Star Ocean: Fantastic Space Odyssey
Japan Release Date: 19 Jul 1996
US (NTSC) Release Date: N/A
EU (PAL) Release Date: N/A
Official Sites: N/A
Star Ocean: First Departure
Japan Release Date: 27 Dec 2007
US (NTSC) Release Date: 21 Oct 2008
EU (PAL) Release Date: 28 Oct 2008
Official Sites: Japan | NA | Europe
Star Ocean (First Departure) is the first installment of the Star Ocean Series, although for around 12 years only those in Japan (or those that attempted the Japanese version) were able to play it. Recently though the remake Star Ocean: First Departure on PSP has brought back the classic title with revamped graphics, voiceovers and more to allow us to enjoy an older RPG with a fresh new feel.
The story begins on the planet Roak, where three friends, Roddick, Milley & Dorne are performing their routine Defense Force job of patrolling the town, a job which is often either too quiet, or too easy. Although before long the group learns that an outbreak of a highly contagious illness which turns people to stone, just north of them in the town of Coule. From this point onwards the trio embark on an adventure they never imagined, firstly trying to find a solution to the outbreak, but secondly been faced by humans (Ronyx & Ilia) who appear out of nowhere who offer their assistance to the trio as they believe Roak has been attacked by a mysterious third party.
How will Roddick and his friends respond to other life forms appearing in front of them from nowhere? Can the mysterious illness be cured? Who was the third party that attacked Roak, and what are their true intentions? These are a number of mysteries that the party will face during their travels.
Star Ocean: First Departure typically uses graphics and a battle system very much alike that witnessed in Star Ocean: The Second Story. You control sprite character models in both 2D and 3D environments, where battles take place in a action environment where swift actions are the key to victory.
The power of the PSP remake has allowed the title to be enhanced with some new anime style artworks, full voice acting, a bunch of anime cutscenes, as well as new characters and areas to explore, taking the title to a new, revitalized state.