Star Ocean: The Last Hope is an action roleplaying videogame developed by tri-Ace and published by Square Enix. Originally released back in 2009, the remaster is available now for PlayStation 4 and PC.
While en route to the planet Aeos, your ship encounters a strange object which throws the vessel off course and forces you to land on an unknown planet. This starts off your huge adventure, where you encounter friends and foes alike. Even with this game being eight years old I'm still not going to be spoiling the story in this review incase any of you haven't played it yet. I can say that the cast of characters that you will meet on your journey is a good one, and the writing here is also brilliant, with some interesting moments throughout the game. You are tasked with finding new planets and a new source of hope for humanity.
The remaster has some weird options for a console game, especially when it's not a remake. With options to adjust things from resolution all the way to anti-aliasing, as a console gamer I was surprised to find that these were available. These choices may seem miniscule to PC gamers, but as a console gamer I have never experienced graphical options, so this took me by surprise. You can change the visual style from Modern to Classic. When set to Classic, the title looks like the original from 2009, which looks awesome and I hope this is included in more remasters in the future.
The combat is of the same style that you see in most JRPGs: button mashing mayhem. However, there are some unique mechanics that do change up the gameplay a little. For example, you will perform different moves depending on how far away you are from your foes. This is the only mechanic I found that was hugely different to other games in the genre, but however subtle this mechanic was, it did actually make the combat more interesting. As I was fighting I was trying to move closer and closer to my adversaries, trying to deal out more upfront damage. The biggest problem when in combat is the camera system which is clunky, unresponsive and just overall rubbish. This is especially bad when exploring the world.
The music in Star Ocean: The Last Hope Remastered is also very similar to other JRPGs, which isn't a bad thing as music in these types of games is often very fitting and the same can be said here. The soundtrack is incredible, and the sound design was superb, whether I was in a fight or exploring the galaxy. With some heroic music that fit what I was doing most of the time, it has a very space-like feeling that is perfect for this title. The voice acting was also a positive in this title however no one stood out to me for their performance.
The game looks good, but not great. Even for a remaster, the textures look poor, the characters don't look very detailed and the environments are all the same bland colours. Sure, there are some moments in this title where the environments look incredible but there aren't enough of those moments to make me happy with the art direction this game chose.
There is a lot this game has to offer, from seeing all the monsters the game has, to collecting all the weapons available in this universe. This game has a lot of variety: Once you start playing you won't ever stop. The story, world and cast of characters will all pull you in and will not let you go until you have completed everything. I have spent easily 50+ hours on this game and I still haven't seen everything there is to see, but I was so immersed in the experience that I will go back to see and do everything and you will want to too.
Star Ocean - The Last Hope 4K & Full HD Remaster (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope looks and performs great on PlayStation 4. With an incredible story, great graphical options, stunning visuals, this is a game for new and old fans alike.