Author Topic: Klutz64's Quest "4" A Star Ocean Platinum

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Klutz64

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Re: Klutz64's Quest "4" A Star Ocean Platinum
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2015, 07:30:08 PM »
Main Entry #3: It Was the Dungeon That Never Ends
Play time: 21 hrs

This place is hideous. I don't mean visually, although compared to most of the other visuals in the game it is pretty boring and repetitive. The repetitive part is only compounded by the fact that it really does feel like it goes on forever. They try to turn it into two dungeons, but other than a slightly extended cutscene there really isn't anything to divide the two. They're visually identical and the game doesn't give you a good way to recuperate between the areas.

I also once again gave up on 100%ing the monster entries at this point. For a dungeon that you can't revisit there are A LOT of monster types, including the Dragon General, of which there are a total of 4 to fight. Sure, you can leave the room to get them to respawn, but the balance of enemy types is also terrible to the point that you'd probably have to kill another 600 of those security droids before you had enough Dragon Generals

I wish I could find a picture of the Cardianon leader, because if I could I would simply post it here with the caption "This is a villain I cannot take seriously." Basically, just picture a tiny-headed lizardman with a terrible blonde wig that is improperly worn and therefore just flops around all over the place. Oh, and when he talks, his mouth doesn't move but his head flops about like an iguana with his "golden mane" sweeping about. Not particularly menacing.

But he does turn into a big scary dragon thing in a boss fight that's finally pretty cool. He only exposes his weak point when he's about to do one of his powerful attacks, so it takes a bit of skill to kill him while avoid being killed. It's also the battle where I was reminded that setting character strategies to "Freestyle" puts healing at the bottom of their priorities no matter what their skillset is.

Bacchus is an odd character. I almost begrudge him for not being a TOTAL walking stereotype, because instead he's just kind of there without having any kind of distinguishing feature. He's okay in battles, but not particularly good or bad, same with how it is to play as him. His backstory is such a forced tragedy that it loses all impact, and his characterization throughout the game is about as close to a background character you can get while still being a playable character.

And of course this game has to throw terribly executed melodrama wherever it can including the typical "This place is about to blow and I can't make it so just leave me!" "No we're not going to leave you, instead we're going to stand here arguing about it for as long as it would take us to casually leave together."

It's also the point in the game where we first are introduced to Ms. Excuse-Me-I-Think-Your-Boobs-Are-Deflating. I only mention that because I actually like her design, but it's impossible to not be distracted by the beached fish trying to find their way back into the ocean. Even DoA's ladies have more support than she does.

There are some psychologists out there that would like to talk about Edge and Reimi's relationship with Crowe.

I'm going to invent a new numerical scale for how bad writing in a JRPG is that is simply the number of lines in the game that is just a character yelling or whispering another character's name. Star Ocean 4 would be pretty high on the scale, though the game's weakest writing is in conveying emotion. When faced with a black hole, then believed to be their assured death, the characters seemed to be more startled than panicked.

And now we're on Past Earth, which I actually thought had some potential the first time I played that game. I saw that explorable abandoned gas station and thought 'this is gonna be kind of cool'. But then AREA 51 because of COURSE they had to go there. Oh well, theme of the game seems to be "enjoy the gameplay, grin and bare the rest."

Battle Trophy Progress

Other than for Lymle, I've gotten everybody else's trophy progress to 20% or higher. Reimi is in the lead because I had about 24 of her trophies than scored another 8 during the Cardianon boss fight thanks to a well-timed Seraphic Thunder in Rush Mode that landed me a long stream of critical hits.

Klutz64

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Re: Klutz64's Quest "4" A Star Ocean Platinum
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2015, 02:00:33 PM »
Main Entry #4: You Could Say He's A Little... On Edge
Play Time: 27 hrs

As I was saying at the end of the last entry, Alternate Earth had a lot of potential right out of the gate. The setting was interesting, the level of detail in environment design was particularly present here, and the characters were being reasonable for just a moment.

