Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Sep 302022

After playing the Harvestella demo, I moved on to the demo for another upcoming JRPG I’ve been interested in, Star Ocean: The Divine Force.

Despite having some mixed feelings about First Departure R, the only other Star Ocean game I’ve played so far, I’ve been intrigued by Divine Force (or Star Ocean 6) ever since it was announced.

And the demo… turned out to be really fun!

In the full game, you’ll be able to choose between the two lead characters, but the demo only features the first two hours of Raymond’s story. They spend most of the demo in the same party, though, so it’s not clear yet how much the two stories will diverge.

I loved the intro, when the characters are in space. Although they quickly end up on an “underdeveloped planet,” which leads to more of a fantasy approach, I hope there will be at least some space travel later in the game.

Anyway, I got used to the doll-like look of the character models quicker than I expected to. As far as their personalities go, Raymond could be slightly grating as a protagonist, but I found the other characters introduced here to be pretty entertaining.

(Especially Albaird. I love him and his grumpy complaints about everything.)

The D.U.M.A. system is a bit odd to control in the field, since what looked almost like a jetpack system in the trailers instead works by you shooting yourself a set distance into the air, after which you can climb up a short distance if you’ve hit an obstacle or use a very awkward glide to reach lower ground. You can’t aim very high, so it feels cumbersome.

In combat, I found it to be much more fun. You mix it up with your regular attacks to charge enemies from a distance and try to blindside them. Once I got into it, I had a great time doing that.

The world is beautiful, although the frame rate did struggle a bit in one of the large field areas. My biggest criticism, though, is that the party members talk way too much about where they are in the environment. I don’t mind party chatter, but this all seemed to be of the “We need to go south,” “We need to cross through this area” variety, which was an annoyance while I was having fun exploring.

It ended on a strange note, as if it was meant to be a cliffhanger cutscene, but didn’t hold any particular meaning for me. Nevertheless, I’m excited to play Star Ocean: The Divine Force!

Have you tried the new Star Ocean demo? What did you think?

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