Star Ocean: Last Hope International
If you’re a fan of Japanese RPGs, you’re probably asking yourself, “Didn’t Star Ocean: The Last Hope already come out?” Yes, it did – back in 2009 on the Xbox 360. But wait! This is the international version – where the term “international” means “The exact same game with a few more language options.” The only substantial difference between the two iterations is the platform; now PlayStation 3 owners can dive into this disappointingly average adventure.
Starring a doofus named Edge Maverick, The Last Hope is a game with high ambitions and middling execution. The real-time battle system is fast-paced and cool – my favorite aspect being the ability to accrue various bonuses in combat that impact your end-battle rewards. Unfortunately, repetitive encounters and the story’s grueling pace put the fun parts too far apart, sapping away most of the entertainment. Plus, the awkward dialogue makes it practically impossible to care about any of the characters, so key story moments don’t pack much of a punch.
Unless listening to Japanese voiceovers or reading German subtitles infinitely enhances your RPG experience, there isn’t much of a draw here. The Last Hope wasn’t a terrible game when it first released, and it still isn’t. But even PS3 gamers who would be playing it for the first time should be wary about a purchase – especially with the release of Final Fantasy XIII nearly upon us.