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User Reviews

Set Sail in a Sea of Stars... So Hai (371) 3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the voice or video acting. 3.3
AI The quality of the game's intelligence, usually for the behavior of opponents. 3.3
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.7
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.7
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.0
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.1
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.1
Overall User Score (9 votes) 3.3

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Gaming Age (Nov 18, 2008)
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. Definitely worth picking up, and I look forward to the release of a Star Ocean that I've actually played with The Second Departure in the future. If you're looking to get a bit of an old school RPG fix, this game should satisfy that need for a fair amount of time.
Just RPG (2008)
I love the skills because they make combat a whole lot easier, especially against bosses, and you can even create food, weapons, or armor. Crafted weapons or armor are always the most powerful at the time they are made. The only backdrop to creating is that you need the materials, which you may not be able to find right away. You can also use skills to increase or decrease the chance you will fight enemies, making it easier to train in any area. I haven’t played any of the Star Ocean series, and for being the first one I played, I loved it.
85 (Nov 10, 2008)
Das erste Star Ocean wurde für sein Comeback aufwändig modernisiert: Neben wenigen, aber äußerst stimmungsvollen Animesequenzen von Production IG, erwarten euch komplett neu gestaltete Renderschauplätze, aufwändige Spezialeffekte, üppige englische Sprachausgabe und sogar ein verbessertes, weil direkteres Kampf- sowie erweitertes Skillsystem. Allerdings ist nicht alles besser als früher: Vor allem die karge und sterile 3D-Oberwelt hat gegenüber dem zwölf Jahre alten SNES-Original deutlich an Charme und Glanz eingebüßt. Das Spiel selbst hat die Zeit allerdings erstaunlich gut überstanden. Die ausgeklügelte Story weiß auch heute noch zu gefallen, die rasanten Echtzeitkämpfe sorgen trotz teils lästiger Zufallsbegegnungen noch immer für Laune, während Skill-, Crafting- und Beziehungssystem nach wie vor Vorbildcharakter haben. Schade nur, dass Hauptplot und Spielwelt trotz einiger Streckungen nicht besonders umfangreich sind.
Star Ocean: The First Departure is an excellent remake and it should be added to your PSP collection if you are an RPG fan. If you are looking to play all of the old games before the fourth game comes out next year then you better get started, the second game in the series will come out early next year as well.
85 (Oct 24, 2008)
Le remake du premier épisode de Star Ocean est avant tout une chance de pouvoir (enfin) le découvrir. En passant sur PSP, on y gagne des séquences animées supplémentaires et une refonte graphique très réussie. Surtout, la PSP dispose désormais d’un très grand RPG. Le scénario, classique, n’en demeure pas moins efficace et il est doté de personnages charismatiques et fouillés. Le tout est emballé dans un gameplay très riche et un système de combats dynamiques. Si on savait que la série des Star Ocean faisait partie des grands noms du RPG japonais, on sait dorénavant comment elle a su se faire un nom.
Worth Playing (Nov 11, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure is much better suited to a fortnight of vacation or lengthy swathes of unadulterated time on daily commutes via train or bus. If you don't like RPGs in general and haven't enjoyed at least a few traditional J-RPGs from previous console generations, your chances of finding much to like in Star Ocean: First Departure are slim. Otherwise, First Departure is a very nice reworking of a classic Japanese role-playing title for today's convenient handheld gaming.
First Departure is a few things. It’s fan service for the original players of over a decade ago. It’s yet another resurrected classic rpg for a new generation of grinders. But it’s also an innovative take for those a little burned on yet another Final Fantasy. The party dynamics, item creation tools, massive skill trees and fast paced battle are not to be missed by fans of the genre. There is a ton of replay value if you can take the drawn out story scenes and it’s not too stingy with the save points either, always a good thing considering this is a portable game.
Game Shark (Dec 12, 2008)
In the end, Star Ocean: First Departure is a wonderful translation of a game Americans were robbed of so long ago. With superb voice acting, phenomenal replayability, and a great translation with new hybrid 2D/3D graphics, Square Enix’s remake team did a great job.
1UP (Oct 17, 2008)
I realize this series' ultimate future lies with next year's Star Ocean: The Last Hope on Xbox 360, and I'm cautiously optimistic that they'll get it right this time. But I'm also elated that with First Departure, an overlooked classic's finally getting the follow-up it so richly deserved.
