Star Ocean: The Last Hope (Xbox 360) by Square Enix

Star Ocean: The Last Hope (Xbox 360) by Square Enix Box Art

North Amercian Release Date: February 24, 2009.

Average Overall Score:
8.45 / 10

Square Enix and tri-Ace have brought their latest RPG to the masses and to be completely honest, I was quite worried that it was going to have the same technical problems that the previous title; The Last Remnant had. Luckily about 5 years of development of this entry in the Star Ocean series has seemed to pay off from a technical standpoint, but nothing is without its flaws. Great gameplay and a crafting system mixes things up and keeps everything interesting but only if you are able to swallow some appalling voice work on top of a notably slow pace of story."

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Thursday, February 5, 2009


Rookie Battler
Obtain 10% of all battle trophies.
Novice Battler
Obtain 20% of all battle trophies.
Practiced Battler
Obtain 30% of all battle trophies.
Skilled Battler
Obtain 40% of all battle trophies.
Accomplished Battler
Obtain 50% of all battle trophies.
Seasoned Battler
Obtain 60% of all battle trophies.
Advanced Battler
Obtain 70% of all battle trophies.
Expert Battler
Obtain 80% of all battle trophies.
Master Battler
Obtain 90% of all battle trophies.
Ultimate Battler
Obtain 100% of all battle trophies.
Ship Savant
Collect 100% of all spaceship data.
Arms Addict
Collect 100% of all weapon data.
Creature Collector
Collect 50% of all monster data.
Monster Master
Collect 100% of all monster data.
Dilettante Designer
Create 20% of all possible items.
Aspiring Architect
Create 40% of all possible items.
Creative Craftsman
Create 60% of all possible items.
Inspired Inventor
Create 80% of all possible items.
World's Biggest Welch Fan
Create 100% of all possible items.
Treasure Hunter
Open 50% of all treasure chests.
Treasure Hoarder
Open 100% of all treasure chests.
Errand Boy
Complete 30% of all quests.
Potential Postman
Complete 60% of all quests.
Dutiful Deliverer
Complete 100% of all quests.
Abolished Armaros (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Armaros on the northern coast of Aeos.
Butchered Barachiel (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Barachiel in the engine room of the celestial ship.
Squelched Sahariel (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Sahariel in the Cardianon control tower's central isolation chamber.
Escaped from Earth (Secret Achievement)
Narrowly escaped from the alternate Earth before its untimely demise...
Trounced Tamiel (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Tamiel and his Sydonaist henchmen in the hallowed halls of the Purgatorium.
Massacred Manifest (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Armaros Manifest in the grimy depths of the Miga Insect Warren.
Quelled Kokabiel (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Kokabiel and her spawn in the sacred En II Sanctuary.
Silenced Satanail (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Satanail in the Palace of Creation on Nox Obscurus.
Universal Victor (Secret Achievement)
Completed the game on the Universe difficulty level.
Chaotic Conquerer (Secret Achievement)
Completed the game on the Chaos difficulty level.
Reimi's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Reimi's ending sequence.
Lymle's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Lymle's ending sequence.
Bacchus's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Bacchus's ending sequence.
Meracle's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Meracle's ending sequence.
Myuria's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Myuria's ending sequence.
Sarah's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Sarah's ending sequence.
Arumat's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Arumat's ending sequence.
Faize's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Faize's ending sequence.
Crowe's Ending (Secret Achievement)
Viewed Crowe's ending sequence.
Colosseum Charter (Secret Achievement)
Broke into the top 30 in solo or team battle rankings.
Colosseum Challenger (Secret Achievement)
Broke into the top 10 in solo or team battle rankings.
Colosseum Champion (Secret Achievement)
Took over the top spot in solo or team battle rankings.
Hasty Hare Handler (Secret Achievement)
Earned 50 victories in class 100 bunny racing.
Rapid Rabbit Wrangler (Secret Achievement)
Earned 100 victories in class 100 bunny racing.
Celestial Slayer (Secret Achievement)
Defeated Gabriel Celeste.
Ethereal Executioner (Secret Achievement)
Defeated the Ethereal Queen.

User Reviews

Score: 84
Overall User Average: 9.20 / 10 (84.5%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.40 / 10
Graphics User Average: 8.70 / 10
Sound User Average: 8.60 / 10
Date reviewed: March 6, 2009.

