Star Ocean Universe

Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Star Ocean: The Last Hope
Genre: Action/RPG
Developer/Publisher: tri-Ace/Square-Enix
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1
Japan Release Date: 19 Feb 2009
US (NTSC) Release Date: 24 Feb 2009
EU (PAL) Release Date: 5 Jun 2009
Official Sites: Japan | NA | Europe
Star Ocean: The Last Hope International
Genre: Action/RPG
Developer/Publisher: tri-Ace/Square-Enix
Platform: PS3
Players: 1
Japan Release Date: 4 Feb 2010
US (NTSC) Release Date: 9 Feb 2010
EU (PAL) Release Date: 12 Feb 2010
Official Sites: Japan | NA | Europe

AD 2064. Humanity made its third and most costly mistake. World War III. Weapons of mass destruction deployed with impunity, razed the land in the blink of an eye. People believed it was the end of the world. The planet Earth was dying. So humanity began to search for a new home in space.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope is the forth major Star Ocean release to date, while chronologically it is in fact the first in the Star Ocean Series. The Last Hope takes place 36 years prior the past events of Star Ocean: First Departure. This is also the first Star Ocean title to be released on any Xbox console. Initially there was suggestions it would in fact be a PS3 title, just prior Tokyo Game show 2007 in September Famitsu Scans were released (and new ones on the 2nd of March 2008) which suggested the possibility of a PS3 release, but the booklet from Infinite Undiscovery stated otherwise.

While on the 15th of September 2009 Famitsu revealed that PS3 owners worldwide will finally get their hands on the title in February 2010. It will be an international version which will feature a number of upgrades, including:

  • A Japanese & English voice acting option.
  • 6 different selectable text languages, English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish & German.
  • It will now be a 1 disk game - as opposed to 3 removing the need for time consuming disk swapping.
  • It will feature the ability to select either classic (typically 2D) or modern (typically 3D) menu's featuring alternate character portraits.
  • Other minor bug fixes and improvements, such as more control over the targeting system.
  • The lead male, who you control at all times is Edge Maverick, a young, enthusiastic member of the SRF (Space Reconnaissance Force), while the lead female is Reimi Saionji, whom is childhood friend of Edge and also works for the SRF. Throughout the game you'll be able to visit several different planets, such as Aeos, Earth, Lemuris, En II & Roak (previously featured in First Departure). Roak is the perfect location for a number of Star Ocean cross references for long time fans of the series. Several races make appearances throughout the game, including Earthling, Elderian, Lesser Fellpool, Morphus, Lemurisian, Highlander & Feather Folk.

    *Screenshots from the Xbox 360 EN version of the game*

    The Last Hope returns to the four member battle party, as opposed to just three in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. New elements of the battle system include Rush Gauge/Combo - a gauge will fills during battle when been attacked or attacking the enemy, which can be unleashed for a temporary increase in power and a possible sequence of 7 special attacks in a row, uninterrupted. Blindside (originally known as Sight Out), where you can immediately position yourself behind a targeted enemy with perfect timing to confuse your enemy and to get in a few free hits while they recover.

    Other new battle conditions include the Battle Exalted Action Type (BEAT) system, the ability to jump, change characters in real-time and more. Traditional elements of the battle system include link combo (reminiscent of Cancel Bonus in Till the End of Time) while of course, various special attacks and Symbology have also returned.

    *Screenshots from the Xbox 360 JP version of the game*

    In terms of gameplay, item creation & private actions have also returned, which can affect the endings you view upon completion of the game. This time around you'll also have your own spaceship (The Calnus) for the player to control, it's also where you can communicate with another Star Ocean staple, Welch, for your item creation needs (much alike her role in Till the End of Time.