Divine power is not terrible and that is enough

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Star Ocean core art: The Divine Might features both heroes under the night sky.

screenshot: Tri S/Square Enix/Kotaku

I live only a 15 minute drive from the house I grew up in. My parents moved away when I was in college, and during that time the physical embodiment of every memory of my formative years was transferred to strangers, only to reappear in my dreams. The few times I returned to this street the memories came flooding back but it didn’t quite match the courtyards that now looked small and the houses that weren’t painted and kept. the game Ocean Star: Divine Power It can be equally unsettling: a monument to past comforts that is sometimes pleasant, but whose cracked foundation and peeling paint remind you that this is no longer your home.

once upon a time, sea ​​star It was a strong JRPG series that provided fans with a meaty option last fantasy And Dragon Adventure. Allows players to start a game the dungeon Promotional style among the best Star TrekInspirational universe. It punches above its weight with frenetic combat, a deep crafting system, and tons of side content. There were multiple endings and compromises depending on who you were trying to recruit during your journey. Star Ocean: The Second Story It was fine on the original PlayStation. PS2’s next game It was good. It has been downhill since then. Until now.

The atmosphere of divine energy can be very beautiful.

screenshot: Tri S/Square Enix/Kotaku

Ocean Star: Divine PowerIt is the sixth game in the series and the first on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, and is a clear improvement over the last game. 2016 Honesty and dishonesty It was low-key, unfinished, and built for you with a third-person camera want to vomit. But less times to delete safely Divine power It just doesn’t avoid the pitfalls of its predecessor. It also introduces an innovative overhaul of the combat system that is challenging yet immersive, with some of the most beautiful environments the series has ever achieved. I played in graphics mode on PS5, and while it’s far from the console’s best JRPG, the monotonous fields, detailed architecture, and colorful interstellar skies filled with a disturbingly unsettling spark added to my abstract quest line.

what does it mean Divine power Is it a good game? No, I’m about six hours away, and so far I haven’t seen anything that would make me recommend it to anyone who isn’t already one of the fast-shrinking fanatics. sea ​​star Bhakta is as close, polished or refined as it gets, with all the modern game improvements and sensibilities Xenoblade Chronicles 3or even last year Resurrection story. For all its amazing qualities, Divine power Just not in the same league.

GIF: Tri S/Square Enix/Kotaku

The English voice acting is pleasant and sometimes grainy in its angst, but for the most part it sounds great, partly because the script seems stuck in the ways of PS2-era zany JRPGs, for better and certainly for worse. Raymond, the captain of a merchant ship, is shipwrecked on a medieval planet where he meets a princess named Leticia who is trying to fend off an invasion from an empire bordering her kingdom. Despite serious threats lurking in the background, much of the early game revolves around engaging in tight, mundane matters as Raymond tries to regroup with his crewmates and flimsy things like “Who are those guys on these rocks with growing pods? “Their heads? “It’s a very disturbing thing.

The screenshot shows what the Divine Force menu interface looks like.

The Divine Power List interface is hard to read.
screenshot: Tri S/Square Enix/Kotaku

Between the rhythm of the fictional story and the grueling recovery missions, the game continues to come to life. Conversations with NPCs are rarely interesting, but they occasionally unlock side missions that unlock special items to use in the game’s crafting system. While there is no sign of any of these characters, the most mysterious aspect of the game is there for players willing to let go of the beaten path and try together to solve the mystery of what the game is trying to tell you.

Exploration and combat are enhanced by a mechanical companion called DUMA, which allows you to fly short distances or charge at enemies and stun them. Meanwhile, the stamina count controls how often and how quickly you can unleash combos in battle. There’s also a roll dodge, which lets you completely dodge an incoming attack with a powerful follow-through. While aiming can be a nightmare and it’s often impossible to tell if you’re hitting something off-screen, it makes combat more natural and responsive than previous games.

GIF: Tri S/Square Enix/Kotaku

Transitions between exploration and combat are also fluid and sustained divine power Move in such a way that even if you have a bad taste in your mouth, it won’t linger. The environments you explore, while sometimes huge and beautiful, are mostly empty breadcrumb trails with a few treasure chests and crystals to collect to level up your DUMA. Enemies always spawn in the same group at the same location, whether it’s your first or fifth visit to that location. And despite the short flight time and the addition of the ability to glide, the platforming system was too imprecise for me to try to get to the hard-to-reach treasure chests.

Seeing the birds is the image of divine power.

screenshot: Tri S/Square Enix/Kotaku

Why am I still playing? Divine power? Because I’m one of those fans that it was sea ​​starCreated long ago, it enthusiastically flows through the strategy guide to decide which character to hire and how not to miss it. I’m hardly the first person to comment on how the final game looks like a high definition rated game Second story And Until the end. All sound effects remain the same. They eat blueberries for healing and still can’t hold more than 20 pills at a time. At least a large part of the early game revolves around running missions for kings and witches in a series of intersecting subplots that become increasingly pointless. It was a nice hit to remember, but none of it is as good as I remember it.

Developer Tri-S A huge financial gapYour fans are worried about it Divine power This may be the show’s last chance to prove it still deserves to exist. some even Buy multiple copies From playing to trying to keep the dream alive. But the initial sales data is not reassuring. At least in Japan, the game’s launch is imminent Second worst In the history of the series. It’s hard to blame anyone given the game’s flaws, inherent limitations, and special appeal of the old formula, but there are also plenty of other JRPGs to choose from. I am disappointed in this Divine power Not that fans have been begging for a triumphant return, but I’m not surprised. I’m glad it’s not terrible and I reconsidered it before dropping it all.





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