STAR OCEAN: INTEGRITY AND FAITHLESSNESS
By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on July 14, 2016
“Spacedate 537... At this point in history, between the second and third games in the series, the Pangalactic Federation is nearing the fulfilment of its mission to bring peace and order to the galaxy. However, the embers of conflict begin to stir once again six thousand light years from Earth, on the planet of Faykreed, as a new story begins in the cosmic sea.”
After reading this excerpt on the Star Ocean website, I started to get real excited. I did actually play the other games from the Star Ocean series and have always thought they were really, really good. Being a Final Fantasy fan, I can see a lot of parallels between this series and the Final Fantasy series. But, seeing as how Tri-Ace usually delivers really cool games and Square Enix is involved in both series, it’s no wonder that we should see some overlap. Because of Square Enix’s involvement and the fact that I knew the previous games in the series, I expected a lot from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, and man: I was not to be disappointed!
As a whole, the game is quite easy to play, but does provide enough of a challenge to stay entertaining. There is still the element of knowing what to do, where to go and where not to stand if your enemy is about to use one of his abilities. As I’m used to from earlier games in the series, I get control of one of seven partymembers, but can swap characters, so I can make good use of every character’s abilities. Every character can be upgraded and outfitted to your liking. You get one weapon slot, one armor slot and two accessory slots that can be filled as you see fit. Just think carefully about which items to give to which character and make sure you get the most out of said items. I’ve come across a few boss-fights during my time in the game and found that they were quite doable. As long as you get your tactics in order and your plan straight, you should be able to quite easily defeat them. Just remember that killing a boss just takes a bit more time, so don’t rush into things, and you’ll be fine.
If you’ve played a Final Fantasy game before, the controls will be somewhat familiar to you. If you have, however, never played any of these titles, don’t worry; the control scheme is very straight-forward and easy to master. You’ll be controlling your characters with ease in no time flat! Because the game is completely PvE, you’ll not be competing against other players but against the game itself. This results in the absence of any lag whatsoever, which greatly enhances the fun there is to be had while playing through the campaign.
Another thing that enhances the greatness of this game even more are the graphics. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness looks awesome and features detailed environments and characters (like we’ve gotten used to in any game that Square Enix has something to do with). Especially the day / night cycle looks really cool and helps to immerse the player even further into this beautiful world. So if you’re into cool anime graphics, you’ve come to the right place! The game’s soundtrack is another thing I like to point out. It’s just right; not too frantic or too dreamy, but just what the doctor ordered. And yes, you do have to like the music style to fully appreciate it, but as a whole, it more than gets the job done.
I can only say that I REALLY like Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (well done Tri-Ace and Square Enix!) If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy or anything remotely like it, you’ll love this game to death. And although there are people out there who think the series has gone downhill after the third installment, I can honestly say that I personally think that Integrity and Faithlessness is a great addition to an already fantastic collection of games.
So, if you’re looking for something to play and just have fun with, you should really add this game to your collection. Trust me; if you don’t, you’ll really miss out on an awesome adventure! As for me, I will be spending my days on Faykreed for quite some time to come, so I can only hope to see all of you again when I return!