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Thread: RPG Backtrack: Episode 63 - The Fault Lies Not in the Stars

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    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    RPG Backtrack: Episode 63 - The Fault Lies Not in the Stars

    Once upon a time, tri-Ace decided to borrow some elements from Star Trek in making an RPG. Thus was a series spawned that continues in intermittent spurts to this day, though not at a uniform level of quality.
    Featuring stars... in an ocean, almost.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I'm really interested to hear what you, the listeners, have to say about these games. Especially Star Ocean IV, since it has an interesting mix of both positive and negative reviews.

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    Star Ocean 2 had a scenario near the beginning of the game that rubbed me the wrong way. After arriving at a village, Clyde's wallet is stolen, and must chase the thief all over town. Then, after getting it back, the thief gives the party a tour, so we see the entire town a 2nd time. Then, when I want to get on the boat to leave, I'm told that I can't and that I should go shopping. At this point, I had already been forced seen the town twice, and I just wanted to get on the boat and on my way.

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    I remember that. I didn't have a problem with it, though I know for a fact that you were probably pissed after a bunch of natural disasters leveled that town to the ground.
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    That didn't help, though that at least explains why they did it. I just hated that they forced me to go through the town twice already, and were then "suggesting" (read: forcing) me to go back into town when I was ready to leave. One or the other alone would have been fine. Ideally the game would have forced me to walk around town once. Twice is pushing it, and reaching for a third is right out.

    I do understand that I am a little more sensitive to this particular design decision that most, but ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Again, I never had a problem with it, but then again, most towns in the game aren't that big, with the exception of a few towns (namely those damned Castle Towns). By the way, try Pickpocketing everything you can in the game. I've done it, and it's not easy, ESPECIALLY when you're at the end of Disk 1 and are back on the Calnus as Claude. It can get really annoying then, but that Duel Suit is well worth it (best armor in the game).
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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Well, XR, if it's any consolation, I do understand. I hate "Town tours," and having to do one twice would have made me super cranky. I just want to play the game, not be held, by the hand, all over town! LOL. Anyway, listen to the cast...it may or may not change your mind.

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    While I haven't had a chance to listen to the cast yet, I did eventually pick the game back up and finish it. I've also played 3 and 4. I figured I'd save my complaints on those games for a later post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkRPGMaster View Post
    Again, I never had a problem with it, but then again, most towns in the game aren't that big, with the exception of a few towns (namely those damned Castle Towns). By the way, try Pickpocketing everything you can in the game. I've done it, and it's not easy, ESPECIALLY when you're at the end of Disk 1 and are back on the Calnus as Claude. It can get really annoying then, but that Duel Suit is well worth it (best armor in the game).
    The chase the thief portion doesn't require much that I recall, the subsequent tour is a bit annoying though.

    As for pickpocketing, the most important thing is to make sure Claude has the Dexterity talent. Preferably, you want him to start the game with it, otherwise you can miss out on some of the best stuff in the game, like the Mischief.

    I personally found SO2 and SO3 to be the most enjoyable of the series. I've put a few hundred hours into each of them.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Star Ocean 3 *shudder*

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    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
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    star ocean 4's visuals *shudder* or maybe *seizure* is more appropriate

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    The nicest thing I can say about the Star Ocean series is it earned tri-Ace enough to make Resonance of Fate

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    Member Rewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    Star Ocean 3 *shudder*
    I concur. It's the only game that I can recall quitting out of sheer utter disgust, and that was after playing it for well over 50 hours. The plot twist was awful and was made even more embarrassing when another developer (Atlas) handled a similar twist in a much better and enjoyable way.

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    News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    I'm really interested to hear what you, the listeners, have to say about these games. Especially Star Ocean IV, since it has an interesting mix of both positive and negative reviews.
    (Planning to listen to the podcast tomorrow at work but will put some general thoughts on IV here)

    Certain things were great, the battle system is right up there with the best of them. However, the story for me was 'ok', and it has some of the most frustrating and annoying characters I've encountered (Bacchus and Myuria were ok though). Do wonder how much of it might've been voice acting (played on 360) and if using the Japanese voice track would've made a difference. Something I may consider as I enjoyed the gameplay.
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    Tri-Ace would be awesome if they could muster up some scratch and hire a writer.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
    Tri-Ace would be awesome if they could muster up some scratch and hire a writer.
    Apparently they did for Resonance of Fate as that had an entertaining story

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    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    tri-Ace would be awesome if they could muster up some scratch and hire a writer.
    I've played exactly one tri-Ace game that did so (not having much experience with the company, take that for what it's worth): Valkyrie Profile.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

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    Smorgasbord Whoomp's Avatar
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    I never noticed the difficulty spike in SO3 and I have played through it twice. Don't know if I just managed to make the good weapons on a fluke (never used a guide) or just over leveled as heck but I never felt the main game was hard at all. The design of some later dungeons was annoying but not hard, it’s just that the tiresome problem of savepoint spacing just became more evident. About the story, I really liked the twist. The game was on a downward spiral, story-wise, and when that hit everything just became so wonderfully weird that the lackluster characters didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. Weird can awesome if done right.

    Which brings me to SO4. Just invert that previous statement, this game is definitely not done right. Obligatory ugh…

    UGH...

    I feel so much dislike for this game. A cast of characters that is an amalgamation of all the datapoints awful anime characters should have to please every fanfic writer ever but fails miserably to deliver in any other way. They are not even clichéd, they are just devoid of thought or anything that would make them believable or pleasant to spend 60 hours with. The slow-paced storysequences seems to want to compete with Xenosaga, yet doesn’t have either the story or characters to back these up. I’m totally with Sam on the question of backgrounds they are intoxicatingly ugly with eye poking bloom, motion blur, glittery textures everywhere and awful color schemes. Unless they are in space in which they are grey, generic and a whole different kind of ugly. Crafting is somewhat fun but also so damn draining psychologically because of that pink freak Welch who is constantly slamming your head with verbal abuse, like you don’t get enough of that from Meracle, Lymle and Sarah ;_;

    Yet I can't hate it altogether though despite hating parts of it like mad. I have put many hours in the endgame stuff and pick it out to fight some battles from time to time. At least now there are no private actions or story to put a sock in the little enjoyment there is. If there is anything Tri-Ace should get credit for it’s the battle-system as well as all the extra stuff they have. There are a lot to do if you just can cope with the rest of the game. I really just wish it wasn’t so unpleasant in pretty much every other aspect.

  19. #19
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoomp View Post
    Weird can be awesome if done right.
    Yes it can, but I didn't find butchering the mythology of two previous games to be very awesome

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    My major complaints with 3 are the writing (including both plot and dialog), the item creation system, which was powerful but cumbersome, and the bonuses in the battle system. I love playing a fighter with this system. I also love how each character plays differently. But then they go ahead and ruin it by giving you bonuses for not getting hit, which means that if I want the bonus, I have to play the healer and stay as far away from the fight as possible. I don't think I've seen such a worse incentive in a video game. At least they mostly fixed this in 4.

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