Star Ocean: Till the End of Time comes from a well-known and dependable series. I spent a number of hours on their first release but after reviewing the most recent addition with the series, fell out of love with them. Here we have Till the End of Time, the third game in the series re-released for the PS4. It was originally a PS2 game and is one of the games I hadn’t played before.
The game’s story is a simple ‘Search & Rescue’-one – you take control of Fayt, a young boy who loves to play computer games (reminds me of when I was young and I didn’t have to think about anything else). Fayt and his family, along with his childhood friend Sophia, have travelled off for a holiday. I couldn’t quite grasp where they were, but it had a nice beach – it didn’t resemble any known places to me, but that makes sense due to the game being set in S.D 772 (whenever the hell that is.). Fayt’s dad is a famous scientist in the field of Symbology and, for some unknown reason, an alien civilisation decide to attack Hyda (the planet they’re visiting). Of course, both Sophia and Fayt are separated from his family, then he’s separated from Sophia. So, the rescue mission begins.
When it comes to the graphics, even though it is an HD rescale, they are still doing so from PS2 graphics, which aren’t quite up to scratch compared to modern day ones. What I did unfortunately notice is that the cut-scenes haven’t been upscaled at all, and thus look really poor, especially on a large TV. The characters are square and blotchy, with the backgrounds lack any defining detail. Saying that, this is a game which was originally released in 2003 so I suppose we shouldn’t have expected anything amazing. If I thought back to the times when I played a lot of PS2 (I had a period in life when I played more Gamecube and Xbox, hence why I never played this), I would say that this would have been good, relatively, but not as fresh or crisp as, say, Odin Sphere. Playing this game makes you realise just how different graphics are, nowadays, and how much we take for granted.
On a more positive note, I don’t think I have ever played a game which Square Enix have anything to do with, and which has a bad musical score. When it comes to RPGs, every game they release always has a fantastic one, and this fits into that category. It is mainly a classical piece written and composed by Motoi Sakuruba, and it keeps in perfect sync with the game throughout. One thing I noticed, is how in these older games, they never have any lip-sync problems. I’ve established this is because they never got the characters lips to move in the first place, so you just decided that it was the right person speaking. When it comes to sound, this game has got everything you would want it to have.
Being the third instalment of the Star Ocean series, they have made some changes with the battle mode and this infuriated me throughout. There were far too many buttons, too many different variations and being a real-time environment, I found myself running round in circles with no idea about who to attack. You have a basic attack, a stronger attack, a special attack and… too many different attacks. I gave the combat so many different chances, but couldn’t stand it every time.
The combat isn’t the only area of the game but it is a game-changing one. Like many other RPGs of this era, whilst you are moving around, the camera angles are horrendously irritating. They just never seem to do what you want them to do and I found myself wanting to smash my controller over and over. Even though the game offered a nice variety of items and level-up areas, I could never see past the poor battles and the randomness of the battle trophies. This, ultimately, was the reason I reached the end on this game, and will probably be the same reason a lot of you will. This is a shame because I am sure the story is epic, but without a want to continue playing it, then the story is wasted.
Sadly, when it comes to enjoyment this game, therefore, didn’t offer me enough. I was disappointed as I had heard that this was meant to be one of the best Star Ocean titles, but I gather similar to people, who think that any other Final Fantasy is as good or better than Final Fantasy VII, they are wrong. Not even the phenomenal sound could do enough to stop me from thinking that this is a poor game.
The scores on the doors:
- Graphics: 5 – I have seen worse on the PS4, but not often. This was always going to score low, but they could have at touched up the cut-scenes.
- Sound: 10 – Nothing I would change here. Another great score.
- Gameplay: 4 – Sometimes, changes are for the worse. This is one of those times.
- Enjoyment: 4 – It doesn’t matter about anything else when the fights are just that annoying.
- Overall: 6 – Personally, I am not sure a 6 is right for this game, and feel it should more be a 5 but the musical score is the only reason why this could be worth a punt. Not for me though.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time out now on PS4. Click on the top image for the full-size version.
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Players: single-player
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Director: Yoshiharu Gotanda
Writers: Yoshiharu Gotanda, Hiroshi Ogawa and Aron J Brent
Nel: Yu Asakawa
Guild Master / Woltar: Chafûrin
Albel: Isshin Chiba
Ranka: Katsumi Chô
Shelby: Hisao Egawa
Sophia: Atsuko Enomoto
Luther / King Airyglyph XIII: Keiji Fujiwara
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.