Final Fantasy 13 or Star Ocean the last hope international?
I'm thinking of getting one of these games, but I'm not sure which one. I've heard mixed reviews on both and I know that Final fantasy 13 has a sequel and then there's supposed to be another sequel after that. I've played final fantasy games for a long time so I know what they're all about, but I've heard by a lot of people that it's too "linear". I've only played one star ocean game and that was star ocean until the end of time. For me, the game way okay; I didn't really enjoy it. I'm just looking for a great rpg to play if anyone has any other suggestions other than these two title.
They're both flawed games, so it's difficult to say which one you'd enjoy more.
Here's my take on both, as someone who's played every FF game as they were released (verse someone who's younger and caught up with them at a later date), as well as all the Star Ocean games. For the record, my favorite FF games are 7, 8, 9, 12, 6, and 4. I am middle of the road with 5 and 10-2, and think 10 and 13 (and 13-2) are absolute shit. I'd rather put chili sauce in my eyes than play 1-3. If I had to include the two MMOs, I really enjoyed XI from a story point of view, but hated it from a game mechanics point of view (except loved the job system), and think 14 was just an utter and abject failure in pretty much every possible way. I also think Tactics, and Type-0 are the only two FF-offshoots/side games worthy of being considered great, or even playable.
I'm also a big fan of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, but find the rest of the games in the series to be middle of the road. I love JRPGs, and think it's stupid at the call for them to "evolve". It's like saying shooters need to "evolve", something no paid reviewer says ever.
I say these things to put my opinions on the two games you are asking about into perspective.
Final Fantasy 13
Anorexic female characters (except Fang, who would likely be up there as one of the coolest/best FF females ever, except...oh god...the mullet), though I admit they do mirror the body-image of super-thin Japanese girls who don't seem to have any body fat, so it's possible I'm being a bit harsh throwing the word "anorexic" around. Annoying child character in Hope. No world map, no towns, no real exploration to speak of, no real point in money or shops, and a battle system that's no more difficult than any previous FF games, while drastically increasing the chances of early arthritis. The story was also...just out there. Down at the level of the story for the FF: Spirits Within movie bad. But, aesthetics aside, the graphics were largely top notch. It's also probably the shortest main-line FF game ever made. Scratch that. It is the shortest main-line FF game ever made.
There is one sequel out, though despite having Lightning plastered everywhere in the promotional pictures, you actually play as her sister and a boy who looks like he belongs in Kingdom Hearts. I thought that game was pretty horrible as well, though I enjoyed the (intentional or not), rocker-hippie baddie for the laughs, if nothing else.
There is one more FF 13 game coming out that's a sequel to the sequel, and this time it appears you will actually playing Lightning. Not a whole lot is known, but it appears-so far-to look to be an infinitely better game than the first two. I suppose we'll have to see.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope International
It has actual combat that fits the button mashing you do. In fact, while the Tales series and Star Ocean series have the same root in their combat system, I find the Star Ocean version to be far superior. Assuming you generally enjoy JRPG stories, you should enjoy Star Ocean's. There may be some characters that make you want to dig your brain out through your nose with. Remember when I said something about Hope? There's an even more annoying little kid in Star Ocean, and a girl with wings that is more annoying than both. Plus a guy who probably secretly wants to be a girl. Between the two games, Star Ocean's characters are more goodie-goodie than FF 13's, and that's saying something if you've ever heard Snow give a speech. For me, the goodie-goodieness in Last Hope was borderline nauseating, but the gameplay was far superior to FF XIII.
You said you didn't particularly enjoy Till the End of Time, and if you didn't, then I doubt you're going to enjoy The Last Hope. The games share many similarities, though one stark difference is how nearly pointless crafting had become in The Last Hope, vs Till the End of Time.
By that comment of yours alone, I'd recommend you pick up FF 13, as it's entirely possible you'll enjoy it, while I think the chances are much less that you'll enjoy Last Hope.
