By Teclo 1 Comments
I've just started playing Star Ocean 4 and, holy shit, it's not actually bad. Or rather, it is bad in all the ways I read but it doesn't seem to make it unenjoyable. The dialogue is truly horrendous and I'd be embarrassed to have certain people around during the cutscenes. The graphical style makes everything look like it's made of shiny plastic, even the people. The voice acting is disgustingly bad in places but, to be honest, is par for the course overall. I've heard much worse voice acting in games like Dragon Age: Origins, and some people think that game has good voice acting.
It's just that the gameplay is so good. The battle system is fantastic and addictive. Unlike the Tales games, where many of characters aside from the hero are fiddly and unrewarding to use, everyone in SO4 is a pleasure to use and still feel varied. The 3D movement in the Tales series feels tacked on and awkwardly implemented but in SO4 (like its predecessor) it feels natural and fluid. It's a really odd game in that certain elements of the game belong in a 1 or 2/10 game but then other elements belong in something that would get at least 8 or 9/10. After playing Mass Effect with its slowish, realistic character movement it feels almost impossible to move the hero of SO4 around indoors without crashing into walls and jamming the camera up into the corner. Whereas Shepard moves with a realistic gait, Edge spazzes and flails all over the place, like Bambi learning to walk. Also, the interior of the spaceship, the Calnus, looks like it's made out brightly coloured Lego blocks compared to the totally believable interior of the Normandy in Mass Effect.
I'd actually recommend it for it's battle system, character customisation and collector's paradise of endless things to do and unlock, but it's all down to if you can just get over the poorly written dialogue, often shitty voice acting (the truly shitty stuff seems to be at the very start), odd looking characters and kind of plasticy graphics. To be fair, the characters look less like mannequins than they did in SO3 (just look at Sophia's head in the opening cinematics - FUCK!) and the generally adored Lost Odyssey also has environments that seem to be entirely constructed from either plastic or coloured glass.
So yeah, hugely flawed but still very good and enjoyable if you can get over the flaws or at least kind of ironically enjoy them.