Star Ocean Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Star Ocean RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Square Enix has no plans for a Western PS4/PSV Star Ocean: Second Evolution port Wed, 13 Jul 2016 12:00:01 -0400 Kevin S. Behan

Sorry, Star Ocean franchise fans... Square Enix, despite having ported the game previously for the original PSP, has no plans to send the new PS4 and PS VITA port over to western audiences.

In an interview with Siliconera, Square Enix producer Shūichi Kobayashi mentioned that another developer, Yoshinori Yamagichi "... was the producer that created the PSP remake and released the PS4 and Vita version in Japan. After he released the remake he hasn't really done anything for the West. At this moment, there are no plans to release that title in the West."

There is hope, though. He went on to mention how he's aware of an international love for the franchise, and is hopeful that newcomers to the series will want to check out older titles. Though there aren't plans for porting Star Ocean: Second Evolution as of now, he is considering it. Perhaps if the latest Star Ocean game is successful, we'll get a localization for updated versions of previous games.

Star Ocean fans, are you bummed about the news? Tell us in the comments below.

Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness will be heading to the West this Summer Tue, 22 Mar 2016 05:00:47 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Recently, Square Enix announced via their YouTube channel that the newest Star Ocean title is planned to be released this summer for both North America and Europe.

Developed by tri-AceStar Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is the fifth game (respectively nicknamed Star Ocean 5) in the space-faring action JRPG series. The series began back in 1996 when the first game was released in Japan for the Super Famicom. Marking the series' 10th anniversary, Square Enix is looking to release the game to much expected fanfare. 

As seen in the video above, we have a character introduction trailer for hero Fidel Camuze. The protagonist features some series traditions; blue hair, his primary weapon being a sword, and receiving a call to action taking him into space.  

Along with releasing some new trailers and screenshots, it was also revealed that the PlayStation 4 only title will feature dual-audio for the Western release. The option for dual-audio will allow players to play with either Japanese or English voice-overs. Fans will have the opportunity to enjoy the voice work of their personal preference. 

Star Ocean 5 is also scheduled to release in Japan for the PlayStation 4 on March 31st and a month later for the PlayStation 3. Square Enix will be revealing its Western release date soon.

Star Ocean 5 is Announced by Square Enix Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:26:37 -0400 Asante Simone

After 5 years of without another addition to the series and denying a new game was coming, Square Enix is finally adding another game to the sci-fi RPG series, Star Ocean.

Through both a statement in the gaming magazine Famitsu and on their website, Square Enix has announced that it will develop another Star Ocean game, Star Ocean 5. The company also released a trailer of the game on its YouTube page yesterday, to coincide with their announcement.

The trailer recaps the entire franchise, going in chronological order based on the Space Dates the games are set in. The video goes in order of Star Ocean 4, the original Star OceanStar Ocean 2, and Star Ocean 3. And finally, Space Date 537 appears. It tells a story of encounters and farewells, and of the fate of a new planet. This marks the beginning of Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness.

Not much is known about the game outside the vague story revealed in the trailer and the three main characters. The game follows Fidel Camus, his childhood friend Miki Sorvesta, and a young, amnesiac girl named Lilia.

Tri-Ace returns as the game's developer with Square Enix, but they have not given any word on when it will be released. The price is also currently unknown, but we do know the title will release on the PlayStation 3 and 4.

6 Games Hit Hard by Bad Voice Acting Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:52:02 -0400 MirandaCB

Sometimes there are amazing voice actors breathing life into the characters of our favorite games. And sometimes you come across an otherwise good game that could have been a masterpiece had the voice acting not been absolutely abysmal. Voice acting can be a big part of the complete experience for some gamers. Here are six games that suffer from the unfortunate ailment (not in any particular order).

6. Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is pretty much a cheesy action flick that has some shoddy voice acting, not to mention borderline racist (much like another game in our list). When you listen to how ridiculous and over the top the acting is, it is something you can roll with because it fits the nature of the game. By the same token, though, the experience can diminish when there is just so much absurdity and stereotypical, inaccurate accents. It might be a good rule of thumb to not alienate the ethnic part of your audience. Just a thought.

5. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence was a decently fun game, if not fairly straightforward. There were some notable voice actors like Crispin Freeman and Michael McConnohie that you could pick out from most RPG's of the generation. However, the voice acting was...subpar. It might have been the script and pacing, but the voicing was overly zealous or unfitting to the scene. With all of its flaws, it was an enjoyable game, but could have been more so with improved dialogue and voicing.