RPGFan (Dec 08, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure is not for everyone. Newcomers to the RPG genre should find their fix elsewhere first, though veterans will find themselves right at home with this tri-Ace title. It's obvious that the game is an older title, and there are lots of things that have been done sharper in newer titles. The fact of the matter is, though, if you're a fan of RPGs and own a PSP, you should probably find yourself a copy of this game.
Especially if you've been a fan of a later game in the series, or if you're just nostalgic for a classic age of RPG gaming, Star Ocean: First Departure will be a beautiful adrenaline shot in the arm. If you're just trying to pick out an RPG and aren't particularly passionate about classic/retro gaming, there are plenty of great titles available for PSP that hit shelves within the last year or two. Nostalgia is a great emotion, but Star Ocean: First Departure comes at a time when there is plenty of competition in this category. The final word from us is that if you're interested in the roots of the modern RPG games, you could do a lot worse than picking up the first departure in this classic series.
80 (Jan 21, 2009)
Geboten wird solidestes Fernostrollenspiel mit einer anständigen Handlung, einem felsenfesten Spielprinzip und einem Mischlook aus 16-Bit-Freuden und Anime-Schöpfung, der das Retroherz lachen lässt. Da verzeiht man schnell ein paar kleinere Schwachpunkte in der Wahl der Perspektive oder der Ausgestaltung der Figuren.
RPG Site (Oct 24, 2008)
If you go into it expecting a modern masterpiece, prepare to be disappointed. If you go into it remembering that the original version is 12 years old and this is a faithful conversion – simply bringing it technically to a modern level, leaving the gameplay near untouched – you will be impressed. It’s a serviceable remake and a fine entry to the series for anybody who hasn’t experienced it before. In spite of the fact the game shows the original’s age, we can’t dock many points for that as in places it is charming and quite endearing. Perhaps one to try before you buy, but if you’re a fan of the SNES era of RPGs, you should love this game.
Jeux Vidéo Network (Oct 24, 2008)
Plus encore que dans les Final Fantasy, ce Star Ocean prouve à quel point “remake” ne rime pas forcément avec “escroquerie commerciale”. Un opus envoûtant par sa capacité à résister au passage du temps.
GameZone (Oct 31, 2008)
It’s great to see games that were originally released only in Japan make it here even if it did take a long time. 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.
GameSpy (Oct 17, 2008)
Despite a couple of minor hitches, Star Ocean: First Departure is one of the best remakes Square Enix has brought to portable consoles. Playing it anew, it's easy to see why the series holds a special place in the hearts of hardcore RPG fans. If you've ever reminisced about the days you lost in your youth sitting in front of your NES or SNES and building up your warrior, mage, or other such hero, you might do well to give Star Ocean: First Departure a try and relive those days once again.
GameFocus (Nov 10, 2008)
Star Ocean has always been a fantastic Science Fiction based action Role Playing Game series and this remake of the original game shows how amazing the series started out. For RPG fans this is a must buy, especially if you have never played a Star Ocean game or you are interested in the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Star Ocean prequel, Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
AceGamez (Nov, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure isn't a new game but it's one that very few Europeans have had chance to play until now. The combat is its biggest weakness, due to some minor issues with targeting, but, in the long run, First Departure delivers a great experience no matter what problems this causes. Players who learn to deal with the combat will find a deep, immersive and excellently presented game and even those who don't will still gain plenty of enjoyment, because while it's a very distinctive flavour of RPG, requiring a fair bit of patience and perseverance to 'get it', when you do get it there's nothing else like it on PSP, at least until the sequel. Second Evolution, is released next spring. It's not for everyone but if you find that it's for you then you're in for one hell of a journey.
Cheat Code Central (Oct, 2008)
Going into Star Ocean: First Departure with the expectation of finding an adventure that's in line with current generation RPG fare is going to result in disappointment, but the strong genre mechanics are all here, well-oiled, and mostly in good working order. This classic remake is a great update of a solid old school game, and it gives hardcore JRPG and Star Ocean fans the opportunity to revisit the early days of a series that has come a long way over the years. Is it groundbreaking? No. However, that shouldn't stop you from taking a trip to the past.
