After forty-five hours, just a few smiles, and one or two frowns, we walked away from Star Ocean: The Divine Power with a shrug. It’s a middle-tier Japanese position enjoying sport that at no level, ever, threatens to get promoted to top-tier standing nor sink so low that it finally ends up sandwiched between Hyperdimension Neptunia and Limitless Saga. Mid-table mediocrity. The Crystal Palace of JRPGs.
Given the tumultuous historical past of the Star Ocean collection, The Divine Power being merely okay might be a step in the best route. And whereas this sport wouldn’t make our greatest of 2022 listing until we’re doing 100 video games every this yr, a few of the enhancements made right here, and a few of the methods put in place imply it’s conceivable the following Star Ocean sport might genuinely be good. It’d even be nice.
However we’re within the right here and now. The yr of our Lord 2022 and we’ve received a job to do. We crammed over forty hours of this sport into 5 days simply to get so far and now that we’re right here: yeah, it’s alright. What’s there to say? There’s no attention-grabbing speaking factors or incisive critiques we will make. No jokes. No good jokes, anyway. If it was actually unhealthy at the very least we may make snide remarks however as it’s we will merely shrug and get on with it.
Star Ocean: The Divine Power lets you decide one among two characters to play as throughout your journey all through area and stuff. There’s Raymond who’s a kind of anime Han Solo with one of many worst haircuts we’ve ever seen in a online game, after which there’s Laeticia, a blue haired princess of the realm who fights on the entrance strains in excessive heels.
We performed as Raymond as a result of we couldn’t take our eyes off his bizarre, golden area mullet, however for the hour or two that we tried as Laeticia it’s mainly the identical sport, simply when the occasion splits up often all through the journey you see what she was doing as a substitute of him. Additionally you’re sporting excessive heels. So your selection is between wanting fabulous and looking out like an fool. And we picked fool for some cause. What had been we considering?
Raymond is the captain of a spaceship. It’s like Star Trek, kinda. There’s even an android tapping away on a console like that one in Star Trek, solely as a substitute of being designed by Gene Roddenberry this one was designed by Russ Meyer, apparently. For those who’re too younger for the Russ Meyer reference then he was an auteur who made camp, smutty films within the sixties and seventies about scantily clad, high heavy girls. We’re simply saying that the android is a sexbot, okay?
Anyway, Raymond crash lands on a pre-spaceflight planet and shortly meets Laeticia and her squire they usually quickly set up that they each need assistance getting someplace and so in the event that they work collectively it’ll profit each events. Raymond desires to seek out different survivors from the crash after which get off the backwater rock he’s landed on, and Laeticia is attempting to cease a struggle breaking out between her Kingdom and a rival Empire.
Alongside the best way our two heroes meet and be a part of up with a forged of largely tropey characters, like a cranky outdated man and the compulsory annoying kooky lady, they usually uncover that there’s a sinister hyperlink between their two quests, and the very destiny of the universe. Everyone knows the place that is going, proper? You’ve performed a JRPG earlier than. And should you haven’t then this shouldn’t be the one you begin with. Persona 5 is true there ready for you.
The story begins gradual however it does get extra attention-grabbing within the again half. It’s not notably deep or thought frightening however it at the very least poses a few philosophical and moral questions on issues, like synthetic intelligence and the perils of a sophisticated civilization assembly an underdeveloped one, even when it doesn’t discover them completely. Much less meals for thought, then, and extra of a Tic-Tac for thought.
Cutscenes have some fantastically questionable animations in them and there’s been zero try made to lip-sync the characters to the voice performing. Cutscenes are additionally overnumerous in direction of the tip of the sport as all is being revealed, and there’s one stretch of the sport specifically by which it appears you do nothing however stroll from one room to a different so the particular person telling the story can inform it with a unique décor for about two hours.
Fight is quick and versatile. It is enjoyable at occasions, too. You play as one character in actual time whereas your three occasion members are managed by AI. You’ll be able to arrange combos in your occasion to make use of in battle by deciding on what assaults they’ll do in what order, and as you stage up you’ll unlock extra assaults. You may also add gadgets to heal or buff into your combos, and later assist actions, too.
For those who spend a little bit of time experimenting with the arrange of your squad you’ll discover you could flip them right into a well-oiled machine, therapeutic harm occasion members or reviving unconscious ones with out a lot supervision from you. This leaves you to focus on the D.U.M.A. system which is likely one of the finest issues concerning the sport.
D.U.M.A. is an AI floaty ball factor that helps you in battle and it elevates what would in any other case be largely humdrum encounters. With a faucet of R1 you possibly can zip to an enemy, or you possibly can decide to slip round their again and assault from behind. Typically, again assaults will stun an enemy leaving them open to huge injury. You’ll be able to even use D.U.M.A. exterior of battle that will help you traverse the world, climbing to excessive ledges or flying throughout ravines. Thanks, D.U.M.A.
Star Ocean: The Divine Power is sort of a comfy pair of JRPG slippers. For those who’re within the temper for a Japanese position enjoying sport and you’ve got performed the entire good ones then you possibly can relaxation assured that this one is ok. It is okay. It is consolation meals. You already know that feeling if you simply want Netflix would make one other season of Mindhunter and so you find yourself watching Felony Minds? That. Solely in area.