Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is set to be Tri-Ace’s chance to return to the big stage! The hype is there for it to happen, and the company needs a solid console hit as it’s been a very long time since it produced a universally loved title. Plus, it wants to expand Star Ocean into a larger, open-world franchise. With these huge ambitions, why oh why is it turning to one of its most maligned games for inspiration?

Infinite Undiscovery was an Xbox 360 exclusive that many fans felt totally missed the mark. It was ambitious in its scope and combining the action and RPG genres in ways that only Tri-Ace has ever really attempted before, but most will admit that it comes up flat. Bugs and other oddities, like weird character designs, held it back from its true potential.

This is the game Tri-Ace claims to be basing its battle system on. Who knows? Maybe the PlayStation 4 will have enough power to iron out the creases, so the potential can be realized. In an interview with 4Gamer, translated by Siliconera, Tri-Ace’s leading figures opened up on thoughts behind the game. This one stands out the most:

As far as battles go, the fields where you encounter monsters will become the battlefield, and that’s where the fights will take place. The feeling is said to be close to Infinite Undiscovery’s battles. Think of it as Infinite Undiscovery’s system as a base but in Star Ocean. Again, Infinite Undiscovery had a bit of an MMORPG-like complex feeling to it, but Star Ocean 5’s will be a bit more touched-up and intuitively easier to play.

We’ll see. Hopefully Tri-Ace has come a long way from those days. The game had some great ideas, it was just the execution that held it back. Maybe a new producer will help reel in that final bit of quality that Tri-Ace’s recent games have lacked.

The interview has plenty of other tidbits of information, my favorite being “Producer Shuichi Kobayashi revealed the main-numbered Star Ocean games have a pattern going. The odd-numbered titles have protagonists with blue hair, while the even-numbered ones have blonde protagonists.” You know what… he’s right. How could I miss that? Check below for more information.

  • In the series’ timeline, there are still plenty of stories that have yet to be told. As a result of looking at what kind of story might be interesting, it was decided to do something that takes place between Star Ocean 2 and Star Ocean 3.
  • There are fans that may think that it would be difficult to have a sequel to Star Ocean 3, but they say that if they give it some thought, then it would be entirely possible.
  • The story’s concept is in the subtitle “Integrity and Faithlessness”. This subtitle had been decided on prior to prior to the scenario.
  • Star Ocean 5’s lead programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda of tri-Ace originally wanted Star Ocean 1 to be 100% sci-fi, but due to a trend at the time, he was told that it wouldn’t sell without any fantasy elements, and decided to abandon the idea.
  • Star Ocean 5 protagonist Fidel is 23-years-old, but Gotanda originally wanted to make him older. However, after thinking about Star Ocean 5’s story, it felt more natural, although they didn’t want to make it into a story of “a young man saving the world.”
  • The reason why the title logo and character models have designs similar to Star Ocean 1 through 3, in addition to the platform choice, is all part of a plan to let fans know that it’s the latest entry of the series they’ve been waiting for. (It’s also noted that it wasn’t just a sensationalist decision, but one that was decided on after doing some marketing research.) The modeling was a result of making something with a Star Ocean-like mood to it.
  • Private actions, events that diverge depending on bond, and item creation will all be in Star Ocean 5. Square Enix are being careful not to make the item creation too complicated, since some people weren’t too happy with the one in Star Ocean 4, so they’ll do their best to make it better.
  • Japanese RPGs tend to insert cutscenes that interrupt gameplay, but Star Ocean 5 will have scenes show up seamlessly during events. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any cut scenes, as they’ll include the important ones the traditional way.
  • Once battles start, the camera angle will automatically change to one that follows the back of the character, which gives it a viewpoint that is easier for combat. There will also be a free camera option that lets you move the camera around while in combat.
  • You can have over six characters in your party. This will depict a larger version of Star Ocean’s fights, and will have a function that will make it even more enjoyable. There won’t be any special types of control mechanisms you’ll need to learn, so the basics will remain the same. It won’t require you to always be keeping an eye on each character’s HP bar.
  • The party member’s AI can be changed by the player.
  • The UI that was shown in the recent trailer is different from what they have in the current build, and there are still a lot of hidden things we’ve yet to see.
  • Since “seamless” is one of the concepts behind Star Ocean 5, each party member will be always be shown while moving and while fighting, so that means you won’t be able to select your party members for combat. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll always have huge parties, but it will change as you go along with the story.
  • Kobayashi: “I definitely would want to make a Star Ocean 6 and Star Ocean 7. As long as there’s room for more new titles and the ideas for them, I have a sense of duty to keep the series going. Then again, that depends on how well Star Ocean 5 sells.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness will be released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan this winter. North America will be getting just the PlayStation 4 version next year.