See also: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

4. Kuon

Kuon is a little horror gem with an interesting story with Japanese roots. Personally, I loved the game. The only issue? The characters spoke...but their mouths did not move. Maybe adding the animation was too much of a hassle, but the voice acting was not anything to write home about anyway. It might have made more sense to read the dialogue instead, and it would still be all right to include the eerie screams or groaning to add to the atmosphere. It was a deliciously creepy game, but could have done better with moving lips or just written dialogue--especially because there is not a ton of dialogue in the first place.

This is the intro as well as a little gameplay to see what the game is like.

3. Deus Ex

Deux Ex has some awful, and thoroughly offensive, voice acting. It might be able to get away with some of it, but the stereotyping accents are in poor taste. There are some goofy elements, but with so many strange characters it takes you out of the somewhat serious cyber world you are exploring. The voicing is something you can overcome and play through, but you also want to avoid "enduring" the game as if there is an aesthetic obstacle.

2. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time

This is one of my favorite games and consists of so many well known voice actors you have likely heard in many other games or anime. However, the voice acting was god awful. The pacing was also at fault. The game could have probably fit on one disk if they cut down the silence in some most of the cutscenes. Sometimes pensive silence is engaging and you can see the conflicting emotions on the characters' faces, but it became a little too much. 

Plus, many of the voices did not fit the characters you ran into or were unbearable, specifically Cliff and Pepita. It might be mean, but I hope I'm not alone in my utter hatred of their voices. I feel the actors should have made different choices in terms of tone, mostly Cliff. It would not have been a huge deal except for the fact that they are main characters that have a lot of screen time, which detracts a GREAT deal from the experience when there are loads of cutscenes. I wish it would be remade with some editing, improved graphics, and different voices for two-thirds of the main cast--but keep Crispin Freeman as Albel.

1. Resident Evil

Another example of a good game gone bad voice acting. To be fair, it is a bit older and made when not a ton of games had voice acting. But Resident Evil has some seriously gooberific lines that make the game less ominous than it really should be. Repetition, off-kilter inflections, awkward reactions in conversations... Yet it spawned the lovely Resident Evil franchise that has some great games in the mix. So, despite its flaws, the terrible dialogue is somewhat entertaining and you can accept it for what it is.

This is just a small list that could encompass probably hundreds of games. For example, House of the Dead 2 is another tragic example of bad voice acting. It is also very subjective. So tell me: which games do you think have atrocious voice acting that affected your gameplay? 


Star Ocean: The Last, Best Hope Thu, 06 Jun 2013 19:33:35 -0400 B. Chambers

This generation has seen its share of excellent Japanese Role Playing Games. But many of us agree that this number pales in comparison to generations past and some of us have reservations about the genre's future. But when I played Star Ocean: The Last Hope, I couldn't help but think, "Here is a JRPG that answers the mail. It's not the greatest ever, but it is great and more than on par with its series predecessors. So why are so many of us complaining about it and dismissing it as not all that great--especially during a generation where greatness has come in smaller numbers?"

I'll give you the fact that the story is very cliched and its delivery is severely encumbered by the awkward voice acting.

But c'mon, most games in general have cliched storylines. I'll also give you the fact that conventions like save points are archaic and the disc switching fiasco was completely unnecessary. But remove these negatives, and I'd argue that The Last Hope is one of the better JRPGs of this generation.

While the story itself is cliched, the journey to reach its end is very enjoyable.

Leaving a war-hammered Earth to find another planet capable of sustaining human life was an excellent choice for a series based on space-travel. The theme provides a reasoning beyond mere exploration for the characters' space adventures. The characters, while annoying at times, are all at least likable. The Last Hope also does a great job of developing them if you decide to participate in the private action dialog scenes that supplement the main story. To avoid spoilers, I also felt the writers did an excellent job with one of the more intense climactic story-segments depicting the harsh realities associated with combat. The way the cast handles it was extremely appropriate given their age and inexperience with like situations.

Earlier, I mentioned the awkward voice acting.

I don't want to attribute this awkwardness to the voice actors alone. I'm no thespian, but I imagine even the best actors can't make corny writing sound amazing. A bigger issue is how the voices are mixed into the overall sound presentation. The voices sound more like voice-overs than they do natural conversation. The producers in this case needed to take the volume down and supplement the dialog with ambient noise appropriate for each cutscene. Voice acting problems aside, The Last Hope has an excellent soundtrack full of songs I'd be happy to listen to outside of the game.  The Last Hope will also take you to many visually stunning and diverse locales. Simply put, the game is really beautiful to look at.

