Let’s Talk About It: Star Ocean 5

I’m late to the game. This English Story trailer for Star Ocean 5 has been out since last monday Monday, but I just started this blog today, so there we go. You might be wondering why I’m calling it Star Ocean 5 when the title is actually, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Well… it’s because the official title is long and having a subtitle of Integrity and Faithlessness is useless. I mean, we get it. There’s going to be themes of Integrity and Faithlessness, but the subtitle could at least be subtle about the themes of the game. This could lead to a tangent about the subtitles of other games in the series, like how I don’t understand what the subtitle of Till the End of Time had to do with the actual game, but that would just make this longer than needed. Anyways… here’s the English story trailer for the game.

You hear that? That was decent English dub. Though some will complain about the English dub, because that’s what Japanese audio purists are wont to do, this English dub is leaps and bounds above Star Ocean 4’s English dub. Though that wasn’t hard to do. A random girl off the street could have sounded better than Lymle, ‘kay? Fidel sounds has the voice of a good hero. Some might draw comparisons to Edge Maverick, but I don’t really see it. He sounds more mature. Also for his background, I enjoy that he isn’t just a random guy who chances upon swords then becomes OP.

Though there are JRPG tropes being set in play, like Miki being the best friend who follows our main protagonist through a dangerous adventure, the emphasis on youth saving the world has been taken out of play. The party of characters in this game is much older than expected ( Fidel being 23, Miki being 18, Fiore being 25, Viktor being 32, Emmerson being 41, and Anne being 28). Hopefully this will lead to more mature themes in the game or probably an even more looming darkness for the characters to experience. Also it makes a game about space travel, magic, mystic sword fighting, and aliens, a bit more grounded. It’s not really needed, but I’m kind of tired of seeing 14-19 year olds saving the world somehow.

See…while I care about the story of Star Ocean games, I care even more about the gameplay, because if you give me bad game play, I won’t care for finishing. Having played Star Oceans 2-4 (didn’t have a console when 1 came out, and can’t find First Departure for the life of me), I’d say that the game play looks fun. If I were to rank the previous entries by gameplay from most fun to most frustrating it would go: 4,2,3 (Of course three was the most frustrating).

But this gameplay, while looking like a gussied up version of 3, more fluid, kind of faster, of course better graphics, this game looks, to me, more like another Square Enix x tri ace title. The gameplay reminds me of Infinite Undiscovery, which I loved. So the gameplay is fine with me. Some might wonder how a seven party member battle will function or if it will be more chaos than function, but I think it’ll be like when your guest parties joined up in certain dungeons for IU. I think it’ll be interesting and make people expand their strategies, how do you cover your mages, will you have Viktor operate differently than Fidel, how many range switches will Emmerson (does he remind you of Bacchus?) go through in battle? Unlike IU though, I noticed that battling is still in an invisible arena, the switch from adventure to battle is seamless, but, as with Tales of Zesteria, you’re still restrained in battle area. I’m fine with that, especially since I know that escaping will be a not that difficult function. Character switching seems simple. I’m excited for this game, and since I might have been one of the only people who wanted a sequel to IU, I welcome this gameplay (just no flute playing, please).

My last talking piece will be about Fidel. As we see from the Fidel Spotlight trailer, he’s more than a random guy. He’s a swordsman who’s father is a master of the Camuze style of swordsmanship. From his video it seems as though it’s a mix of what Edge can do and what Fayt can do, though I’ll get to the Fayt part later. Ever since I saw Fidel back in 2015, I was set on him. He’s 23, the oldest of Star Ocean main protagonists, and older than most JRPG main protagonists. He’s replacing his father and training people in the Camuze style. He’s willing to go on a journey to fix problems tasked by what I suppose to be the government, and he’s respected by his town. I mean he’s pretty dope.

In the Spotlight trailer we also see something quite interesting. Fidel is seen using moves like Air Raid, Dimension Door (like a pseudo version), and Ethereal Blast. Though we’ve seen these moves, Ethereal Blast was thought of as a Fayt Leingod exclusive technique, so we have to question why Fidel knows this move. With the game being set 200 years before Star Ocean 3, maybe we’ll get insight on more of what Star Ocean 3 had intended to do, and maybe we’ll be able to make more sense of that ending that left quite a few people confused. My guesses right now for Fidel are that either he’s an ancestor of Fayt or Fayt is a genetically modified Fidel clone.

With all that being said, I look forward to this game. And I hope Miki doesn’t repeatedly call Fidel, Fidley (or is it Finley?).

 

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