I could never finish Star Ocean 2 because when I was about 5 hours in my friend asked his game back (back when the game was released for ps1).
For Star Ocean 3, I'd give it like a 6 out of 10. Far from horrible, but it gets you tired sometimes. Especially the plot but towards the end I think it gets a lot better.
I thought SO3 was a breeze but then again, I grinded on a particular monster, something like a blue jelly, and gained so many levels that I was killing all the bosses from half of the game to the end in less than 1 minute, until of course, the last boss which like in most Tri-Ace games really put you to the test. He was so hard a friend of mine made to the end and gave up because he thought it was impossible. I didn't think it was impossible as it took me about 8 tries only to kill it with only 1 character alive but probably one of the hardest I've seen.
A little off topic but another Tri-Ace boss the made me try about 15 times of the last boss in Valkyrie Profile 2. The entire Seraphic Gate was a pie next to him. The only one I didn't beat was the last boss in the seraphic gate ... (I hate having exams while reaching last bosses)
I had a problem with VP2's last boss...mainly because I didn't realize the new character comes completely unequipped. =(
I found him decent otherwise, Alicia (sorta) dealing the most damage while everyone stays behind and helps on out.
I liked SO3, particularly the battle system and the difficulty. But I LOATHED the dungeons. In general, they were far, far too long and equipped with annoying puzzles. The whole moving-block-in-the-maze was ridiculous, worse yet, it was used in two different dungeons (tres originale). I think one of the worsts was 3 dungeon area maps in a row. Stuff like that makes it tough to wanna reply such an experience when the game is already kinda tough. x(
You pointed the exact thing I feel about SO3 and probably 4 but to a lessen degree.
The dungeons are way too long and some annoying puzzles don't make it easier to like it. In SO4 plus everything we have a lack of save points for so long.
It came to a point in SO3 I followed a FAQ all the way just so I wouldn't lose hours doing dungeon after dungeon.
In SO4 after some dungeons with annoying designs, I started reading a FAQ to find out if the next dungeon will have some cryptic annoying puzzle or I can just explore without worrying too much.
I have to say it but I think the thing I like the most about Star Ocean is that it reminds me of Valkyrie Profile (especially the sounds in the menus). I don't dislike the games but I think the best about them for me is the feeling a Valkyrie Profile is about to come, or now maybe another Resonance of Fate.
Odd. I beat him on my 2nd try. I know a fire-defense is really key (it tends to do the most damage), and linking accessories was a heavy component.
I used Val as a tank. She dished damage and took it while I split the parties so they could heal and support (Rufus was an ace for that). It took a while, but he went down. He wasn't easy but nothing hard. Where ironically, I got my ass handed in Seraphic Gate.
We should combine our knowledges next time we play VP lol !
I rarely divided me party in VP2. I played it so aggressive that I liked to have they together for that union attack. Not to mention, I did that (trick) we're when you finish the level Lezard leaves your party with him at level 40 and the other guy at 45 they give you 2 awesome weapons. So not only I became incredibly over powered but also got super destructive weapons.
Unfortunately, my party heavily relied on the valkyries. :(
Believe it or not, I didn't do this because I thought something would come up and we'd lose one of them (not to mention all of them)