77 (Dec 01, 2008)
If you’re a fan of Role Playing games or you desperately want your friend to start enjoying the genre, this game is definitely for you. It’s a pretty simplistic and easy-to-pick up JRPG. The combat doesn’t get too deep for those un-familiar with the genre and the story is pretty easy to comprehend. As a portable game, it works fantastically. You can play it for short bursts and not lose out on the story. It’s a good game for those less hardcore. If you are really deep into the genre though, I’d recommend sitting this title out. It may be a good game, but you’ve played better games with similar play styles. The battling system isn’t nearly complex enough to hold your attention and the story isn’t by any means revolutionary. If you’re a die-hard Star Ocean or Tales of series fan, maybe you should consider this but otherwise? Wait it out. This has got to be one of the few RPGs I’ve felt would be better played by someone who doesn’t like the genre. That’s just how I see it though.
75 (Oct 24, 2008)
L'épisode fondateur de la série Star Ocean dont nous avions été privés à l'époque de sa sortie sur Super Nintendo nous arrive enfin par l'intermédiaire de son remake providentiel sur PSP. Plus efficace que jamais grâce aux nombreux remaniements opérés sur cette version, le soft est à découvrir sans hésitation pour quiconque souhaite se plonger dans les origines de la saga de tri-Ace.
JeuxActu (Oct 28, 2008)
Star Ocean : First Departure n'est certes pas un RPG d'exception, loin s'en faut, notamment à cause de ses phases de pur level-up vivement recommandées et d'une sorte de lenteur générale dans la trame scénaristique, mais il reste "simplement" un très bon titre à la profondeur impressionnante, et à l'actualisation digne d'éloges. Graphiquement vraiment abouti, musicalement agréable, proposant des personnages forts et des combats tout sauf ennuyeux , il est en quelque sorte le prototype du RPG attachant qui ne plaira pleinement qu'à ceux qui accepteront de rentrer dans son jeu. Reste à savoir si vous désirerez choisir cet espace-temps.
75 (Nov 05, 2008)
Star Ocean: The First Departure is a great take on a first Star Ocean entry to the series. While it retains its old-school classic look and feel, it doesn't do much to compel newcomers to the franchise. Star Ocean fans will find themselves swimming in the ocean of stars and loving what the title does offer. Ultimately, the fate of the series doesn't rest on the PSP, but the upcoming 360 title. In the end, this is a solid PSP RPG and is worth checking out for gamers looking for an old-school fix on the RPG genre.
IGN (Oct 17, 2008)
I finished First Departure in about 27 hours. For an RPG, that's not a particularly long time, but considering the style and substance of the game, I'd say the length is appropriate. 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.
Gamer 2.0 (Nov 05, 2008)
While The First Departure has a questionable length (less than 30 hours) compared to other RPG’s along with more than a few rough edges here and there, it’s worth noting that The First Departure is still the very first in this solid series. The game pales in comparison with most other games if you treat it as a new game, but as a standalone first entry, it’s honestly aged a whole lot better than the first entries to games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Suikoden, and other RPG’s. Depending on your tastes and allowance for rough edges, you may want to wait until this game hits the bargain bin, but for what it’s worth—this is a great setup for its amazing sequel and definitely the best place to start for people who haven’t gotten into Star Ocean yet.
70 (Nov 07, 2008)
Sans être absolument parfait, ce remake du tout premier volet de la saga Star Ocean fait tout de même plaisir à voir. A jouer c'est un peu autre chose puisque le titre de Tri-Ace conserve quelques archaïsmes d'antan qui pourront repousser les plus jeunes. Les vieux baroudeurs du genre seront quant à eux beaucoup plus indulgents et découvriront une aventure prenante portée par des personnages attachants et un système de jeu particulièrement riche. Un bon titre à réserver aux amoureux du genre.
gameZine (UK) (Jan 23, 2009)
Whilst Star Ocean: First Departure isn’t the most exciting RPG, it’s certainly a thank you from Square Enix before the release of the superior Star Ocean: Second Story. The cynical might look at the game as another Squenix cash-in, but in reality, there are worse games than this.
Depending on your mood, Star Ocean: First Departure brings out either the worst or the best of the old-school RPG. Generally, the latter is the case. Consider the game a must-play for long-time RPG fans and a terrific rental for everyone else.
70 (Oct 30, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure is een goede game. Doordat de game op het gebied van graphics wat achterhaald is, kan de game niet tot het topsegment uit het JRPG-genre toetreden. Desondanks zal menig fan van het genre zich door de sterke verhaallijn en de unieke gameplay-elementen zich vele uren kunnen vermaken met deze game.
