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Innovation & Design

Star Ocean: First Departure


Star Ocean: First Departure is the latest in Square Enix's long line of remakes, once again bringing a formerly Japan-only game to Western shores with a fresh coat of paint and little else. Longtime Star Ocean fans will enjoy being able to play the first game, this time in English, But as with many older role-playing games, the combat and exploration feels incredibly dated. Turn-based battles are simplistic, repetitive and random, while the one-dimensional story failed to hold our interests. Nevertheless, the game's upgraded 2-D sprites, luscious pre-rendered backdrops and 3-D over world boost the presentation, and the music is, thankfully, timeless. PSP owners looking for a new RPG, and one from a renowned series, might find enough in the crafting system to keep them busy for a while but not much else.

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