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Romance and the Star Ocean!

On 01/12/2014 at 05:42 PM by BrokenH

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Wondering what has been up? Firstly I’ve been lost in Star Ocean 2nd Evolution. Overall I prefers its’ story and its’ characters over those found in Last Hope. Claude is a lot more likable than Edge and Rena is wonderful yet does not feel entirely forced as a love interest. So far I have Precis and Celine in my party and they’ve both been a hoot to interact with. Between Precis’s blunt flirting/suggestive innuendos and Celine’s sly sarcasm there certainly hasn’t been a dull moment!

The battle system in 2nd evolution is on the action driven simple side of things (So long as you stay properly equipped and leveled up) and while this may deter certain folks, it’s a pleasant break for me from Growlanser Wayfarer of time. (In which every single story battle is an intricate puzzle to figure out.) Regardless, both are great games. The psp definitely “brings it” when it comes to re-releasing classic rpgs that were made during the playstation golden era!

So what of Valdis story? It is really a fantastic side scrolling metroid-vania! My only problem so far is the difficulty is all over the place. The boss in “the gardens” is a really tough customer and after mercilessly getting my ass handed to me a few times I had to take a hiatus. But the game is gorgeous. Character animations are silky smooth, the detailed environments are large with many tucked away secrets, the soundtrack is superb auditory bliss, and for a game of this ilk the story is not half bad either. Going in I chose the warrior like Wyatt whereas Gilda mixes it up by being more magic focused and more agile. Supposedly there will even be two more playable characters as free DLC! (Free dlc? Wtf is going on?!!) If you loved Symphony Of The Night, Super Metroid, Dawn Of Sorrow, Megaman X, and Devil May Cry then Valdis story should totally find its’ way into your collection! Just be warned, you are in for a steep challenge.

Beyond the usual geekery, I met someone really nice through Facebook. That someone is female and we’ve kicked it off in a way I never thought I’d connect with someone romantically. Her name is Stacey Garcia and I’m kind of head over heels for her. Even if our relationship doesn’t go according to plan, I hope we can at least be close chums! She’s one of the few women I talk to who loves Heavy Metal and cult 80’s movies as much as I do. We have so much in common it’s wonderful and terrifying simultaneously. If all goes well she will be visiting me in February and I just want her to have a really good time while she’s with me. I hesitate to label what we’re doing as “dating” as this visit will probably just be two good friends hanging out with each other. But if it goes splendidly yeah, I might officially be with someone soon! (Imagine that!)

I’m wording things cautiously simply because I cannot see into the future. It’s a matter of being honest and not wanting to mislead anyone. It would be awkward if I got a lot of congratulatory pats on the back and then for whatever reason Stacey decides she doesn’t 100% like me in that way. Of course I hope she does and it seems like she already has those kinds of feelings for me but we will not really know the truth until we physically cohabitate for a week or so. It’s easy to be idealistic with text messages but reality will always be the true decider.


Oh,did some art too. This is Liam's "true form" Dracon Knoss. Enjoy the blue beefcake,ladies!




01/12/2014 at 05:55 PM

I played Star Ocean Second Evolution on a rental back in '09. I forgot about the old school need to manually save and lost several hours of progress. Then I rage quit. I want it again though. It was cool and your screen shots above have me all agog.


01/12/2014 at 06:07 PM

Happened to me to,bro. I got up to recruiting Precis and doing the herb quest for Bowman when suddenly I died. It brought me back to Marze where I had just completed the kidnapped children quest with Celine. I had to play a good two hours to make up for lost time.

A thing that helps to remember is that you can ALWAYS save on the over-world map. Do it often!

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/12/2014 at 06:04 PM

Glad you found someone with lots in common.


01/12/2014 at 06:11 PM

It's great,Joe! Even if we don't literally "tie the knot" someday, it's still wonderful to have a female who I can talk with on my level. I'm hoping for the best but in these kinds of sitautions I always practice cautious optimism. Despite being tall and gnarled looking like a huge tree on the outside I'm a delicate flower inside. lol.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

01/12/2014 at 07:16 PM

Damn man thats awesome!  Visits are nice. 


Ive heard about valdis story but theres a couple other steam games i'm going to get.  


01/12/2014 at 10:25 PM

Steam brings the awesome,Matt! I still want to pick up Starbound,7 days to die,and State Of Decay. I just wish some of Valdis's bosses were less "brutal". lol.

I think I'll enjoy the visit and it will even rekindle some of my more "human" traits. So long as Stacey leaves with a smile I'll feel content!


