Star Ocean: The Last Hope - Same Old Story.

I recently completed Lost Odyssey on the 360, which was a great RPG and a great game altogether -- i'll write a review soon. However, during the obligatory post-game achievement dusting, I decided to start up a new game as well. I role-playing taste in my mouth and was looking for more, so I popped in Star Ocean: The Last Hope, expecting at the very least, a decent game. Well, decent is all it was. Right from the opening cutscene, it was Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time all over again. Space exploration gone wrong, crash landing on a strange planet and eventually the fate of the entire world is at stake. Where have I seen this before? I understand that the series main focus is centered around outer space and discovering new planets in the universe, hence the title "Star Ocean", but at this point the story is just completely uninspired and a direct rehash of the previous game. It's time for something new.

The same can be said for the battle system. Again, I understand that this is the traditional battle system the series uses, but I just don't fidn it that enjoyable. They have thrown in a few tweaks this time like the "Blindside" mechanic and the "BEAT" system, but it's not enough to keep me engaged, It was fun for about 5 minutes, but past that, I found myself dreading my next enemy encounter. Just to be clear, I heavily prefer turn-based battle systems over real-time in RPG's. However, if real-time is done right, I enjoy it. The Kingdom Hearts series would be the prime example of this, as I love those games. All I'm saying is that I think it would do the Star Ocean franchise good if they tried something completely new with it. I mean, Final Fantasy XII completley re-invented the wheel in terms of what combat was like in a Final Fantasy game. Granted, I wasn't a huge fan of that game either, but atleast they tried something different...not that they needed to, but you get the message.

There really isn't a true point to all this, all I really wanted to say was that I was expecting a new, better game, and I didn't get one. I've never really been a huge fan of Star Ocean as it is though, so I suppose i shouldn't be surprised. Oh well, atleast Final Fantasy XIII is coming soon. Let's hope it's as good as it looks.