16 September 2009

Star Ocean: The Last Hope - 'First Impressions'

After finishing Star Ocean The Second Story - a game made of win - for the 3rd time, I decided I wanted to own as many RPG games as possible. RPGs are the only place I can tinker with stats like Strength and Constitution - y'know, intellectual stuff :P

I ordered SO:TLH and Eternal Sonata off Amazon.co.uk as the first in line for my RPG spree. SO arrived first today after a mere 5 days wait, so not too bad. I was surprised by the sheer weight of the package; the box itself had several discs and a hefty enough instruction manual. What is the feeling of foreboding...

Wasting little time, I set into it and am immediately treated to a nice opening movie. Graphics look good and there is a bit of backstory left open, so plenty of motivation. Then the start menu came up and instead of clicking 'new game' I went into the Battle Sim. Not sure what got into me, just the option of fighting a battle appealed from the outset.

One thing struck me from the start - the abstract battle screen. SO games have Active Time battles, but this battle was fought in a very unusual sphere of space or something, no scenery or anything. That'll probably change ingame as I move from place to place. As for the fighting, it seemed quite tedious to feel just one enemy; either these bots had a lot of health or this was a genuine reflection of the main game. I pray it is the former.

Starting up a new game after the sluggish battle , I watched a cut-down movie again except with the main character's dialogue illustrating the history of the game world - Earth. Post-WWIII and the bombs have been dropped - seemingly everywhere. Even Greenland was firing a few, according to the animations. Sneaky Danes!

I got to take control of the main hero, Edge, after a short chat with the main heroine (I assume). I forgot her name and intend not to Google it now! Edge decided to pop into the Battle Sim again, to relieve himself of some angst. I was surprised that I lost horribly, and my strike seemed to be even more ineffectual second time round. Thankfully, the story just moved on from there. I set out on the start of my adventure, wandering about the Earth-orbiting space station I'm on.

That was it for the moment. I'm a poor person when it comes to gaming-sprees. Unless it is tried and tested (by me), I won't buy into it. Unfortunately, I paid good cash for this game and thus intend to beat it. Two complaints register thus far - signs of tedious battles and the tiny
dialogue boxes. The latter are really worrying as I like to sit really far from the screen, on the leather couch against the wall. I don't want to go back to the old neck traumas of sitting on a chair in the centre of the room, looking up at my T.V. on it's perch. Sigh.

Well I'll just have to make do. I presume this is all the slow first hour of plot and linear-ness. Afterwards, perhaps I'll get a nice overworld and some characters to meet and monsters to kill. I'll post another retrospective soon - perhaps SO2? Or maybe my life as a GM and Player in the world of RPGs? One thing I do know - I'm back blogging. 'Coz its fun.

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