User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20

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  1. Jul 19, 2012
    7
    After playing the third and the fourth game, I decided to try the first two, since I've heard a lot of good from them, even though the third and the fourth game weren't really "that awesome", at least for me and, actually, made me hate this series due their HORRIBLE stories. So I started this one, knowing that nothing can make me feel more disappoint anymore, and I actually got interested in the game....for one hour; then the game really lost me, using one silly plot device and, basically, losing its chance to be original: if I play a game called star ocean, why there are so few of them"?! But ranting aside, the game at least has a solid story and at least can hook you in, so it's ok on that. One nice thing I liked was the chance to recruit more characters than the usuals, creating different playthroughs depending on which members you recruit and you don't...however almost all the characters are shallow and very boring; they hardly have any character development, even the main protagonists, and even though I don't hate these characters (unlike the third and the fourth game), I wish they were a lot more deep than they actually are. And about the fighting system, which is action based, I think it's pretty ok: you can learn various "skills" that will give you (usually) passive bonuses (faster movement, more attack, more spell power, etc), while others are essentially for creation, or for giving different specialties (customization, appraisal, training, etc). However the fighting itself is very bland: you can use up to two skills with L and R buttons, and if you can use magic you can also select it in the menu, but unless you're using a caster you won't even use a single skill: the 3-hit combo is far more effective and gives your enemy almost no recovery time, while your skills can be cancelled very easily and, sometimes, do less damage than the basic combo. Add also the fact that you need to be always on the right or on the left of your enemies (meaning you can't attack from up or down sides), and the fact that if you have 3-4 melee fighters you can't almost attack because they won't let you reach the enemy, and the fact that, at least for me, most of my battles were either ambushes or surrounded attacks, which will stun your group at the very start of the battle and, if you're unlucky, can kill you easily enough, the battle system in this game is nothing special but yet very poor; I can understand that this is a remake of the SNES version so I'll be honest saying that, for a remake, is very good, but as it is this game is just too poor in combat and story telling and, in my opinion, this game hasn't aged very well. Fans will surely overlook the flaws, so will many RPG fans and those who like old-school RPGs, but for those who are curious about this game, especially those who have played the most recent ones like the third and the fourth, just don't expect anything special: it's a good game, but nothing more. And nothing less. Expand
  2. Mar 4, 2013
    7
    Its a good game with the typical Star Ocean action battle system, which is as good as always.
  3. Nov 19, 2011
    9
    Fans of Squareenix is given another gift from the company as in the form of the Star Ocean series, the cult classic from the SNES era comes back fully remade with new remixes and a few new additions that were not seen in the original game. The audio improved, gameplay tuned and the graphics incredible for a 2D game, fans will surely be remembering this classic for years!
  4. Jul 16, 2012
    8
    A well done remake of the first Star Ocean game. The battle system is great and it makes the game play fun. The story is pretty good and this game even has a multitude of optional characters making it fun to play several times. The only down side of the many optional characters is that it's hard to become emotionally attached to some of the characters. Overall Star Ocean: First Departure is a very enjoyable game. Expand
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. 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]
  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. 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.