01/12/2014 at 07:21 PM

Heheh..Well whatever the outcome...Congrats Ben!~ It's always pretty nice for us fellow net-hermits to find a good buddy through the web we can chat up without lookin' clingy OR come off as obnoxious..~ Heh..I started off with Star Ocean 3 a long time ago,haven't gotten to finish any of the others plus I've had my eye on a couple of PSPvita games that haven't been confirmed or denied for a US release as of yet..~


01/12/2014 at 07:40 PM

Yeah, I keep hoping we will see Godseater 2 over here. Godseater Burst was a great game and everything I see about the sequel makes me salivate! Also thanks for the best wishes,Alc. It means the world! Smile


01/12/2014 at 08:44 PM

Hehe,yeah I've been collecting art and stuff of Godseaster 2 for possible use in wallpapers and banners,also for character refference..Your welcome,friend.~


01/12/2014 at 10:29 PM

If Godseater 2 also reveals Persona 3 & 4 unlockable skins my head will explode. lol.

Cary Woodham

01/12/2014 at 08:19 PM

Congrats on meeting someone you like!  Keep your thoughts and prayers on that happening to me someday, too!

My friend reviewed Valdis Story for me.  He really liked it.

Hope you get a chance to read my new blog!


01/12/2014 at 09:59 PM

You Cary, I stopped by Gamer Dad for that review. Glad your friend enjoyed Valdis as much as I have! I'm just a tad frustrated with it right now,heh.


01/12/2014 at 10:27 PM


I grabbed Valdis Story because it was cheap on the Steam Sale.  I had to put it down quickly because I am not quite ready for that type of experience on my computer.  I think my brother played through those PSP Star Ocean games but I dont remember if he actually finished any of them.


01/12/2014 at 10:34 PM

I cheat with Valdis. I don't even touch it unless my 360 controller is plugged into a pc port. lol. Star Ocean 2nd Evolution is spectacular,Trans! But if you're still on the fence there are plenty of Youtube reviews and what not. Valdis is also great so long as you use a controller. Heck, maybe some ppl even prefer playing it on a keyboard but I'm not one of em. lol.


01/13/2014 at 10:40 AM

That is another reason that I set it down.  I am a controller man.  I hope to build a PC or something to play my massive collection of PC games on my television.


01/13/2014 at 01:38 PM

Yeah, Valdis would be a great game to have on PSN and Xbox live as a download! I also think people who liked Dust will like Valdis too.


01/13/2014 at 12:26 AM

Well I don't want to jynx it for you Ben so lets just say it's great that you ve met someone who makes you feel like that, those moments in life are still the best! Great art as always too my friend, it's funny how motivation kicks up when you meet the right person eh!!


01/13/2014 at 01:06 AM

What's strange is how comfortable Stacey makes me feel,Adam. Usually I'm on edge and feel like I'm before a tribunial of harsh judges but with her I simply feel serene. There's no rush to save face or jump hoops. It's as if she knows me and lovingly accepts every part of me.

I admit I'm still cautious. If this somehow backfires in my face I will be disappointed yet feel numb as if something inside is saying "That's just how it is and you know it". In a way that is comforting. I'm so damaged there's not much more collateral damage that can be done to me. lol. Guess that's a trait of survivors.


01/13/2014 at 02:20 AM

Well when you hit the bottom mate the only way is up, either way I ve got my fingers crossed for you..... the hero always gets the girl in the end!


01/13/2014 at 01:30 PM

You're the best,Adam! Thanks for the positive sentiments!


01/13/2014 at 02:03 AM

Good luck with your new friend.

Star Ocean 2 was a good game. Had a great soundtrack. Sakuraba is one of my favorites. I still have the PS1 original as well as the PSP remake. The PS1 original had some of the worst voice-acting on the console. and that was a low bar to begin with.


01/13/2014 at 01:28 PM

Luckily, I don't remember just how terrible the voice acting was in the original,Andrew. lol. The things that stood out the most for me were the vibrant colors,expressive sprites,and action based battle system.


01/13/2014 at 02:50 PM

I liked the music, but bad voice acting just makes me cringe, especially when other people are in the area to hear it, too. It's a big reason why I'm leery of voice-acting in general.


01/13/2014 at 02:55 PM

The voice acting in this version is pretty good! I wouldn't call it "great" but I would not be embarassed if someone walked into my room and overheard it. The person who voices Precis  should be given a medal. lol. Rena's voice actress isn't too shabby either!

