Why Was Star Ocean: The Last Hope On Xbox 360 First?

By Spencer . February 10, 2010 . 9:58am

imageAs of last week, Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a multi-platform game. However, it took a year for the PlayStation 3 version to come out. How come?


“This was all about timing. When we began development, we were provided with the development equipment needed to produce titles for the Xbox 360 before that of the PS3,” the development team said in a fan powered Q&A. Microsoft and Tri-Ace started Infinite Undiscovery back in 2006. Originally, Microsoft Game Studios was the game’s publisher, but in 2007 they handed Infinite Undiscovery over to Square Enix. Star Ocean: The Last Hope was first announced in 2007 without a platform.


That answers one question, but why did Tri-Ace use CG models instead of anime portraits for the interface on the Xbox 360 version?


“When marketing to the North American audience, it was determined that the anime-esque characters and pop-culture imagery did not fit with the gameplay, and as such we changed the design we had prepared as the theme for these elements. Normally we would need to look into redesigning the characters in the game themselves as well, but this would cause too large of a gap between the release dates for Japan and North America, and so we decided not to modify any of the in-game characters.”

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  • neo_firenze

    They would think it’s a good idea to re-design the original characters to appeal to “western” tastes? Uggggh. I’m glad they didn’t have more time.

    Cue Photoshop image of Marcus Fenix running around in SO4.

    • badmoogle

      The problem is that the majority of Gears fans would never buy a game like SO4 even if the character models looked like the bulky clones of Marcus Fenix.
      What’s even worse with a creative move like this they would also alienate western fans who are more into Japanese culture/stereotypes than the bald space marine types.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I would’ve preferred that they redesign the characters. Goodbye annoying, monotone doll, goodbye annoying, barely dressed catgirl. Seriously, you think it’d be possible to make these things worse?

  • Changing the interface does not un-anime the game. You’d know that from all the between-quest character cutscenes, why did they even bother? Bait and fuckin’ switch…

  • jj984jj

    Someone should tell the development team that the portraits didn’t make SO4 any less appealing to NA gamers than the terrible story and characters did.

    • It’s called “focus groups”, they will keep screwing up future games whether we like it or not.

      Heck, they’ve already bastardized the Mega Man E-Tank:

      • Pichi

        Never been a fan of focus groups, as they tend to not be inline with the fanbase very well. Especially hate it that a character is kicked off a TV show because the focus group didn’t like/understand him, making the fans of that character and such very upset.

  • Xien12

    They don’t know the fanbase very well, I think. Instead of appealing to a new audience, they should have stuck with appealing to the people who grew up with the original Star Ocean… which were anime-esq.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I had no problems with the change. In fact, the CG portraits fit the game better than the anime ones did, even if they were uglier.

  • i know there are ppl who doesnt like anime stylish things (im not one of those), but those GC were scary..

  • dgmfan

    I dunno, this sounds like a poor excuse if you ask me. I mean, they gave more extras to the PS3 version and everything.

    • Xien12

      Extras? I don’t think so. They didn’t give all that much for the PS3 port. If you ask me, they took more out making it harder, since EXP bonuses don’t stack anymore.


        • Xien12


      • what what??

    • malek86

      You are getting confused with Vesperia. I hear the PS3 version of SO4 doesn’t have many extras. And the graphics apparently are quite worse… this is one very bad port, if you ask me.

      • thebanditking

        The graphics are not worse. Softer yes but the lighting and coloring have been changed to appear less black saturated (which was a big complaint from Japanese players) the PS3 is as the devs put it “warmer” also the PS3 version runs in true 720p, unlike the Xbox which runs in 576p. I will take improved colors and resolution, besides the PS3 one doesn’t have that game freezing bug.

    • I keep hearing the same statement from more and more JP developers, honestly. Can’t really confirm this, but I think Microsoft handed out free devkits to try and entice Japanese developers to release games for 360—so the console wouldn’t fail as hard in Japan as the original Xbox did.

      And it’s worked…just not nearly as well, or in the exact way that Microsoft was probably hoping for.

