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Star Ocean: The Last Hope is the fourth game in the Star Ocean series, released in 2009. It's also the first Star Ocean game I ever played. I bought this game from Game Stop after reading about it on the internet. I popped it into my Xbox 360 and tried to play it with an open mind. I had read that the game got some criticism due to its voice acting, art style, characters, and plot. In my opinion, The Last Hope, while not amazing, is a pretty decent JRPG that should be checked out by other people.
I really liked the combat, the story and the characters. The combat in this game is really fun. I really liked using different moves and spells to defeat minor enemies and bosses. One feature I liked was being able to dodge an enemy's attack and get behind them to do more damage. This made the combat very fun for me. The combat isn't button mashing, though. You really have to strategize in order to defeat enemies. You also have to have the right equipment in order to do lots of damage against foes. Overall, I really liked the combat.
The story was another thing I thought was pretty good. While it wasn't groundbreaking or original, I still found myself quite interested in where the story was going to go next. I really liked going to different planets and solving problems that were on the planets. When the focus shifted to an entity that wanted to destroy the universe, I thought it was pretty interesting and I find that the game had some good twists and turns. While the story isn't original, I still liked it well enough.
Finally, the characters are pretty decent. Admittedly, they do seem stereotypical. You have the idealistic young hero, his Tsundere childhood friend/love interest, a girl who is older than she looks, a pretty boy alien, a robotic man, and even a cat girl. However, despite this, I liked the characters and their interactions with one another. I even liked the twist involving one of the main characters. I really thought it was quite good as well as tragic. Overall, while the cast may not be the most original, they kept my attention and I did generally like them.
If this game has some problems, it can be found in the voice acting and some of the bosses. The voice acting, while not nearly as bad as people say it is, isn't all that amazing. I can't help but feel that some of the actors were matched to the wrong characters. I also feel that some of the acting can be really wooden, especially with the minor characters. Another problem I have with the game is some of the bosses can be really hard. I ended up losing quite a bit to some bosses to the point that I had to take a break from the game for a while. If you going into this game, be prepared to lose a lot.
Despite its flaws, I really thought Star Ocean: The Last Hope wasn't that bad of a game. I thought it was decent. It might not be perfect but I still enjoyed my time with it. Give it a chance if you're curious.
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