A Timeless Classic

Back in my youthful days as a gamer I had become somewhat of a JRPG fan. This became obvious after playing Final Fantasy VII; Grandia and Breath of Fire. I was always on the lookout for new RPG’s and I could tell most of the time from looking at the back of the cases which ones were. The PlayStation One era had come and gone and we was onto PlayStation 2 where new breathtaking JRPG’s unlike any before were here and one that stood out for me was soon in my grasp. I had known about the Star Ocean franchise long ago on the PlayStation and was always jealous of how good the game looked however it was a game that was super rare along with many other great games that I never got to experience. Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time was unlike any other RPG I had played before; the space setting was perfect and it’s real-time battle system was new to me. It is something very special indeed. The game has now traveled the fabric of time onto the PlayStation 4 with visuals built for more modern hardware but how does it hold up?

Flawlessly is the best way I can describe. Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time is a game that showed me a new found love and many games followed a similar style such as the “Tales of” series. You play as Fayt Leingod who is on holiday with his family which include his childhood friend Sophia. Unknown to them they are ambushed by the Vendeeni an alien civilization and escape the starship they are on and become separated in the process. The game is heavily voice acted and there is plenty of dialogue and the pacing of the game is good; without spoiling anything I remember all too well the atmosphere in the first hour of the game feels heavy and quite sad however I was too young and naive to realise how bad some of the voice acting is; but does it deter my feelings on the first hour of the game to the end? Absolutely not! The charm I still feel today is as I did when I first played the game.

The battle system is something new to what I have experienced before. It is real-time with up to 3 characters participating in battle. Characters are lined up in battle formations which can be changed through the menu. Characters can be used in various roles such as support; attack and pure magic casting (better known to Star Ocean veterans as Symbology) Characters can be set up with Skills and Symbology. Symbology moves can be manually disabled through the menu to stop characters using these if you wish. This allows a bit more freedom through the AI.

You are not limited to playing as one character in battle and you can switch freely while the other characters use given tactics. The games AI while it isn’t the strongest it works well and doesn’t hinder gameplay or battles in any way. Dishing out combos is as fun as it always has been. The game can take around 50 to 70 hours to complete along with a wealth of optional dungeons and side-quests and super-bosses. Veterans will also find replay-ability in the many difficulty levels that unlock after completing the game with 4D being the hardest; being exclusive to this game it is comparable to Chaos Mode in Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

As the game is a high definition port of the original there isn’t much new added except the addition of PlayStation 4 features such as Trophies and Share Play plus the option of taking Screenshots. The games in-game battle Trophies are still a thing and still require you to load and save these to a memory card although as you are playing on a PlayStation 4 this won’t be the case. Saving these does take a little while longer as and when you get them after each battle but it is worth it if you want some character specific unlockables plus the Trophies for getting the actual PlayStation Trophies especially if you want that all important Platinum.

Graphically Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time holds up well. The port to PlayStation 4 looks great. There is a massive variety of locations to be explored and the attention to detail in each environments is outstanding. The switch from galactic space stations to exploring lush forests and small underdeveloped towns works so well especially as it ties in with the games story. If you are a huge fan of the Star Ocean franchise and never got to experience Till The End Of Time then now is the perfect opportunity to make the right decision and buy this game.

A PlayStation 4 Review code was provided by Square Enix