For every hardcore otaku that refuses to watch the likes of Ghost In The Shell in English, Square Enix is re-releasing an Xbox 360 hit that appeals to their love of Eastern culture, this time on PS3.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope: International is the upcoming PS3 edition of last year’s Xbox 360 take on the long-running and highly popular sci-fi RPG series.
“There’s been a visible shortage of quality RPG content so far on PS3 but with the launch of Star Ocean, PS3 gamers finally have an adventure that they can sink their teeth into,” says UK sales manager Doug Bone.
“Since confirming that this is coming to Europe, it’s been great to note how many enquiries we’ve received both here in the office and also online via the forums, with gamers clearly excited by the imminent release.”
Set before the previous games in the franchise, The Last Hope serves as a prequel that depicts the events that created the Star Ocean universe.
The year is 2087, and Earth has been left decimated by the effects of World War III. Recognising that their planet’s environment is deteriorating, humanity launches into space and searches for a new home among the stars.
SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE
The key addition to the PS3 version is the option to swap between English and Japanese voiceovers on the fly, allowing gamers to tweak the game to suit their personal tastes. Likewise, they can customise the character icons that appear at the bottom, choosing from the 3D models seen in the Xbox 360 version and 2D anime-style portraits.
The Last Hope: International also offers more European gamers the chance to appreciate the long and winding storyline with localised text subtitles in French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Players take on the role of Edge Maverick, a member of the Space Reconnaissance Force, as he aids the search for a new, hospitable planet on which humanity can rebuild. He soon finds himself caught up in a battle to save the galaxy from a mysterious alien force.
Like previous Star Ocean games, The Last Hope is set across a variety of beautiful new worlds, and for the first time allows gamers to explore the darkness of space in the series’ familiar Calnus starship.
The majority of the action takes place on the planet surfaces, and throws players in innumerable battles with the series’ trademark real-time combat system.
This time around there are several new features to give them an advantage in combat, while special attacks are rendered with impressive effects, thanks to the graphical capacities of Blu-ray.
Battles are also enhanced by the new Blindside system, which enables players to confuse and ambush enemies by quickly changing position and moving out of their enemy’s line-of-sight. Up to four characters can battle together and players can switch between these at any point to make use of their unique skills.
Finally, the franchise’s hallmark item creation and Private Actions mechanics also make a welcome return, with plenty of upgrades and additions to keep veterans of the series happy while still being intuitive enough for newcomers to enjoy.
Bone adds: “There’s some incredible titles due at the start of 2010, but in February, while so many of the other action games all compete for the same market, Star Ocean stands out with a genre all to itself.”