Gamervision (Nov, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure is a solid game that has made me want to check out the other installments in the series, but the battle system kept me from really falling in love with it. I just would have liked more of a strategic challenge than the shallow fights provided me. For longtime fans of the series, First Departure is probably exactly what you’re looking for. However, if, like me, this is your first time venturing into the ocean of stars, you may find this less appealing than some of the more traditional RPGs on the market today.
GamesRadar (Oct 20, 2008)
The story itself is pretty typical, but the juxtaposition between futuristic/sci-fi atmosphere and the typical rural fantasy-RPG setting adds a lot of flair to what would otherwise be generic. As long as you don’t mind the shallow real-time battles, Star Ocean: First Departure holds up amazingly well.
First Departure's main value lies in giving Tri-Ace fans like me an avenue to see Star Ocean's origin; for players who aren't interested in a history lesson, there isn't much here that is surprising or engaging.
Armchair Empire, The (Dec 13, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure may be full of flaws, but being an RPG from 1996, that shouldn’t be entirely unexpected. Even so, there are plenty of RPGs from that time still hold up strongly today. Had Square-Enix tweaked the original game as much as it did with its visuals, it may have reached the level of a great 90’s RPG. Instead, it serves as an above average space adventure that’s mostly grounded in fantasy, but still worth playing for RPG players looking for a new time waster.
Legendra (Nov 15, 2008)
Star Ocean First Departure est un remake réussi. Les ajouts combleront les fans de la première heure et cette version PSP permettra aux nouveaux venus de découvrir les bases de la saga. Toutefois, si le jeu s'appuie grandement sur ses points forts (skills, combats, personnages réussis), il s'appuie aussi fortement sur ses défauts. Dommage donc que ces points n'aient pas été plus travaillés. Loin d'être un hit, Star Ocean First Departure est un bon jeu qui prend ses marques. Espérons que ces petits trous noirs migreront en supernova étincelante pour la Second Evolution.
GameSpot (Nov 03, 2008)
Star Ocean: First Departure offers good fanfare with stunning anime sequences and a fresh look. However, it's also padded with backtracking, crafting, and cutscene dialogue that hide its sparse dungeons, as well as its quests. There are simply too many better RPGs on the market that offer pretty visuals and depth to broaden Star Ocean's appeal.
RPGamer (May 24, 2009)
Overall, Star Ocean: First Departure is a fun game. The combat and backtracking can be grating, but the beautiful world and fun cast saves the game. Short length and portability invites replay of Star Ocean for the various party set ups. Those looking for a complex battle system may need to look elsewhere, but the rest of the game features many attractive qualities. Item creation is vast and rewarding, and the Private Actions are addictive to unlock. The high production values of the remake and localization show, and any Star Ocean fan who has yet to experience the series' first departure should not pass up the chance any longer.
Gamekult (Oct 27, 2008)
Lors de son arrivée sur Super Famicom, Star Ocean avait pour lui un univers peu courant, une réalisation à la pointe et un gameplay relativement innovant. Ressuscité avec quelques améliorations sur PSP, le jeu de Tri-Ace accuse tout de même son âge, aussi bien sur le plan de la progression que des combats et de la narration. Abordé comme une production actuelle, il risque de décevoir les joueurs ayant grandi avec la génération 32 bits et Star Ocean : The Second Story, lui aussi remanié sur la portable de Sony. Pris comme le témoignage d'une époque dorée pour le jeu de rôle japonais, ce First Departure se laissera cependant jouer par des habitués du genre, bien conscients de ses faiblesses et de ses qualités.
GameDaily (Nov 14, 2008)
PSP owners looking for a new RPG, and one from a renowned series, might find enough in the crafting system to keep them busy for a while but not much else.
Gaming Nexus (Jan 07, 2009)
This original Star Ocean never came out in the U.S., and judging by this PSP remake I'm starting to understand why. With a weak story, repetitive gameplay and a little too much backtracking, it's easy to become indifferent to Square Enix's newest portable role-playing game. That's not to say that the story doesn't pick up towards the end, but most people will have tuned out long before anything truly interesting happens in this game!
Game Revolution (Dec 16, 2008)
If you're looking for a game that can suck up time, but not feel like you're making any progress doing anything, then I guess you might be able to find a nugget or two in Star Ocean: First Departure. Same if you're searching for a throwback to the days when a solid translation wasn't a “must-have” for the role-playing genre. 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?