Pros: Interesting storyline, unique battle system, and decisions can determine happenings!
Cons: Bad voice acting, your only allowed to control one character at a time in battle.
I had borrowed Star Ocean about a week ago simply because I had wanted an RPG to play. Well, little did I know that Star Ocean The Second Story would be one of my favorite RPG's! This has got everything a good RPG needs. Including; an interesting story, a unique battle system, many character and weapons, new ideas like creating weapons and items, plus much more! This game includes 2 CD's, and a big 57 page book with a lot of details for stuff about the game. I have been playing Star Ocean for about a week non stop. And I'm still not even finished with the game. It will definitely be a favorite for me! This is a great game for all kind of RPG players!
Story: There is a really interesting storyline to this game. However, not all people think so. I have read some other reviews on Star Ocean and a lot say that they didn't really like the story. I see nothing wrong with it?
NOTE: Before starting a game you will have to choose between two characters to play as. I choose Claude, so this review will be about his path through the game. Also note that their is way to many little side story's and things in the game to say, so I will only say some major stuff.
When you start you will set all the options including your starting character. The game is different depending on the one you choose. Anyway, when you start you are in a big space ship in space. You, your father, and some others aboard are going to explore an unknown planet. When you arrive, their is a big rock that it mysterious looking. A scientist begins studying it. Claude grows annoyed and runs at it. He is than transported by the rock to another planet called Expel. He is dropped in a forest called Shingo Forest. He is looking around when a girl being followed by a monsters appears. He saves the girl and she runs away. He chases her. Later they meet and introduce themselves. The girl tells where this place is and Claude realizes that he is not on Earth anymore. Later that girl gets stolen from the village. Claude goes to save her. She is stolen by a man that loved her, but he was possessed. After saving her, the robber apologizes and claims he was under possession. The girls name is Rena.
Later the two set out to explore a meteorite that landed on another continent, that cause many monsters to appear. You meet up with more character like Celine, and Ashton who can join you. You will have to go to the King of the first continent and get a pass to cross over the next continent. There are some little side quests that make this much longer all throughout those two continents.
When you finally get to the third continent, you are probely about 25 hours through the game, I believe by now, you will have at least four or five characters. There are some characters that can't be gotten because of certain desicions you make. You learn many things about the Meteorite (called the Sorcery Globe) and your characters as you get further. When you make it to the Sorcery Globe inside a huge castle building, you will encounter some really strong enemies including a big purple devil monster boss. Later you enouncter those 10 people that are around the sorcery globe. They say they are Nedians, people of the same race as Rena. They explain that the Sorcery Globe was a device sent by them to align Expel with Their planet (Nede) and bring them to a collision. After the talk you will battle one of those 10 men. These 0 men are Called The 10 Wise Men. You are not allowed to win the battle against this solider.
When the battle is finished, you find yourself lost on an unknown place. Rena says that the places feels familiar. It ends up being the planet Nede, Rena's home planet. Later you meet with the mayor of Central City (the main city of Nede). He sends you to defeat the 10 Wise Men. From their you will have some side quests to do. I'm at this part in the game, which is the 2nd CD. I cannot give anymore info about the story.
Battle System: Star Ocean has a unique battle system. You are only allowed to control one of your characters at a time. Also if you have more then four characters, then you will have to choose four of them to use in the battle.
Killer Moves: Killer Moves are special attacks used by the characters that cannot learn magic. At a certain level these characters will learn some of these attacks. Someone that uses killer moves can only equip two attacks at a time. One move is for the L1 button, and the other killer move is for the R1 button. These moves consume MP of your character.
Heraldry: Heraldry is what magic is called in Star Ocean. It's just like magic in other RPG's. You learn skills at certain levels. These attacks will consume MP of your character. Some Heraldry will hurt an opponent, some will heal your party, and some will boost stats of your party. There are many different spells that can be used.
Using an Item: All characters are allowed to do this. When your not attacking or being attacked you can the triangle button to bring up four boxes. Go to the items and select the item you want to use for the battle. Some are healing items, some affect the enemy, and some help your party. Be careful, because you have a limited amount of items!
The Battle Menu: Press the triangle button to bring up this menu. Four boxes will appear. One is for escaping from battle. Another is for using items. There is one for using Heraldry spells. The last one is for battle tactics.
When choosing your Heraldry Spell, or choosing an item, the battle will freeze until your ready to fight. The reason for this is because you can choose to have one of three battle types. If you choose real time, this is useful. I have only used real time so I can't talk about the others. To attack, simply press X and choose the opponent to hit (if theirs more than one).
Desicions: Like I have said before, your decisions lead to different things. They can lead you to get different characters, and have a different ending for the game. One very unique thing about Star Ocean is it's multiple amount of possible endings. This has been used before in RPG's, but Star Ocean has over 80 different ending to the game!
Graphics: I'm not good at talking about graphics so this will be short. Star Ocean's graphics are pretty darn good. Everything looks clean, and runs smooth. I have not really seen anything bad yet!
Sound & Music: I will now call voice sound. The voice acting to the game is the reason I put a 3 star for the sounds rating. The voice acting sucks. Your characters say some stupid things that don't belong. But, it's better than having no voice, right? As for the music....it's not bad. Not great, but not bad. It fit's the game good. However, I had hoped that it would have had great RPG music. Their something about the music of great RPG's that I love. Oh well.
Final Comments: Star Ocean is a great RPG for all kinds of RPG players, whether it's beginners, or veterans!