Star Ocean 5 Hands-On Preview – RPG Parties Have Never Felt So Full

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Square Enix’s section of the E3 2016 floor was lit up with a huge variety of games for everyone to try. I took the chance to play Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness while I was there, and as a Star Ocean fan, I was really happy with the section of the game I played.

The set up had a few different stations that were all at various points in the game. For example, one was placed at what I can only guess was the beginning of the game as Fidel was the only party member.

The station I took over was presumably quite a bit later in the game, as I was given all 7 party members to play with. The map I was running through was some form of cave area.

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The demo appeared to not be timed, and I picked up where the player before me left off, so it’s hard to say what exactly was going on. However, I played through the entirety of the area, and it culminated in a difficult fight – whether it was an actual boss I’m not sure, though.

The game as a whole felt more like Star Ocean 3: Til The End Of Time to me as opposed to The Last Hope. For me personally, that was a big plus. The battle gameplay felt great – the characters were all fun to play around with, and it was fun to see a bunch of classic skills come back.

Taking enemies out with Flying Guillotine or Hammer of Might felt great. Characters were pretty well varied, with everything from standard swordplay available from Fidel to quicker swordplay or even a crossbow with Viktor and Emmerson respectively.

I did have the option to set battle skills through the menu, though there weren’t a particularly large number to choose from. To that end, most of what was available were all older skills, which was worrying.

It’s ultimately hard to judge what should be a long RPG on a few minutes worth of gameplay. However, the battle system was certainly Star Ocean, and it was certainly fun.

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The best part of the whole experience was the party members though. Even when you’ve got the full party, every single party member takes part in battles as well as walks around the map with you.

While we all knew this already, experiencing it is something else. It’s a very small thing, but it made the largest impact on me during the demo, I think. Having the full party visible at all times, compounded by the live battles without any sort of transition was really awesome.

So, while it’s really hard to judge a game like Star Ocean on a small demo, I’m at least still excited for the release. Furthermore, the battle system, if nothing else, still feels like Star Ocean and it was a great experience to play it again.

It really just tempted me to go play Til The End Of Time again more so than wanting Integrity and Faithlessness. But we’ll see.

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Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness release in North America on June 28th and Europe on July 1st on PS4.

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I'm a pretty chill guy. Huge video game fan, but a bigger anime fan. I also love to write - obviously.

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