I'm pretty sure that almost every RPG gamer with a Playstation has heard of Star Ocean: The Second Story. It was released last summer. This was the game that was said to have 86 different endings, addictive gameplay, an awesome story, and lovable characters. But after a few hours of play, most threw their controllers out of their windows and cried, "foul!"
They said that it has the worst story; they didn't care for the
characters, the gameplay, and the multiple endings. Huh? Excuse me? What I am about to say is not based on my opinions alone but supported by facts.
Let's start with the story. You play as Claude or Rena, two different characters that set out to investigate the Sorcery Globe; you eventually attempt to save the world. It may sound boring and cliched, but that's just the outline of the plot. Let's add 10 more available characters to the initial 2 and recruit 8 characters and presto! Every character is unique. Let's move on to the Private Actions. Many say that there are not enough one-time Private Actions, but have they realized that one Private Action may unlock another? Private Actions add to the story; you know your companions' feelings and their pasts. The relationships add, too. Friendship and romantic values rise or fall depending on how you play through the game. If all that does not make you feel that the story is deep, go back to our so-complex-story-you're-going-to-die XenoGears. I will admit that the
dialogue is horrible, but that was translation by Sony. I heard that the story written by Enix and Tri-Ace was top-notch. Oh well, I guess we will never see such a story.
Endings, you say? 86 endings are in this one. Sure, maybe 1/4 of the
endings are variations, but the rest are very unique.
Boring...? BORING?! Why is the gameplay boring?! The gameplay is the most important part of Star Ocean. There is a huge skill system containing abilities, talents, and specialties. You can level up all the way to 255! The game is SEMI-LINEAR! You can basically create your own combinations of people in your parties. Everybody has unique skills that become even more powerful as you use them. YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN ITEMS! There are about 1,000 items in the game. You can make extremely good weapons and armor and other stuff with this handy feature. If you think that's all, you're wrong! If you get 40% of all the voices, there are 2 MORE DIFFICULTY LEVELS! This game could possibly never get boring. This is an RPG that breaks away from 'ye old, all story, 100% linear, and exciting only in battles. This IS the reason for getting Star Ocean II!
The characters are actually very unique. There is a soldier, a news reporter, an eccentric inventor, a world famous swordsman who relies on himself, and many more! The only thing that makes the characters boring sometimes is the poorly translated dialogue. I cared for these characters, especially Dias Flac, Rena Lanford, and Claude Kenni.
I really don't know much about the one released for the Super Famicom, but I am told that it is way better than the sequel. I mean it pushes the limits of the Super Famicom! It would have been the saving grace of the Super Nintendo if Enix hadn't closed their doors to America in 1996...
About Star Ocean III: Blue Sphere...I really don't know. Take a series that pushed the limits for the Playstation and the Super Famicom and make a sequel for Gameboy? It's going to have all 12 characters from the Second Story. Huh? The same characters starring in a new game? I mean, I LOVED the characters in Star Ocean II, but making the next sequel have the same 12 characters is not exactly the best thing. Plus, the gameplay will probably be downgraded. I don't know. Maybe it WILL be better than I'm thinking. Well, I still can't wait.
Bottom line: Why did you call the Star Ocean series crap? It isn't. It has a deep story, fun gameplay, and variety. I will leave you with a tip: NEVER, EVER, EVER, BASH A GAME JUST BECAUSE IT IS NOT MADE BY YOUR FAVORITE COMPANY OR BECAUSE IT IS NOT CALLED FINAL FANTASY! I mean it. I will respect your opinion. Just respect mine.