Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is officially the sixth Star Ocean game. It is a series that’s definitely worth getting into and has given me a number of hours of fun. The games often heavily rely on an inspiring story and strong graphics… how ironic… read on.
This is a Japanese RPG which follows suit to many similar games in this genre. It uses real-time battles which I can find annoying and I will be honest and say that I prefer turn-based. Hate being rushed… Similar to most RPGs you can learn different roles, new skills and equip new equipment. You can also create your own bits, but this isn’t half as fun as it is in Dragon Age: Inquisition. I won’t explain too much about these things, as they are literally something that has been repeated time and time again.
As per usual, I don’t want to give much away about the story. What I can say, is that this game is positioned between the PS1 game Second Story (I own the Japanese version of this) and the PS2 title, Until the End of Time. Simply put: the main character – Fidel – lives on a planet, a long way from Earth which is quite inferior to neighbouring areas. Then they get attacked by an inferior race and the youknowwhat hits the pan. As well as not wanting to divulge too much, I will add that, sadly, the story is… well a little boring.
Graphics? I was really expecting better. I mean they are not awful, nowhere near as bad as Teenage Mutant Nijna Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan or Carmageddon: Max Damage.
First of all, let’s talk about the characters. There is a severe lack of detail in all aspects of them. Their general clothing is very static (yes the back of your jacket slightly moves) and the colours are quite dull. The one thing I quite like, is how the characters breathe; You can see their shoulders rising and falling, and their breathing pattern is believable. However, the character’s faces show absolutely no definition and I was disappointed with this. Looking at two of them, I would say you could just take either face and place it on the other body – all you would have to change is their hair. If I looked at an earlier release, like Dragon Age: Inquisition, and compared the facial definition then that would make this look like a PS3 game. In fact, I would go so far as to say, that if they had banks which scanned you for facial recognition, then everyone is getting in!
Now, let’s talk about the poorly-made back drops. Come on Square Enix… The backdrops in Final Fantasy X‘s remake are better than this,and that is a remastered version of a PS2 game. The water looks horrendous and at the very start of the game, if you run to the side, you will see exactly what I mean: when you look at the ocean, you’ll notice they’ve tried to create a ripple effect, but it doesn’t quite look right. At times, I felt there was a real contrast. Some of the mountainsides were beautiful and looked well-layered, then on top of them, sat some poor attempts of trees which reminded me of Exhumed on the PS1 (don’t get me wrong I bloomin’ love Exhumed, and right now, I just rushed upstairs to ensure that I still have it – however, I don’t expect a PS4 game to remind me of it…). Maybe, in parts, I am being a bit too harsh but I just wasn’t impressed.
Now for my biggest gripe – you can literally run through people. Seriously, guys… seriously. I know we often get annoyed with super sensitivity like in the old Assassin’s Creed games where everyone would have a go at you for walking too close to them, even though you were a country mile away, but to decrease the sensitivity so far that you can actually walk through them? That’s going too far.
The music is exactly what you would want from a Sci-Fi RPG. It has a beautiful score and is the kind of music that enhances your imagination. The sounds, the mixing of the violin, chello and keyboard are just exquisite, and I wasn’t surprised to see the score was created by the master Motoi Sakuraha. I feel there was a lot of influence from the previous Star Ocean games, plus more recent titles like Bravely Default. Throughout the game, the quality of the audio is excellent and second to only a few games like Final Fantasy VII and a few others.
The voice quality is decent although I wish there was a little more of it, and less subtitles poking up here and there. Going back to the music, I would go so far to say that I would buy the audio CD for this game and listen to it whilst writing reviews. However, even though the sound is brilliant, some of the scriptwriting is incredibly cringe worthy – although it did make me laugh, I feel that this wasn’t the plan of the writers. Quite often, you will find this problem with a game that was written in Japanese. The languages don’t easily translate and this is a little like a friend#s Japanese tattoo which they think says one thing, but it doesn’t quite match… On a sidenote, if you don’t laugh when you hear the Mayor of Sthal, then you have no sense of humour.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on this game…
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.