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Monday, October 27, 2014

Underrated RPGs- Star Ocean: The Last Hope (360/PS3)

I reviewed Star Ocean: The Last Hope way back in the day, drafting the review even before setting up PG's Game Room when I was posting my reviews directly to Facebook. At the time, I applauded the game for it's exciting real-time combat system but bemoaned the absolutely terrible characters and dialogue that polluted an otherwise fairly interesting tale about space-faring pioneers. And, yeah, that pretty much still holds true, but I still think it merits an Underrated RPGs post.

To this day, The Last Hope is still the only entry in Tri-Ace's Star Ocean series that I've played to completion, a statement which may immediately invalidate my opinion in the eyes of any Star Ocean fans who read this post (I do want to pick up the PSP games at some point but they aren't on the PSN...). Maybe I'm just a sucker for Star Trek-esque tales of humanity reaching for the stars- I am beyond excited for the upcoming film Interstellar- because I ended up putting a solid fifty hours into what is regarded by some as the worst game in the series.

Make no mistake, the storytelling present in The Last Hope is far from compelling- the dialogue ranges from stilted to physically painful (thank goodness for the optional language tracks included in the PS3 version), the characters are uninteresting, and the overarching narrative devolves into a convoluted mess very quickly. What does make the game compelling, however, is the aforementioned real-time combat, a staple of the Star Ocean series, and the sense of exploration that comes from traversing the wide-open zones of various alien planets. There is fun to be had here for an RPG enthusiast who is less concerned with story (or is really uncomfortably into alien elf chicks) and more interested in the gameplay systems at hand. Considering how cheap this game is nowadays, anyone still looking to play an RPG from the most previous console generation may wish to give Star Ocean: The Last Hope a fair shake. Kay?


  1. down the line, I intend down the line to take a second look at The Last hope in the context of the more Star Trek aspects (especially since I now have a better grasp of what worked and didn't work in the original series).

    1. I feel like that could be a really interesting approach for a JRPG to take (I'm remembering Infinite Space for DS).

      And TLH had some really suitable music-

    2. After beating the game, it didn't really go all in on the star trek aspect, because Star Ocean can't seem to fully break away from the high fantasy stuff. That said, I HATED the ending (rest of the story worked out fine with some good and bad stuff).