Overall: Having never played a Star Ocean game before, I was a little iffy about picking this one up. I didn't know if it would be another Final Fantasy clone or really stand out amongst the m@!%#*!es of JRPG games that have been hitting the 360 lately. After checking out some pretty decent reviews, I decided to take the leap and pick up the game on a whim.

From the start of the game, I got the feeling that the combat would be a lot like Tales of Vesperia. This is a good thing, as I loved every minute of Tales and for a game to bring up memories of a favorite is definitely a plus. The combat is similar, but not exactly the same. Where Tales used a lot of one button (maybe 2 button) presses to take down most enemies, Star Ocean at least involves a little more strategy. You can whip yourself around bad guys when they least expect it (blindside move) and attack from their rear, issue orders, etc. There's a lot going on in combat, but it's not hard to manage. There are a lot of tools at your disposal, how (or if) you use them, are completely up to you. The combat through the first couple hours of the game remained fresh and exciting, and I actually looked forward to getting new skills and abilities. Where other games kind of throw them at you, I got the feeling SO eases you into them and gives them out a lot less often.

The story in this game is different that most RPGs I have played (remember, I never played the other Star Ocean games). The world suffered after World War 3 and sent explorers into the heavens to find a new home for Earthlings. You play Edge Maverick, one of the chosen explorers on the maiden voyage. That's about all you need to know to get started in the game. Like all games though, something has to go horribly wrong and it does, thus throwing you right into the action (if after a pretty long cutscene). There is a support character, named Reimi, who is your childhood bestfriend. The relationship between the two is definitely going to make for some interesting story elements. While they aren't "in love", they do have a very deep bond between the two of them. As time goes on, it looks like a love interest could form between the two given the right cir@!%#*!stances. And by cir@!%#*!stances, I mean user inputted actions. I didn't realize this was something the series does, but you control the feelings of people towards you (to a degree). For instance, in the first level, you stumble upon a flower patch. Reimi looks at the flowers and says they are beautiful. You are given 3 options to respond... "They are beautiful", "You are beautiful", "You are both beautiful". Obviously, being a chick, she want's to hear number 2 and if you choose that, you are going to increase the affinity between you and Reimi. If you chose the flowers are beautiful, Reimi may be insulted and the affinity between the two of you will decrease. With increased affinity comes increased cut scenes and pivotal moments between the characters (this doesn't just happen with Reimi, you can form bonds with all characters). When an affinity reaches a high enough level, guys and girls can share a room together...leaving the rest up to the imagination.

Graphics are a big thing for me. I love the direction current genre games are taking graphics. Tales of Vesperia was a great looking game, but I'm not too big into the anime scene. Last Remnant was a decent looking game, that had trouble performing/loading. Star Ocean on the other hand, looks great. It's nothing to write home about (a la Gears, MGS, or Killzone 2) but it's a very good looking game! Although the characters do show some anime sides to them (namely the eyes), it's easy to look past because they have normal sized features. But, anime might be your thing so that comment is just opinion. The worlds are varied and the colors are really pretty in some areas. You may not have many stop and smell the roses moments, but you will enjoy the ambiance.

Overall, I'm loving Star Ocean: The Last Hope. It's the perfect RPG to hold us fans over until FF13 comes out this year (or next). If you love collecting things, there's a ton of things for you to do. From enemy data, to battle trophies, room items, ship data, spells, it's all there. It's a collector's dream. Finishing this game is said to take around 40-60 hours, but if you want to complete it in it's entirety (all endings, all collectibles, etc.), chalk on another 30-40.

If you are a fan of games such as Tales of Vesperia, Last Remnant, and other JRPGs, you're going to love this game. If you are more of a western RPG fan (M@!%#*! Effect, Fallout 3) like myself, give this one a try. It's got the sci-fi thing going for it and the combat is very fresh. Battles are in real time and fun. Who knows, maybe it will reawaken your love for JRPGs.

Overall: 92 %
Gameplay: 94 %
Graphics: 87 %
Sound: 86 %

Star Ocean: The Last Hope News

Star Ocean: The Last Hope Details
One of the hallmarks of the Star Ocean franchise is the Private Action event system.

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