Combat in The Last Hope will be very familiar to you if you've played any of the other games in the series.

For those of you who've not played other Star Ocean games, the combat here is fast paced and action heavy. There are no random encounters in The Last Hope. All of your enemies aside from bosses will be visible throughout the world and will react to you based on their disposition. The combat system has quite a bit of depth and is fun to play. This is good because most of your game time outside of cutscenes will be spent in battle while you attempt to level and develop your characters. Rather than a 'press A to win' affair, you're given the ability to dodge enemy attacks, blindside techniques to deal more damage and a host of melee and magic abilities to use at your discretion. Battles can be pretty chaotic, but you'll always have the option to pause and choose actions from a menu if you ever need to slow down the action. 

Leveling and developing your team is another great feature about this game. Again, just like Star Ocean games in the past, you'll have an overwhelming amount of customization options for each of your characters. You'll have options to improve melee skills, weapon crafting skills, magical abilities and even the ability to tweak your tactical posture in fights. All of these options work in concert to allow you to tailor battles to your liking. 

For you achievers and completionists out there, Star Ocean The Last Hope should be a dream come true.

There are a ton of things to do outside of the main storyline in this game. There are in-game trophies for completing specific actions in battle and achievements for perfecting the private action dialog scenes, crafting every item, finding every treasure chest and completing every side quest. There are also bunny races--yep, bunny races. On top of that, there is a hugely unforgiving bonus dungeon that can take upwards of four hours to complete depending on how well prepared you are. If you plan to fully complete The Last Hope, plan on investing more than 400 hours of playtime to do it.  

In the end, Star Ocean: The Last Hope won't go down as one of the best JRPGs ever. I do believe and still contend that it's one of the best this generation has seen. It's also possibly one of the last JRPGs that major consoles will see with this much playable content. If you've not played it, I highly recommend that you do. Even with its flaws, I can't imagine a JRPG fan not finding something to love about this game. 

Tales of Xillia Gets Release Window, Tales of Graces f Hits PSN Fri, 22 Mar 2013 07:50:12 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Two pieces of Tales of news at once! This is almost as exciting as when Tales of Phantasia finally got officially localized -- except the Gameboy Advance version was less than stellar.

Series producer Hideo Baba made a guest post on the PlayStation blog, revealing the release window on Tales of Xillia and a PlayStation Network release for Tales of Graces f.

Tales of Xillia will be coming out this summer, though Baba did not mention an exact date. He totes the choice between two main characters (Jude and Millia), as it is the first time in the series players will be able to choose between two protagonists.

The Namco Bandai Facebook will be doing monthly Character Focus posts up to release, to give glimpses into this much-anticipated Tales of release. This month they had a focus on both Millia and Jude. We should be able to figure out which month Xillia will be seeing a release based on next month's Character Focus.

A bit of trivia: The original Star Ocean and Tales of Phantasia had many of the same people on their development teams. Star Ocean: The Second Story was the first out of the two series to introduce the option to choose between protagonists (Rena and Claude). It was the only Star Ocean game to have this option. Tales of Xillia is the first Tales of game with this option, having been released 13 years later.

As for Graces f..

Tales of Graces f was released in the West last year on the PlayStation 3, but those of you who have yet to pick it up will have the chance to grab it on the PlayStation Network as of March 26. There will be two versions of the title available: Standard ($34.99) and Knight Edition ($54.99), which comes with 10 DLC items to use in-game.

Tales of Series Hits the 15 Million Shipped Mark Thu, 06 Dec 2012 12:27:42 -0500 Ashley Shankle

The audience for the Tales of series is a bit niche these days, but that doesn't stop the games from selling. It's about time Namco Bandai see some big num -- oh.

Siliconera reports that the popular series has finally reached the 15 million shipped park, with the help of the recent sales of Tales of Xillia 2 in Japan. Xillia 2 contributed 420,000 units to the total.

The Tales of games were a big part of my adolescent years. Tales of Destiny, Eternia, and Phantasia made sure I had no friends and grew up to be a neckbeard (special props to Star Ocean 2 for cementing that fact). Every fan has a game from the series that really made it for them, and for me that game is Tales of Eternia.

We will be seeing the first Tales of Xillia in North America and Europe sometime in 2013. As always, support the series if you're a fan so we can see more of it localized in the future.

Source: Siliconera