Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. All together, Star Ocean: The First Departure is a great remake of a title that we've never had released here, and it's a welcome addition to anyone's PSP RPG library.
  2. 90
    All in all, Star Ovean: First Departure has aged very well, and remains a unique and innovative RPG full of life and personality. [Nov 2008, p.104]
  3. If you own a PSP and you're a fan of J-RPG, you'll pick up Star Ocean: First Departure, with little doubt. The story is good. Refreshingly, the plot and voice acting are better than the same elements in quite a few much-hyped, non-RPG titles of the powerful HD console generation.
  4. In the end, Star Ocean: First Departure is a wonderful translation of a game Americans were robbed of so long ago. With superb voice acting, phenomenal replayability, and a great translation with new hybrid 2D/3D graphics, Square Enix’s remake team did a great job.
  5. 83
    So, if it feels a bit dated, why the hell have I been staying up till 4 a.m. playing this game, then? Easy -- the ridiculously engrossing crafting minutiae sucks me in every time, whether it's cooking up a sumptuous feast, penning tomes of arcane knowledge, or composing orchestral opuses.
  6. 82
    Star Ocean: First Departure is not for everyone. Newcomers to the RPG genre should find their fix elsewhere first, though veterans will find themselves right at home with this tri-Ace title.
  7. Combat is a highlight, as usual, as is the mashing up of sci-fi and fantasy motifs. [Feb 2009, p.84]
  8. The combat is its biggest weakness, due to some minor issues with targeting, but, in the long run, First Departure delivers a great experience no matter what problems this causes.
  9. Star Ocean: First Departure for the PSP is a classic role-playing game favorite and seeing it with a new splash of fresh paint makes this a great version to own even if you managed to play the game so long ago. For the majority of RPG fans that didn’t, however, playing this old-school classic is highly recommended.
  10. Star Ocean has always been a fantastic Science Fiction based action Role Playing Game series and this remake of the original game shows how amazing the series started out. For RPG fans this is a must buy, especially if you have never played a Star Ocean game or you are interested in the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Star Ocean prequel, Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
  11. Finally we see the critically acclaimed Square Enix's saga Star Ocean on PSP. Tri-ace succesfully recovers one of the best RPG's ever in an interstellar adventure where our main task is finding a cure to avoid Earth's destruction. The creators of Valkyrie Profile show us how a remake is meant to be done.
  12. 80
    Star Ocean: First Departure doesn’t get everything right, but it gets enough right to make it an addictive adventure, and one of the better RPGs on the PSP this fall.
  13. 80
    Despite a couple of minor hitches, Star Ocean: First Departure is one of the best remakes Square Enix has brought to portable consoles.
  14. While it has been surpassed by some newer RPG's, you'll still relish the opportunity to approach the series from the start. [Jan 2009, p.85]
  15. Going into Star Ocean: First Departure with the expectation of finding an adventure that's in line with current generation RPG fare is going to result in disappointment, but the strong genre mechanics are all here, well-oiled, and mostly in good working order.
  16. 75
    While First Departure may not be for every fan of JRPG's it's really a must have for Tri-Ace fans that want to complete their Star Ocean collection.
  17. 75
    Star Ocean: The First Departure is a great take on a first Star Ocean entry to the series.
  18. 74
    If you can look at First Departure and understand that it's based on a very old title, you'll likely be able to overlook the problems and get a fair amount of satisfaction from the simple but mildly rewarding gameplay and old-school themes. Otherwise, a bland, awkwardly told narrative and weak characters prevent Star Ocean from being anything more than an amusing tribute to an old hit.
  19. The game pales in comparison with most other games if you treat it as a new game, but as a standalone first entry, it’s honestly aged a whole lot better than the first entries to games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Suikoden, and other RPG’s.
  20. A decent remake, but the fights are too easy and there is too much of them. [Feb 2009]
  21. As long as you don’t mind the shallow real-time battles, Star Ocean: First Departure holds up amazingly well.
  22. Star Ocean is a good game. But nothing more than that. Because of the outdated graphics it will probably never enter the top of the JRPG genre. Nevertheless, real JRPG fans will be drawn by the strong storyline and the unique gameplay elements and will get enough in return for their interest in the game.
  23. Star Ocean: First Departure is a solid game that has made me want to check out the other installments in the series, but the battle system kept me from really falling in love with it.
  24. Great synthesis of styles. [Feb 2009, p.78]
  25. The gameplay and plot show their age, blending into the sea of modern role-playing conventions.
  26. Even so, First Departure has transitioned so smoothly to the PSP that it's definitely worth playing if you're curious about Star Ocean's origins or if you're itching for a charming and portable classic RPG. [Nov 2008, p.80]
  27. Star Ocean: First Departure may be full of flaws, but being an RPG from 1996, that shouldn’t be entirely unexpected.
  28. Turn-based battles are simplistic, repetitive and random, while the one-dimensional story failed to hold our interests. Nevertheless, the game's upgraded 2-D sprites, luscious pre-rendered backdrops and 3-D over world boost the presentation, and the music is, thankfully, timeless.
  29. Like an internet date reaching for your hand over a candlelit dinner this feels much older than it looks. [Christmas 2008, p.119]
  30. Star Ocean: First Departure's updated presentation fails to disguise its shallow gameplay or limited appeal.
  31. With a weak story, repetitive gameplay and a little too much backtracking, it's easy to become indifferent to Square Enix's newest portable role-playing game.
  32. But when there are so many better, more interesting RPGs on the PSP, why bother with one that simply drains your system's battery life?
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. JaretW.
    Jan 14, 2009
    10
    Very good game, a lot was put into this game that wasn't in the original, and makes the game feel polished. Surprisingly good voice acting, and anime style cut scenes really help the story telling along. In my opinion the best RPG on the PSP right now. Full Review »
  2. LeonN.
    Jan 7, 2009
    10
    I've been a big fan of Star Ocean since I played SO2 on PSX, and I've been waiting for this remake for years...and it didn't dissapoint me at all! This game is for me the best RPG on PSP released to date...I finished it in 3 days, cuz I couldn't stop playing it everywhere. The story is great and fun, the characters are charismatic and completely different from each other, the battles are quick, easy and entertaining, you can change some parts of the story according to your actions and choices, and the classic graphics are not bad at all! Definetely the best! Full Review »
  3. PeterK
    Nov 4, 2008
    10
    I wasn't expecting much out of this game when I put my reserve on it at GameStop. A two weeks after picking it up, I'm starting to play it and I am surprised at how much I like it. The gameplay is that of an old classic PS1 RPG, but it adds some nice features like voices for the characters, so you don't have to read everything. The story is very interesting although it is very linear. I can't wait until the next Star Ocean title for the PSP coming out in January, and the Star Ocean that's coming out for Xbox 360 in March! Full Review »