Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is the most solid looking JRPG at E3 this year. Okay, you caught me. It’s the only JRPG that turned up in a genuine capacity outside of maybe Shin Megami Tensei vs Fire Emblem, but if Producer Shuichi Kobayashi is telling the truth in an interview with Destructoid about its creation, this success almost never meant to be.
For the first four entries in the series, Producer Yoshinori Yamagishi headed up development, being involved in each of the games before he departed development company, Tri-Ace, following the release of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Out of respect for their former boss and mentor, many at Tri-Ace suffered a bit of anxiety continuing the franchise without him.
“I thought somebody had to do it. I had to force myself. I hope this isn’t going to sound arrogant — I thought if I couldn’t produce it, nobody else could.”
Kobayashi apparently worked under the shroud of darkness on a pitch for his dream game, involving everyone who worked on the previous four entries with the exception of his boss, the man he was to pitch it to. The interview reads like like an underdog heist film, and Kobayashi believes if he didn’t succeed, the world would never see the Star Ocean series again!
“If my CEO doesn’t like my proposal, if he rejected it, that would be the end of the entire franchise. If this hadn’t come about, I wouldn’t be working for Square Enix now.”
Talk about high stakes. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness passed its pitch and is looking like it will be a strong early game for setting the JRPG genre’s pace on the new consoles. It has to contend with the likes of Persona 5 and Tales of Zesteria, but everything I’ve seen so far makes me believe it it’s up for the challenge.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness will launch for the PlayStation 4 in the States in early 2016. Japan will have the game later this year with a PlayStation 3 version to boot.