For the record, I considered both games to be awful. As far as I'm concerned, the best JRPGs of this generation of consoles (in English) are: Lost Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles, Vesperia, and Last Story (probably rate Xenoblade and Lost Odyssey on the great list, and the others as enjoyable). I did recently play Valkyria Chronicles as so many had been telling me it was this lost gem, but it was just so bad. In a strange reversal, I thought the anime was infinitely superior. I'd include Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on that list on the PSP, but with XSEED never bothering to bring over the sequels, and the game essentially just being part 1 of a bigger story that ends on a cliff-hanger that is only very partially furthered along in an anime ova, I can't recommend anyone actually play it. It'd be like telling someone to read only the first few chapters of my favorite book.
If you're not committed to playing a JRPG, then I recommend Dragon Age: Origins. It's a far better game than FF XIII. I couldn't get into Star Ocean: 'Til the End of Time at all. I wanted to play a game that took place in space, but I found myself spending all my time in some medieval village. Xenosaga is a much better option for a game set in outer space.
If you don't mind playing PS2 games, FF X and FF XII are far superior to XIII. I like the story more in X, but I like the gameplay more in XII. Another good choice if you've never played it is Shadow Hearts: Covenant.
Oh, and I found Snow far more obnoxious a character than Hope in FF XIII. Snow is just about the worst of the fistfighter character types. Even Zell in FF VIII is a better character than Snow.
Did not play Ocean but I have finished FF 13 so I can tell you my opinion on it.
In all honesty I have hard time saying if it is worth your time or not.
For me personally this game is a guilty pleasure. I love it, I really do yet I fully agree with almost every negative review out there.
What sells this game for me is a story. Story is always the most important factor for me, be it a game/movie/anime/book and etc.
And this game has a lot of great things happening. It might not have the best possible execution but idea is there and it has lots of potential and it kept me engaged. I wanted to know what will happen next and couldn't stop playing.
It has its faults but as I said there some really nice things going and if put them in right setting, you can get a blast of a story.
But I might be looking at it as story teller since writing is one of my main hobbies.
First half of the game is confusing since they throw you in this new world and keep shouting 100s of different terms that mean nothing to you at this point. It takes almost half a game to finally understand what is what but once you do, it is a candy.
I'm actually replaying it now and since I already know what is what, I can appreciate the story even more.
I personally like the cast of characters. A lot of people call them dumb but in all honesty I find them very believable since I have met some people that are similar.
Some say that Vanille is annoying by the way she talks. Few weeks ago I met this one girl and believe me, Vanille doesn't even come close to being annoying and their way of talking is very similar.
This game has mysteries/emotions and some nice animated action scenes. It has an idea.
Another selling point are amazing graphics. I usually don't care about those but here it is just wow...
Now about bad things... What makes this game good is also the reason what makes it bad and that's the story. Story and RPG style of gaming do not match up. With the way story goes there is simply no logical way for characters to visit the city and interact with the people so game is missing one of the most important factors of RPG world.
Another problem would be fighting style. It is quiet engaging but at the same time very easy to the point that you start to do things automatically and barely have to think about anything except few exceptional fights.
There are no maps for you to explore. They have strict paths that you have to follow. There seem to be some side paths but all of them end up with dead end so you have to go back. It is corridor kind of maps.
You only follow the story, there are no side quests. Well there are some at CD 3 but they are very repetitive what makes you lose interest.
So yeh as a game it falls flat.
It looks more like a movie with cut out scenes than a game because you get animation movie almost every few minutes.
Shops are pointless too, I barely ever needed one since you get healed automatically after every fight. And usually you have healer in your group so no real need to buy medicines.
Conclusion: If game play is more important for you than a story, you most likely will hate it.
Regarding FF 13-2...
Gaming wise it is a massive improvement. You have maps/cities to explore, people to talk to and varieties of quests to do.
But it has a disaster of story. It would work out much better as a stand alone game with another character cast. They basically changed everything we know about original FF 13. I also don't like what they did to Lighting.
You only have 2 playable characters what in all honesty is boring.
Graphics are also not that great anymore.
For me good game play does not save this game. It is miles below FF 13.
Hope this will help you in some way.
If you are a FF fan I would still recommend to buy it but if there is a better game you can buy now, I would leave FF 13 for later.
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