Siliconera attended Taipei Game Show 2016 this past weekend, and I got to play a bit of Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness at the event. Here are my impressions on what I got to try out from the demo.
While Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness is a big game with a crafting system and a world to explore, the demo was primarily focused on combat. Players have Fidel, Victor, and Miki in their party as they explore a mountain path. The demo starts with a cutscene, and you also still get to control Fidel, which can make for fun little moments. For example, you can walk around (or through!) characters, but you can’t go too far. A red line on the field shows the maximum distance you can walk away from the scene. After an intro, Fidel and his crew run up a drawstring bridge to the first fight.
Monsters are visible on the field and Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness seamlessly transitions into battles similar to Tales of Zestria. Pressing the circle button does a light attack and X does heavy attacks. If you hold down circle or X you can do special moves. The first battle was against some Armor Lizards that look kind of like tiny dragons. These monsters were easy to slash through and you could pretty much mash through the battle. It felt like one of the ways to end combat quickly was switching between light and heavy attacks to get a cancel bonus which increases the amount of damage. Players can block by pressing the square button. Enemies can block too, but you can shatter their guard using a heavy attack.
The d-pad is used to switch characters, but there isn’t much of a difference between Fidel and Victor in the demo since roles couldn’t be set. Miki is a magic-user equipped with three spells. They’re pretty simple, but to give you an idea Healing recovers HP, Fire Bolt shoots a fireball, and Explosion is a heavy damaging attack. Miki has a little bit of casting time so you can switch to Miki start casting a spell and then switch to Fidel or Victor to attack enemies to keep the flow going.
Since this was a demo, there wasn’t much exploration. The linear level led players through a mountain where a rock opens to reveal a secret cavern. The framerate started getting choppy and this was just when walking inside the secret lair, not fighting enemies. Combat seemed to have a more stable framerate, but the PlayStation 4 version was a bit janky. Keep in mind that the demo is from the current build of the game, so it’ll likely get better over time.
The boss battle was the first challenging fight in the Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness demo since the boss fires a gun that can easily shave off 1/3 of your HP if you get hit. The key to the battle was making good use of recovery items like blueberries which players earned before encountering the boss.
Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness comes out in Japan on March 31 and will be released throughout Asia this spring for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Square Enix announced the PlayStation 4 version for North America and Europe, but have not set a release date.