Square Enix Star Ocean: First Departure
The original Star Ocean was a groundbreaking debut for newly formed developer Tri-Ace.
- Beautiful graphics, little to no loading times, fantastic voice acting
- Dense AI, story tends to drag, Roddick... walks... so... slow...
The original Star Ocean finally comes to US shores and gamers on this side of the world are in for a fantastic RPG experience.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Initially released in 1996 for the Super Famicon, the original Star Ocean was a ground-breaking debut for newly formed developer Tri-Ace. Both critics and fans praised the effort and it became evident that established role-playing franchises such as Final Fantasy and the Tales series suddenly had a new rival to compete with. Unfortunately, US gamers never got a chance to experience Star Ocean, a crime that's being rectified with the release of First Departure on the PSP. It's been twelve years but man was it worth the wait.
On the medieval planet of Roak, a young man named Roddick dreams of excitement that his patrol with the city's defence brigade just can't satisfy. Once the citizens of Roak begin to suffer from a strange and deadly disease, adventure quickly finds Roddick as he sees himself taken to the stars by a pair of technologically advanced humans, and sent on a quest through the timeline of his home world's past in order to save its future. Star Ocean boasts a clever and innovative story that's held up well over the years. Even though the main plot tends to drag a few hours in, the sheer amount of personality found in each hand-drawn character, beautifully pre-rendered city, or the superbly animated cut scenes courtesy of Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Jin-Roh) are more than enough to pick up the slack.
One of the major distinctions between Star Ocean and other conventional RPGs of its time was its unique real-time battle system — a mechanic that has aged rather gracefully for First Departure. Battles are fast paced and fun, allowing you to switch between any of your party members on the fly for plenty of variety, as well as giving the player the ability to assign spells or special attacks to the PSP's shoulder buttons. The biggest complaint I have with the battles is the games less-than-stellar AI. Party members will often dash towards enemies outmatched and unprepared or use costly and unnecessary spells on the simplest of foes. Thankfully the game gives you quite a bit of leverage over what your characters can and can't do in battle with the addition of a Tactics menu, allowing you to order your party to pull back, lay off of the magic, or if the situation calls for it, simply run!
All in all, Star Ocean: First Departure has aged very well, and remains a unique and innovative RPG full of life and personality. For every played-out gaming convention the twelve year old story offers, there's always a new and fresh idea right around the corner to make up for it — from hidden cut scenes accessed through character driven Private Actions to an extremely deep Skill/Specialty scheme. For both jaded role playing veterans and newcomers alike, Star Ocean: First Departure is a journey full of life and character that's absolutely worth embarking on.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
- VR fairytale game Luna due for Oct 17 release
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTAutomation TesterOther
- TPProject Manager - Records ManagementVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst ManagerNSW
- FTTechnology Project CoordinatorOther
- TPNetwork EngineerVIC
- FTProject Manager/Scrum MasterNSW
- CCDelivery Lead - Process Transformation (Six Sigma) - Telco in Pennant HIllsNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- CCTechnical Solutions ArchitectACT
- FTSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- FTFront End DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- FTSharePoint Admin & Developer- Australian Citizens onlyOther
- CCIT Specialist - System ServicesNSW
- FTScrum Master | 6mths +Other
- TPBusiness Consultant - Dynamics CRMWA
- CCJava Full stack developer - Telco domainVIC
- CCRelease ManagerACT
- FTSystems Engineer - Identity & AutomationQLD
- FTTechnical Business Analyst / Application Support AnalystOther
- FTSolution Architect/Designer - Telecom IndustryOther
- TPSenior Business Analyst - GISQLD
- CCIntel IT ArchitectNSW
- FTSystems Engineer (data centre)Other
- TPieMR Business Analyst - Sunshine Coast Hospital - $850/dayQLD