Top Critic Average
Square Enix has been on a bender with its classic library in the later half of this year. The Mana collection came a few months ago, and there have been two SaGa titles re-released in just the last month as well. Star Ocean has always been the forgotten brother of the Square Enix catalogue, but it deserves better, and now that you're able to play four of the five in the series on your PlayStation 4, there really is no excuse if you haven't dipped into them already
Star Ocean First Departure R is a well-deserved and long awaited remaster of one of the most timeless and classic JRPGs ever, delivering good quality of life enhancements for the player without affecting an experience that already was fantastic by itself.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Star Ocean First Departure R is a valuable title that defies time and shows that with deep enough gameplay, dated visuals can not prevent a game from being entertaining
Review in Persian | Read full review
Star Ocean: First Departure R is a classic game that reminds us of where the series started. While it is certainly fun and enjoyable, it retains a number of traits associated with the best JRPGs. These include a simple storyline, a fascinating combat system, and a relatively straightforward adventure. If you're from a newer generation of JRPG fans, you might find the excessive random encounters, backtracking and minimal depth annoying and might want to stick to more modern releases. Still, veteran fans will likely remember why this series became so popular in the first place.
A classic JRPG in the good and the not so good: it has that charm that only this kind of games possess, but things like structure and narrative hasn't aged so well. In any case, if you haven't played the original (or the remake), Star Ocean: First Departure R is a great opportunity to do it.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Star Ocean First Departure R turns out to be the best way for newcomers to discover the Star Ocean series. Those returning to the game won’t find too much new here, but hey, if you’ve never added Pericci to the party, then now is a perfect time.
Star Ocean First Departure R is an absolutely fantastic JRPG and should be included in any fans collection. For the price tag, it’s tough to argue with buying it. Even though I received a code by Square Enix to review this game, I plan to get it on the Nintendo Switch. This is only because I prefer to have my JRPGs mobile these days. I’m giving Star Ocean First Departure R the Thumb Culture Gold Award! It’s a very excellent game, but if you’re not into JRPGs it’s probably not going to be a good game for you.
The story is no slouch either with a great set up premise and some interesting turn of events. It might not blow anyone away today the same way it did then but this is still one worth enjoying for its 25 to 30 hour duration. Overall, Star Ocean First Departure is an excellent remade classic RPG preserved and now available to more players than ever before. It might not be a revelation in RPG gaming by today’s standards but it’s a great look back on an RPG from long ago. Switch players have yet another great RPG to check out they shouldn’t miss. I was completely smitten during my time and had the biggest JRPG smile on my face when playing.
It stands out in a few ways from its contemporaries, mostly in its Tales-esque battle system and character recruitment and affection minutiae. My best recommendation for First Departure R might be that it's a story-heavy RPG that spins a yarn compelling enough to keep you engaged while also delivering a battle system that is breezy and not as technical. Star Ocean has a lot of complexities underneath the hood, but taking it at face value can leave you with an approachable and enjoyable adventure.
Star Ocean: First Departure R attempts to stick closer to its origins and doesn't deviate much from it. The new additions are slim but it is still one of the better Star Ocean games.
Star Ocean: First Departure R is a beautiful retro game, but at the same time, it does almost nothing to get up to speed on the current gen, making it almost impossible to recommend to anyone unkown to the series.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
In conclusion, I did have a lot of fun playing Star Ocean First Departure R, had some frustrating times and some really fun ones. This is what represents the RPG genre for me, the good and the bad. Star Ocean First Departure R brings a classic back to the current-gen.
Star Ocean: First Departure R is an above average game that has the potential to be great. While the story, characters, and world are fun to experience, a dull battle system, uncooperative AI, and reliance on random chance bring it down too much.
Calling First Departure R a full remaster is a bit of a disservice. Though the new character artwork and Japanese voice track are nice additions, this is still very much the same Star Ocean game that fans played a decade ago.
Star Ocean probably deserved a better treatment than the one Square gave it, because this port is lazy at best, with no QOL improvements and no new content. The game itself is still quite enjoyable, though.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Star Ocean First Departure R offers an easy way to play a hard-to-find classic RPG, but very few enhancements makes this a purchase strictly for Star Ocean fans. Simplistic combat and minimal options make this a hard sell for devout JRPG fans.
Fans of Star Ocean will know what to expect here. This is a game that's pretty fun to blast through for nostalgia's sake or from the point of view of simply experiencing the game that kickstarted the long-running series. For anyone else this is simply a pretty old RPG that's showing its age in many ways.
Based on the PSP version of the game, Star Ocean First Departure R is first and foremost adressed to the new players. It has some nice improvements though such as the ability to double the game's speed, new illustrations for the characters and a fully new japanese voice acting by the original cast. However, the high price of the game, combined with the absence of the sequel, The Second Story, is questionable.
Review in French | Read full review
Exploring the ocean of stars is never better than with this version of the game. There are some noticeable flaws that bring down the score, especially with modern gaming, but being able to experience the first game that started the Star Ocean series is fantastic, plus the game is just fun to play.
Ultimately, Star Ocean: First Departure R is merely upscaling an already flawed game that fans of the series will enjoy, being able to play on modern hardware, but is otherwise a frustrating experience.