Of course this goes to hell right away and we're introduced to Area 51 scientist Klaus Bachtein (I knew the first time I played this game that Bachtein was a significant name in the franchise, but I can't remember now from where). I will say there are still a lot of positive things in this part of the game. For starters, Lymle is actually pretty freaking adorable during this section of the game. I always smile when she runs after Meracle with "Come back, Kitty!"

And I actually like Meracle as a character. She has plenty of shortcomings, but she's far from the most offensive character in the game. I love the name Meracle, just something about it really resonates with me. She's amazing in combat and a blast to play with a wide variety of normal attacks and interesting special move combinations. Sure, her outfit is just impractical, and she literally doesn't have any shoulders, but at least her eyes are a really pretty color (and don't ever seem to blink for some reason). Her anime portrait is also really interesting, I like the look but it almost seems to be a different style than the other characters.

Anyway, the whole affair is incredibly short with a two hallway dungeon and a grand total of three enemy types and a boss. The only long part is the cutscenes which I think lasted almost 20 minutes. End result is Edge is sad and angry and has a hilarious temper tantrum that I think was meant to be poignant but failed epically.

At this point I did remind myself that I already fucked up quests since I forgot to go back to Aeos before Alternate Earth to turn in the base requests. Oh well, I do have two more tries at least with my Universe and Chaos playthroughs. Although if we're being honest, after each playthrough I might put this thread in hibernation while I work on something else to keep me from going crazy.

So enter Roak, with a properly dramatic landing cutscene filled with an overly sensational symphonic overture to remind folks that you're visiting the origin of the Star Ocean series. I don't hate the focus on nostalgia, though. The remix version of the original battle theme is fantastic, and you certainly can't say they were lazy on making the overworld feel like an updated version of the original's.

Sarah comes along and gives Edge another opportunity to have a hysterical breakdown. I really like Sarah's dress and it makes me smile that the writing does kind of point out how her lack of variety in emoting is an intentional character trait, even if it still feels overdone. She tells the party to find some bunnies, so we go and find some bunnies.

I love Star Ocean bunnies, but the introduction to Bunnies does two things wrong: First of all, it highlights in neon letters how awkward the high fidelity textures look with the anime style of everything else. Second, it brings to light that Meracle, up to that point the first decent character, is never going to shut up about wanting to eat everything.

And then, ever so subtly.... EVIL FAIZE FORESHADOWING!!!

Annubis

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Re: Klutz64's Quest "4" A Star Ocean Platinum
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2015, 02:36:21 PM »
As I was saying at the end of the last entry, Alternate Earth had a lot of potential right out of the gate. The setting was interesting, the level of detail in environment design was particularly present here, and the characters were being reasonable for just a moment.

Of course this goes to hell right away

hahaha... ha... .... ha.......

;_;

I still had hope for the game until area 51. This is the exact moment where the game decides to go full retard.

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Re: Klutz64's Quest "4" A Star Ocean Platinum
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2015, 03:55:00 PM »
^ And Star Ocean can definitely attest to the wisdom of 'Tropic Thunder': You never go "full retard".

Yeah.  I'll admit I was fucking STOCKED when the game takes you to Earth, and not just Earth, but mid 20th century America.  I thought it was brilliant.  The plots and twists and turns there were stupid as hell.  I actually kinda wish they just "Futurama'd" it where they hit up Roswell, cause a ruckus, and get the fuck out of there, guns blazing and everything.  Instead we're treated to a ridiculously over-scripted and over-the-top fuss-fest by our main character (a problem that goes on way too long).

If it makes you feel any better, even Matt Mercer (Edge's VA) thought it was a mess.

Still, I think Faize comes out even more ridiculous by the end game due to his 5 minute Roakian "love insterest".

Having played Star Ocean 1 on the SNES, seeing Roak was a fucking blast from the past, and it was beautifully reimagined (meanwhile, the PSP version can rot in hell for being so half-assed of the beautiful world it hurts).


And yeah Sarah can rot in hell, but I'll be damned if I said she wasn't a good healer.
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