Stars & Oceans Thereof

Should I keep playing Second Story OR....

  • Yes!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Switch to Second Evolution, it's much better.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Skip to Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Abandon Star Ocean and try another PSX era JRPG (please specify)

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .

TheGentlemanLoser

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So I'm currently playing Star Ocean: The Second Story "on psx". I am not loving it, I am not hating it, I am at the point where I'm kind of waiting for it to get good and maybe running out of patience a bit, I'm about 6 hours into the campaign (just recruited Opera, most recent game overs were in the copypasta palace Mountain Palace. I hate the battle system in no uncertain terms, but I can tolerate a battle system I loathe if I'm enjoying everything else about the game.

The other systems are a mixed bag of confusion and frustration: I have no idea how to ID items, the fact you can CREATE un'ID'd items is weird (weirder, even than having un'ID'd items be a thing in a JRPG, it's standard for western roguelikes but I've never seen it in a JRPG before), like how the **** do you cook a meal and not know what you cooked? Also why can't I find out what unidentified foods are by eating them like in every other game with an item ID system. Also I might be locked out of some of the game's...really obtuse...skills because I didn't roll certain talents at game start, which is freaking dumb as rocks if that's the case.

The voice work is...excruciatingly bad. One of the sounds Celine makes on death in particular is a sound no one should ever, ever have to hear; I'd be against it being played to prisoners at Plutonamo Bay. I have something called an "undub" I could apply, although I've never done that before or even heard of such a thing, to restore the original Japanese voices, which will probably be a big improvement: this dub is excruciating, and it's not just the cringey delivery, some of the translations don't even make sense "this one's worth about 80 points!" the **** are you even on about Claud you ****ing WEIRDO!?!?

The actual writing of the dialogue is surprisingly not terrible (coming from Xenogears my bar has been set LOW) and I'm interested to see when the sci fi comes back in, and also I want to see bad things happen to Definitely Not Griffith Dias

Alternatively, I could start over with Star Ocean: Second Evolution, a remake/port for "the PSP". It seems reasonable to assume that the translation and voice work is better, and that the systems are explained in a way that actually makes any sense at all. The downside is having to REplay six hours of a JRPG I'm not loving to get back to where I was. I've also considered just moving on to the PS2 Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time but it is, apparently, fully voiced, and I am skeptical that Enix figured out voice acting that doesn't make me bleed from the ears in the four years between releases. And of course I could just abandon Star Ocean entirely for the time being (try out Suikoden II? replay Front Mission 3 which I last played a million years ago when I was a teenager and it was new?).

tl;dr too late use poll, tell me what to do.

Oh, and I have the first Star Ocean game "for SNES". I'm probably okay to skip that one, although the fact that a Super Famicom game somehow had FULL BLOWN VOICE ACTING ("Captain's Log ectetera etcetera") is something I literally did not know was even physically, technically possible. There was an rm2k3 game sometime around 2006-2008 or thereabouts that used Star Ocean rips, it was a relatively popular and successful one at the time from a relatively well known community fixture, although I can't remember the name of the game or the person who made it, the fact that I saw it 15 years ago in an RM context makes my brain think 'hey, these are the graphics from that 2k3 game!' even though that is of course the exact inverse of the case.
 
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TheouAegis

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I tried to play Star & Ocean: 2nd story for 2 times. Both times, I stopped before reaching 2 hours of playtime.
Star & Ocean was from the same company: Tri-Ace that made my #1 favorite of all time game: Valkyrie Profile. So I tried hard to enjoy it, but I just couldn't. Well, I suggest you to try out Valkyrie Profile. It's legendary. It's up there on the top with other greatest games of all time.
Photo-2018-06-05-22-57-48.jpg
 

Lornsteyn

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You are very picky it seems, in regards to classic jrpgs.
If you dont like it now you probably will never and most certainly this will be the case for 3 and the First one.
Second Evolution is btw the same game just with complete voice over and Anime Portraits.
So better move to the next game.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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You are very picky it seems, in regards to classic jrpgs.
If you dont like it now you probably will never and most certainly this will be the case for 3 and the First one.
Second Evolution is btw the same game just with complete voice over and Anime Portraits.
So better move to the next game.
So it's the same translation just with fully voiced dialogue?
 

Lornsteyn

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I dont thinks so, but the gameplay, graphics and story stay mostly the same.
And if you dont enjoy the game why bother?
Out of curiosity I also checked the original japanese voices, and Celine makes the same noises there you probably found weird.^^
 

Former_Sky

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I actually played this last year and enjoyed it. If it's doing nothing for you now, best to play something else. The remaster only adds things like portraits and new voicework.
 

Benny Jackdaw

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When I was a kid, I loved playing this game. It took me years, but I eventually beat the game.

But it is one of those games that I just cannot go back to. I just can't help but look at all the characters in the game and be disgusted by just the wasted potential of the franchise in general. A game about a person who goes to these different planets and be friends and fight alongside different aliens is an RPG concept I would love to see one day. One day, I would love to see people push the envelope on what a playable character in an RPG can be.

But we didn't get that. We basically got a person who goes to different Earth's and befriends space humans. Every single good alien in the franchise is just a human from space. Nedians are humans with pointy ears. Tetregenians are humans with a third eye. Leon's race are humans with cat ears. Expellians are... just humans. Completely indistinguishable from humans. And I even tried out the fourth game from the Star Ocean franchise. It was okay, even if the motion blur was horrendous. But once I found out there were actual aliens (albeit basically anthropomorphic lizards), but they were villains, that was a deal-breaker. I sent the game back and exchanged it for another game.

But I think another mood killer for the franchise is that everything happens in a simulation. In other words, nothing in the entire franchise is actually happening within the franchise, so there are no stakes. If the world you have created can't even pretend that it is reality, how am I supposed to? Mostly, it's just an excuse to explain away lazy character design. And, no, don't give me that "Relatable and Familiar" argument. Making all of your character is human does not make them relatable, in fact, it makes them less relatable because it means they can't be diverse or unique like they could if there were multiple species. There are other problems I have with all human character rosters that I'd rather not go into.


In this day and age, I have a much bigger soft spot for suikoden 2 because it had a much more diverse cast of characters. Yes, it had a lot MORE characters, but that's not the point. That game had not only humans, but dog people, flying squirrels, giant octopuses, a griffin, a wolf, a unicorn, etc. And honestly, I just really beg for these kind of games to come back where you can have these diverse characters and they don't all have to be human because "relatability and familiarity."
 
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Lornsteyn

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@Benny Jackdaw
Star Ocean Second Story is actually my favorite Star Ocean and I still hope it gets to PS4.
I agree on the simulation thing in the third game, I dont like it either.
When I first played the game when I was younger I thought it was cool, it was a nice wtf moment.
Nowadays I still like Till the end of Time but I see it in its own universe.
 

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