Just when we were all prepared to declare the JRPG industry toast and look forward to our bleak future where every Japanese game company just made cell phone games, Square went and surprised us this morning with a new Star Ocean.
Star Ocean was one among many JRPG series that swam across the 90’s in great pods, far too numerous to even count. One by one as expenses ballooned and the industry narrowed, all those great series died off. The last Star Ocean came out in 2009 and I feared we would never see another.
Or at least, on the outside chance we WOULD get another Star Ocean, it would be in a form that barely resembled its former self. But so far, I like what I see, very much so. The characters are anime-styled with superdeformed faces, just like in the stylized games of yore — no “realistic” nonsense here. The gameplay is intact, and presumably, so is the heavy level of customization and item crafting. The game takes place between Star Ocean 2 and Star Ocean 3, to get around the corner Tri-Ace painted themselves into with the twist in 3 (if you have to ask, don’t).
Getting the game localized will be another matter entirely, so start forming your petitions now. Fortunately since it’s Square-Enix there’s a bigger chance it’ll make it. Both PS3 and PS4 versions are being developed, and the game is only 30% complete at present, so the release date is unknown. It won’t be tomorrow.
But happily, it WILL be someday!