  • Simon

    They already got a blonde hair dude as main character to market for North Americans, they are trying the hardest they can to blend the dude in.. i gotta say I really hate Edge, his blonde hair stands out too much, dunno why i dunt like the hair color cause I found Claude in star ocean 2 fine.. but Edge’s character design just annoys me.

    • Xien12

      I liked SO3’s Fayt’s blue hair. It was pretty sweet. And I agree. Edge seems to be like your run-of-the-mill naive blonde-kinda-spiky-but-not-very-spiky-at-all-haired protagonist.

      • Moriken

        Blue hair…I remember that in the old days (ie.late 80s, early 90s), most of the RPG protagonists seemed to be blue-haired…and the rest was red haired haha.

        • Simon

          LoL so true.. red and blue makes the best protagonist out there.. there are some blonde protagonist out there that are okay.. like Cloud ahaha but Edge is just so out of place.. but then again.. all the characters in SO4 is out of place, i havent played the game but i think there is a catgirl, loli, and an android? for sure I wont want to use those 3

          • Jaxx-Leviathan

            I actually like blonde protagonists, but I find it easier to relate to a black haired one (possibly because I’m dark haired). Hm, only blue haired main I remember right now is Marth of Fire Emblem 1, but that usually translates into dark haired anyway.

          • kupomogli

            There’s much more than just Marth.

            The original Final Fantasy. Fighter and Knight has red hair, Thief has blue hair, the White Wizard has red hair, Black Wizard has green. The Red Wizard is so awesome that he doesn’t have one hair color but two. On the original FF he has black hair outside of battle and white hair in battle(yes. I know it’s because of the black background.)

            On the Ys series, Adol has red hair, Dogi has Blue hair.

            I could go on with the list. But that should be enough. However. I’ll say that not most of the characters had colored hair. If you look at a game with as many main characters as FF6 had, Terra was the only one who stood out with her green hair. Or Suikoden with all the characters that game had, the only one character, Stallion, had blue hair you wouldn’t really see in real life. A few girls had red hair but you’ll see that more often than a guy with red hair.

            The only time I’ve seen a male have red hair were three brothers. All three had red hair. None of them were born twins at birth either.

          • Hraesvelgr

            Main characters with blue hair are very common. Hell, practically every Fire Emblem protagonist has blue hair.

        • JeremyR

          Not just RPGs. The Wing Commander series of computer games had a blue haired main character (who was later named “Blair” when they switched to Mark Hamill).

  • thebanditking

    This game should have been on PS3 in the first place, if for the Japanese sales only. Still better late then never.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Japanese sales for this game are rather low, apparently. Damage has been done, maybe? Doesn’t matter, I doubt it would’ve made much difference.

  • Reading the rest of that article, I came across this: “Lymle is actually a very memorable character for us on the production side of things as well.” The dev team actually liked Lymle… Ugh, I wonder what this means for future Star Ocean games.

  • akira7x

    When this game came out for 360 I was very disapointed!Ive played all the SO games (Star ocean blue sphere included). The reason I was disapointed is because I only have the systems by sony and nintendo. (like ds, ps2, psp, PS3). but now it came out for ps3 im definitely going to pick this up :D

    • Hraesvelgr

      So the only reason you were disappointed in SO4 was because it was for the 360. Okay.

  • Guest

    When this game came out for 360 I was very disapointed!Ive played all the SO games (Star ocean blue sphere included). The reason I was disapointed is because I only have the systems by sony and nintendo. (like ds, ps2, psp, PS3). but now it came out for ps3 im definitely going to pick this up :D

  • I could have been playing this game today, if it wasn’t for the snow storms delaying fedex… Oh well, gives me more time to perfect this: http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/1739/so4boxart.png

  • In other words, we needed to use the XBOX 360 as our guinea pig before putting it on the REAL console we had in mind.

  • David Macphail

    Why was it on the 360 first? Durr…….because Microsoft paid out millions of dollars to get it timed – exclusive. Yet another JRPG they’ve bought that hasn’t helped their consoles faltering sales one bit.

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