Star Ocean isn’t exactly sailing among the stars these days with the poor reception of its latest game last year. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness was supposed to get the series back on its feet, but I’m not sure if it’s going to have the effect that Square Enix was hoping for.
Instead, it’s best just to leave that to the older, better games to bring in new fans. Star Ocean: The Second Story might be eternally destined to be the series’ peak, but the third game in the series, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, enjoys a solid following, also. Square Enix has confirmed that it will be getting an Ultimate Hits HD remaster on the PlayStation 4 in Japan, and it will feature all the modern extremities we’ve come to expect from these re-releases. Trophy support, remote play, shortened loading times.
No word if it will come to the United States or not, but I’m sure fans will hold onto hope as long as it’s there. After all, I still am for Star Ocean: The Second Story, which has been available in Japan on the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita for over a year now.
Star Ocean is the ultimate front-end franchise
The first Star Ocean is a solid JRPG on the Super Famicom, and it’s worth checking out for enthusiasts of that era. Star Ocean: The Second Story is the only entry in the series that I would say can still be picked up and enjoyed by newcomers to this day.
As for Till the End of Time? It’s the best that the series has to offer from the final three games. It was released at about the same time I started falling out of my JRPG phase, and actually, it might have been the game to put the final nail in the coffin. I remember the multiplayer confused me, the story wasn’t that fun, and the combat was particularly game-breaking in that it drained your life to use special abilities.
It might be worth checking out again, but the PlayStation 2 and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on the JRPG genre the same way that the PlayStation and Super Nintendo do. Developers really started abusing the size of DVDs in that era, making huge games that felt shockingly empty. I think this is the one that started to open my eyes to that.
Compared to The Last Hope and Integrity and Faithlessness, it’s better by default because those games… ugh…
Square Enix, if you’re reading, gamers need a reason to like the series again, and newcomers need an entry point. The Second Story is just dying to be played on modern consoles. Till the End of Time is fine if you have the spare budget for it. We don’t need an entire generation of gamers who grew up thinking Star Ocean is awful because they only had access to the HD games.