IMO Star Ocean the Last Hope has what is the most "complete" feeling battle system of all the titles.
- The First Departure was broken, they direct-import the item creation system (what a rip) and without a proper new difficulty, the game was way too easy
- Second Story was great. It did become really easy to exploit the skill system to do mass amounts of damage, and some stuff was pretty easy to miss. But hey, to this day the endless debate of Opera/Ashton wages on.
- Till the End of Time was the first really tough Star Ocean, and I loved it for that. It was easy enough (till the final boss) to get through SO2 without item creation, but this one made you use it or die trying without.
- Last Hope was a great battle system, but did have character balancing issues (magicians are pretty useless in the SO universe, but this took the cake). The game was difficult, but the battle system felt really good.
All of you whiney bitches who just want a story, deal with it or just don't play... but IMO, you miss a really good hit at some quality RPG gameplay to make up for it. Excuse a story for once, hell, a lot of you did for FF8. At least these games had some sort of character building, something that can't be sad for half of the RPG roster which offers up mindless grinding. To each their own.