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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

Fun Gameplay That Keeps Getting Better
by Kimberley Wallace on May 24, 2016 at 03:01 AM
Platform PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Publisher Square Enix
Developer Tri-Ace
Rating Teen

The Star Ocean franchise has been around for 20 years, but we haven’t seen a new entry since 2009’s The Last Hope. The absence almost makes the series feel like a relic from the past at this point. Thankfully, Square Enix and tri-Ace are giving the series a much needed upgrade. From crafting to combat, Star Ocean always stood out for its fun and complex systems. After spending a few hours with the latest entry that’s still the case.

The story begins in typical RPG fashion: the main character, Fidel, and his childhood friend, Miki, must deal with enemy soldiers invading their village after an unexpected war breaks out. Fidel vows to do everything in his power to protect his homeland. Soon enough, Fidel realizes the war is bigger than he thought, affecting not just his hometown, but all of Resulia. Things only get more complicated when he runs into an amnesiac child who has magical powers he’s never seen before. Determined to find answers and keep the world he knows and loves safe, Fidel and Miki venture to find answers and help the mysterious child.

While the narrative has plenty of threads typical of the genre, it should be interesting to see how it all pans out. Star Ocean has had some crazy plot twists over the years, so I’m hoping the story and characters get more interesting along the way. 

The best features of Integrity and Faithfulness so far are the battle system and progression system. The action battles are fun, allowing you to dole out weak and strong attacks along with specials. You can cancel attacks with its rock-paper-scissors system. For instance, weak attacks can interrupt strong attacks, strong attacks can break an enemy’s guard, and guarding can stop weak attacks and initiate counterattacks. Battles flow well, and you can swap between characters at any time to build up your combos. A reserve rush fills a gauge to different levels and allows you activate a charged special attack for deadly damage – an essential for tough boss battles.

Every character has a slew of roles, and they can equip up to four at once. These allow you to build characters to your play style and liking. For instance, I assigned Miki to healing and defensive roles, while Fidel learned skills to aid in melee combat. Assigning roles also gives each character perks, such as raising their attack power, allowing them to take more actions, or letting them guard more often. You can even increase their damage for certain enemies. The role system looks to be one of the most promising innovations; they can be leveled up and you can set different roles that play off each other well. It gave me a behind-the-scenes way to control the tide of battle. 

With Integrity and Faithlessness’s release date right in view, seeing the game in action was reassuring. Hopefully, tri-Ace can find ways to make all these deep systems exciting throughout the whole trek. 

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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessnesscover

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Release Date: