Star Ocean: First Departure Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: Space Date 346: The crew of a Terran Federation ship arrives on the planet Roak. With the help of a stalwart band of local heroes, the crew must work together to unravel a mystery and halt a galactic war.
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 75
    Star Ocean: The First Departure is a great take on a first Star Ocean entry to the series.
  5. As long as you don’t mind the shallow real-time battles, Star Ocean: First Departure holds up amazingly well.
  6. The gameplay and plot show their age, blending into the sea of modern role-playing conventions.
  7. 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?

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. PeterK
    Nov 4, 2008
    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! Expand
  2. LeonN.
    Jan 7, 2009
    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! Expand
  3. JaretW.
    Jan 14, 2009
    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. Collapse
  4. RobbieJ.
    Oct 26, 2008
    Absolutely spectacular. I had never played the original game, so this was entirely new to me and I loved every bit of it. The voice work was above standard, the story was great, and the music was memorable. I wholeheartedly recommend this to PSP owners looking for a good RPG. The Production IG anime cutscenes really add a nice touch to the whole experience too. Expand
  5. Jul 16, 2012
    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
  6. J2DK
    Apr 3, 2009
    The battle system and relatively large cast of characters make this game great or replays. I would rate this game higher if the bonus dungeon were longer and if it had more difficulty levels like other Star Ocean games. The GameDaily reviewer that gives this game a 60 because "turn-based battles are simplistic, repetitive, and random" didn't even bother playing the game. If he played just one battle, he would know that this is an action RPG with a fully active battle system and nowhere near a turn-based RPG. Expand
  7. Jul 19, 2012
    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

See all 10 User Reviews