“An Bold Journey of Swords and Stars”
- System: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, XSX
- Writer: Sq. Enix
- Developer: tri-Ace
- Launch Date: October 27, 2022
Star Ocean: The Divine Power is the sixth and newest entry into developer tri-Ace’s total Star Ocean universe, and an earnest try and atone for the poorly-received 2016 outing, Integrity and Faithlessness. The Divine Power is a vastly formidable title, and succeeds extra typically than it stumbles, with fast-paced gameplay and a very good story.
Right here at Honey’s Anime, we’re newcomers to the world of Star Ocean, with The Divine Power being our first foray into the collection—so we’re reviewing the title based mostly on the way it compares to different JRPGs available on the market. Whether or not you’re recent to the franchise, or a Star Ocean veteran, we expect The Divine Power is a good JRPG, and undoubtedly not one to sleep on!
Be a part of us immediately on Honey’s Anime as we assessment Star Ocean: The Divine Power!
The Divine Power’s story performs out in a different way relying on which predominant character you select—both Raymond “Ray” Lawrence, a spaceship captain marooned on an underdeveloped planet; or Laeticia Aucerius, a princess of an embattled kingdom on that very same planet.
For our playthrough we selected Laeticia, and though a lot of the story sees her and Ray working collectively, there are important patches of gameplay the place their tales diverge. This provides fairly the inducement for replay worth because the story is so participating that we’d like to know what our companions have been as much as off-screen.
The story actually does sing in The Divine Power—a phenomenal mixture of hi-tech and lo-tech coming collectively in a surprisingly harmonious method. Laeticia and her companions should come to grips with worlds past the celebrities, regardless of their Renaissance-era society having simply barely progressed into naval fight. Her kingdom hovers on the sting of battle with the neighboring empire, and the politics of her personal kingdom press down on her and her father, the king. The surprisingly deep politics are worthy of any fantasy novel, and that’s earlier than we throw in Raymond and his crew.
For his half, Ray finds himself stranded on this underdeveloped planet after his ship was attacked and destroyed in orbit. His crew is scattered throughout this underdeveloped planet, and he joins forces with Laeticia to assist discover his lacking crewmates. Alongside the way in which, it turns into apparent that their objectives are aligned since Ray isn’t the one otherworlder disturbing the pure course of occasions on this planet.
Over the course of our playthrough, we have been persistently impressed by the superb characterization, matched by a stellar English voice-acting solid. For as soon as, it is a JRPG the place the characters make logical selections based mostly on their personalities and the stakes at hand; and sure mid-game plot twists genuinely had us fairly moved.
Star Ocean’s “Personal Actions” return, permitting you to have in-depth discussions together with your favourite characters, revealing extra of their personalities, hopes, and desires—however that’s not your solely likelihood to find out about your allies. Like many trendy JRPGs, The Divine Power’s solid are continually chattering away as you discover the world, supplying you with steady perception into how they’re feeling in regards to the story’s occasions and even one another.
The Divine Power’s gameplay is quick and visceral, developing someplace between Tales of Come up and Ultimate Fantasy XV. With the help of a robotic probe named “D.U.M.A.,” your character is ready to take flight each out and in of battle, including much more freedom to your fight.
Battles in The Divine Power play out in real-time, as per normal for the franchise, and are seamless encounters on the world map. Harm is dished out with combo assaults mapped to the face buttons on the controller, and you may unlock new assaults by means of the sport’s ability tree (extra on that later). Fight is insanely quick, however by no means feels too hectic—it’s completely paced, though it may take some time to really feel such as you’re actually understanding the ebb and circulate of battle.
Each assault consumes AP (motion factors), and further AP is gained by getting the higher hand on the enemy. Among the finest methods to outwit enemies is thru the sport’s flight and dashing mechanics.
By holding the shoulder button, your character will hover within the air with a protecting defend; releasing the button will see you zoom towards an enemy at excessive pace. With a twitch of your left stick, you may change course on the final second to execute a “Blindside” transfer that may stun the enemy, permitting you to deal additional harm and improve your AP cap.
