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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness hands-on – Return of the JRPG

I had a chance to go hands on with Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness at Tokyo Game Show 2015 today. This has become one of the PlayStation 4’s marquee JRPG titles, warming the stage for bigger games of its type like Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5. Being “number one” on my hit list, I made a b-line for it as soon as the doors opened and was the second person to play it at the show.

tri-Ace is putting a lot into this game, betting on its success, and getting back to the main stage of AAA Japanese game development. It really shows, because Star Ocean is a gorgeous title. Character models are stunning in detail and blend nicely with the backdrops. The demo level played out a little too much in a corridor. I wouldn’t say it is as constrictive as Final Fantasy XIII mind you, but we’ll see how much levels open up in the main game.

Combat takes place on the same field as exploration, so Star Ocean 5 is free from jumps into a battle screen. That’s a thing of the past. My party had a staggering six members, each with different roles, but players only have control of three. The green haired, strangely alluring lady mage was not among them.

Together, we hunted down a group of pirates and took out their leader by overwhelming his followers, eventually knocking him off a cliff!

Our protagonist excels in light and heavy attacks. Heavy attacks break defenses and leave enemies open to a flurry of barrages. Timing is important for pulling of special skills and combos, so button mashers are not likely to succeed here. These aren’t the PlayStation One days!

My demo ended when an eyeball boss wiped the floor with my team, but I still had a great time playing up until that point. I just wish Square Enix would have given me the option to invert the axis. I spent more time battling the camera, I think.

Fun game. It won’t revolutionize the genre, but it will be enough to deliver on some long overdue JRPG fun on these consoles. Play it when it comes out, and get your palate ready for the true heavy hitters.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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