Friday, March 14, 2008

Eternal Sphere

Many questions, starting with what platform this is intended for? Apparently, all of the remakes are intended for PSP only ... which seems sort of braindead from a marketing perspective. Also, has the remake of the original improved the tedium of the final couple of chapters? Star Ocean One for the Super NES was excrutiatingly dull toward the end.

Also, check out the Japanese language Eternal Sphere Portal Site, which mentions Star Ocean 4 (while providing zero details!) Caution: None of these retooled games have an English language version yet, so far as I know. The English on the website is purely decorative, according to Japanese tastes.

My third observation is this: The new character art is guaranteed to lose fan interest. The figures are drawn flat, insipid and adolescent — more like fan art than what you'd expect from TriAce. This looks like pure marketing gorgonzola, and does not bode well for the franchise. Unless gameplay is something truly extraordinary by RPG standards (and Star Ocean: Second Story set the bar extremely high!), nothing I've seen on the new Eternal Sphere portal will convince me to consider blowing $150 on three refurbished games I've already played, plus $50 on some unknown commodity — plus $300 bucks for that pimped out Eternal Sphere PSP!

My final observation: Star Ocean 3 had what seemed like miles of dead ends and truncated story space — ladders you couldn't climb, stairways blocked by feeble "treasure chests," characters who suggested sidestories that went nowhere (the worst was Dilly the Unexplained Lousyd of Surferio, who offered to teach you how to swim underwater, thereby allowing you to explore the vast underwater ruin — a story slashed so hard and fast it almost bleeds). Star Ocean 4, one knows instinctively, will suffer alike — and the vast realms the PSP is capable of encompassing will come far short of realization. Let's hope the story line they do come up with is worth it! Who is the directorial talent, and who is producing this box of cockroach-eating golden marmosets?
see Raymond L. Ditmars, Strange Animals I Have Known

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