This rhythm—backing away, permitting AP to recharge, then dashing in for a blindside—makes up a lot of the sport’s fight. The AI-controlled characters are moderately good, and may be directed to focus in your enemy, or do their very own factor. You may as well pause fight totally to pick out potions and consumables, or simply to take inventory of the battle. Switching playable characters is simple, though we spent most of our time with Laeticia; that mentioned, it’s vital that you simply set your AI companion’s abilities appropriately since they’ll solely use objects and talents you’ve assigned to them.
Exterior of fight, you’ll be exploring an unlimited open world that takes you from attractive, lush forests, to towering snow-capped peaks, all the way in which up into the celebrities and onto area stations. These giant areas are straightforward to traverse because of the brief flight mechanic you need to use, much like Bioware’s Anthem, permitting you to zip previous enemies, and even attain treasure chests hidden in numerous components of the map.
In cities and cities, you’ll be flying throughout rooftops to gather improve factors or discover collectables. The flight mechanic, easy although it sounds, is actually our favourite a part of The Divine Power’s gameplay, and makes exploration an actual pleasure. We wished the sport allowed you to climb, although, since we regularly bought ourselves near the sting of a constructing, solely to fall helplessly—however not less than there’s no fall harm.
A good quantity of your time can be spent within the menu system, like every JRPG. Characters in The Divine Power don’t instantly get new stats once they stage up—as an alternative, they’ll obtain Talent Factors (SP) that may be spent in quite a lot of methods.
Every character has a branching ability tree that permits you to improve their stats, or unlock new passive or fight talents. You may as well use SP to strengthen these unlocked talents, permitting you to deal extra harm or reinforce passive buffs. Selecting whether or not to go for that shiny new ability or as an alternative strengthen an current one is a fragile stability that you simply’ll want to determine for your self over the course of the sport, relying by yourself play model.
The Divine Power additionally provides a crafting system, which takes some dedication to unlock. The system is totally non-compulsory, locked behind a collection of aspect quests, however sinking time—and extra SP—into crafting permits you to produce upgraded variations of things you may often purchase in-store. You may as well compound medication, which—not less than within the early sport—is much cheaper than buying them from retailers. By spending time within the system, you may even begin producing uncommon objects and weapons inconceivable to seek out in-store.
Including to your non-combat playtime is Es’owa, a board sport that sees you difficult random NPCs to a modified model of Othello, full with particular talents and well being bars. It’s a enjoyable distraction, and the items you unlock may even be used as gear to your characters. We discovered Es’owa to be a pleasant little mini-game, and much more participating than the assorted card video games in one thing like Trails of Chilly Metal.
It’s not all excellent, nonetheless. As we talked about earlier, The Divine Power is an formidable title, however not each ambition pans out. Aspect quests are notably lackluster, and The Divine Power lacks any aspect quest monitoring, which makes the fetch-and-kill quests extra irritating than they should be. Every retailer within the sport has quests you may full by offering them supplies, which in flip will unlock new objects or provide you with cash; however merely wandering out into the world and beating up a number of frogs will internet you tons of money anyway.
We additionally encountered loads of graphical woes with our PS4 copy of The Divine Power.
Clearly, it is a next-gen title, and from what we’ve seen, the PS5 model is much superior in graphical constancy. On our PS4 Professional, we encountered blurry textures, frame-rate drops in cities, and vastly aliased shadows. The character fashions at all times look stunning, however giant components of the open world are rendered fairly poorly even on a PS4 Professional. If in case you have the choice to get this on a next-gen console, we encourage you to take action. The sport provides two modes—one to enhance graphics, the opposite to enhance body charge—however we saved the sport on the Body Charge mode, just because the Graphics mode barely improved high quality and tanked the body charge.
None of those points have been actually game-breaking, however they did detract from our total expertise.
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