to argue against, but that’s really all they have to say about it.

  • Smug

    Love is dead

  • Grampy_Bone

    PS2 RPGs which were better than Star Ocean 3 (and 5 for that matter):

    -Final Fantasy X
    -Dragon Quest 8
    -Shadow Hearts 2 and 3
    -Tales of the Abyss
    -Tri-Ace’s own Valkyrie Profile 2

    I don’t know what you are smoking to call Star Ocean 3 the best JRPG on the console. Never mind that it was a niche game with mediocre sales, the combat is a total mess. Fayt’s skills are incredibly lame; half of them are useless buff moves and the other half aren’t even sword attacks. The three-person party limit sucked. Magic was pretty much worthless. The ‘stand still to block’ mechanic was horrendous and the shield-counters hit you constantly whenever you attacked with weak skills. Battle skills cost health and you die from MP loss. The EXP awards were balanced with the assumption you would always have the triple exp bonus active; no bonus and leveling grinds to a crawl. Then when you do get the bonus hope you never get hit. Or save your game and take a break.

    Star Ocean 3 was a game that was too experimental for it’s own good.

  • Grampy_Bone

    The combat is far more interesting in SO4 with the blindside and combo mechanics.

  • Obbliglol

    Ah man, I would kill for a new Shadow Hearts. Absolutely loved those games.

    I was pretty disappointed with SO5 tbh, it’s a weird game – no cutscenes where there should be (no spoilers, but the Goale scenes were very underwhelming) but here, have ten pages of useless emotes Fidel can do during events! Also no physical weapon changes (c’mon Tri Ace, really?) and no costumes. It was better than SO4 I guess. I’d like SO3 on PS4 though, I never got all the battle trophies and I’d like another go at that.

  • Yaminoari

    Hate to tell you this but Your opinion doesn’t affect somebody elses tastes in games If somebody seriously thought Tetris was the best game in the world to them it Would be the best game in the world

    welcome to reality where people all have different tastes and opinions not everybody is going to share your tastes or views

  • Ace

    Nice to see someone out there with a different opinion. I’m still of the opinion that this is a painfully average game: it tries to generate nostalgia by using the most overused tropes in JRPG’s while having a battle system that is lacking in depth compared to most action RPG’s out there right now.

  • Minuteworld92

    besides the censorship, she’s qt as a button.

  • Eldhin Hellknight

    that costume should be smaller

  • SiliconNooB

    That’s hardly an exhaustive list either. There are loads of PS2 JRPGs that are better than SO3.

  • SiliconNooB

    PS2 was the last era when JRPGs were great, but PS1 and SNES were probably better eras for JRPGs.

  • SiliconNooB

    They should care enough about the FF brand to start making good games again…

  • GonzoLewd

    Sure, it’s fine to have crazy opinions.

  • MegaRay

    You never finished the game, did you? I admit the beginning is so slow, gameplay is boring. But still, the ending, and final chapters make up for it. IF you can endure it :P

  • GonzoLewd

    I would say the same thing about Graces f but the only difference is that Graces f’s gameplay is fun from start to finish and not rancid bullshit like DoNW.

  • MegaRay

    You still haven’t answer my question. If you finished the game, you’d know why the story make up for all the bad things in the game. I mean, yeah, Ill never replay the game, but still, the story was great and unique. Never seen/play any anime/game with a story like that. Story-wise it was a sequel done right. Gameplay-wise, yeah not so much.

  • Chris Mendivil

    The gameplay was the only great part of SO4 really, but it IS a video game after all xD

  • Chris Mendivil

    4 has a great battle system for starters, so it’s still fun for people who like good video games. And then there is the part where it doesn’t go-

    How DARE you try to play as not the main character?! Battle canceled!

    For Christ’s sake I just wanted to play as Anne for a bit…

  • GonzoLewd

    I’m going to say no because the gameplay was absolute dogshit. I played and finished SO4 because the gameplay was fun but the story was fucking butt from beginning to end…

  • MegaRay

    Well, that’s understandable. I took like 3 or 4 breaks when playing it. I think they should’ve made the ruins just minigames, and decrease the number of “cores” you collect. And make the game just 15-20 hours instead of 30-40 hours. They had a really good story, but ruined it with the bad gameplay

  • TheCynicalReaper

    Fair enough in that regard

  • Chris Mendivil

    You’re still right though, the characters were all kinds of awful lol. It’s good to see more grown up characters in SO5

  • Dawn Blast

    ALL. JUST. A. GAME!

  • TheCynicalReaper

    Oh dude. I remember SO3, yeah.

  • Guin

    When today’s social interaction comprises of portable terminals sending message blurbs on an app, physical intimacy is thought of as a fearful concept. No, I’m not being edgy here. This is an actual thing.

  • Guin

    >No mention of MP death
    The rest I can live with, but having to put up with that crap was godawful.

  • Grampy_Bone

    This is such a useless comment. Saying “That’s your opinion!” is like saying “You’re saying words!” It’s true, but meaningless. It’s a cowardly way to disparage someone’s point without actually refuting it.

    Everything is basically opinion, but there are informed and uninformed opinions. If you think someone is wrong, try making a coherent argument to that effect, instead of stating the obvious.

  • Grampy_Bone

    >”Battle skills cost health and you die from MP loss.”

    Yep I pointed that out too.

  • Grampy_Bone

    This comment should receive a million up votes. Sales matter.

  • Timothy Flynn

    What makes them hard? As I said, the enemy AI make a beeline for her (which on some defense missions make it easy since they are too stupid to properly pathfind the way to her) where as ally AI act as normal and don’t think of protecting her. The AI is quite dumb and the roles you get aren’t too clear on how they affect your AI (and in some cases, I have had roles that say do nothing but all-out skill attacks and yet half way though a map they still had way more MP than the person I was using, which suggests they weren’t).

    I’m a little further in the game. I can say the constant back tracking from zone to zone is ridiculous. In fact, the whole game is ridiculously small in terms of map quantity. I think there is what, a total of 10 different maps that you fight in through out the whole game?

    There’s a lot more issues with this game the more I play it. I took a break to play Mirage Sessions #FE for the Wii U and the difference in the fun factor I am experiencing is night and day. #FE is wayyyyy more fun and interesting. I am a huge Star Ocean fan too. So this is very disappointing to me. I really hope they bring over Second Evolution to the PS4 so people can see what Star Ocean is when done right. It also makes me worried to see a Valkyrie Profile 3 game now if this is the effort they put in to SO5.

  • Timothy Flynn

    I said the same thing.

  • Timothy Flynn

    SO4 was pretty good actually. If you didn’t like SO4 I don’t see how you could like SO5. SO5 has to be tied for the low point of the series (still unconvinced which is worse overall, SO3 or SO5).