 In general the dialogue is much better and more natural compared to how it was in Last Hope. While Claude has a few anime protagonist cliches,he's 100 times more bearable than Edge Maverick. (At least in the psp version) 


01/13/2014 at 03:40 PM

It is. Video game localizations have come a long way. Star Ocean, as well as Final Fantasy VII and FF Tactics, were published in the US by Sony Computer Entertainment on PS1. Sony wasn't good at localization, though I appreciated that they were willing to bring the stuff over to begin with. The text was riddled with typos, and the voices were probably of Sony office staff. Back then, though, the only three companies that were halfway decent at localization were Nintendo, Sega, and Working Designs. Square Enix hired professional anime voice actors for the PSP Star Ocean remakes.


01/13/2014 at 05:30 PM

Even Last Hope had good voice talent! Just seemed as if they were given bad direction and the writing in general was not quite as good. Last Hope is still a great Jrpg I just find Edge had a case of Tidus-itis. (Aka,awkward laughter and even more awkward body language. lol.) But maybe it all chalks up to a cultural barrier too.

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

01/14/2014 at 10:21 PM

Hey SanAndreas, I know at some point, I'm going to end up playing Second Story again, and I'm not looking forward to hearing those cringe-worthy quips from each character during battles while my wife is in the room. I will feel so embarrassed. LOL!

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

01/13/2014 at 09:02 AM

I enjoyed the original Star Ocean: Second Story on PlayStation. First RPG I ever had.  I think Celine was my favortie character-- plus, her outfit wasn't half bad either.  Like SanAndreas said, the voice acting was awful in retrospect, but I didn't notice it back then.  I though it awesome until I played Grandia.


01/13/2014 at 01:19 PM

I never got the full experience with StarOcean 2nd Evolution. My friend Daniel had the playstation version but I only got to play enough to realize I was having fun. lol. Going through the game now much of the story is still pretty "new" to me and that's a good thing.

  It's comforting to know more gamers appreciate Grandia. It really was a terrific rpg. Back in the day I also thought Feena was hawt as hell. Those green haired green eyed girls,man! Mmmm mmmm!

 I also thought it was funny Grandia was one of the first rpgs that implied you married your love interest,knocked her up,and had many kids with her. Justin is one fertile dude! Tongue Out

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

01/14/2014 at 09:18 AM

Dude, yes.  I had a thing for Feena too.  I really liked her character though.  she was nice-looking, but not all sexualized at the same time.

And yes, you make a good point about Grandia being one of the few RPG's implied marriage and children being born between the hero and his love interest. I loved the way the game ended.  As much as I wanted to see a sequel where Justin's (or his kids) adventures continue, I'm acutally kinda glad that they left it alone.  It was a nice happy and heartfelt ending to a stand-alone adventure.


01/14/2014 at 05:22 PM

I thought the ending in Grandia was a good wrap-up too! The story told was perfect and there was no need to extend it with unecessary filler.

I also thought the relationship between Feena and Justin was "realistic". There were parts in the game where they disagreed and even had falling outs. You could tell they loved each other but it was portrayed in a very down to earth fashion.


01/15/2014 at 12:50 AM

Game Arts was really big on heartfelt personal stories for the characters in their RPGs. I don't have much experience with Grandia, though I have both Grandia and Grandia II, but these same traits were just as strong in the company's previous games, Lunar: Silver Star and Lunar: Eternal Blue, both of which remain among my all-time favorite video games.


01/15/2014 at 06:50 PM

Very true,Andrew! I remember a point of the game where Luna was infactuated by Ghaleon and dressed more dark and sexily. It was very symbolic of that angsty adolescence most of us go through when we think the "Bad Boy" or "Bad Girl" is what we're looking for.

Alex represented "Good ol reliable". He didn't have the flash and grandeur of Ghaleon but he had heart,determination,and compassion. I think that's why Luna ended up back with him in the end.

However,Ghaleon himself was a complex character too. There was a good-side to him as well and that's what made him such a tragic antagonist.


01/13/2014 at 10:41 AM

Nice, man.  I really hope it works out.  I'll be rooting for you. Cool


01/13/2014 at 01:21 PM

Thanks,James! I do to but either way I'm just going to try to live in the moment and play it calm regardless of what happens! Chillaxing aside, I admit I haven't felt this way about someone for awhile. 

Chris Yarger Community Manager

01/13/2014 at 10:56 AM

Is that Star Ocean a remake of the PS1 classic? The character names seem to be very familiar, but it's been YEARS since I've last played it!


01/13/2014 at 01:24 PM

The same,Chris! The 2nd Star Ocean started on the Playstation 1. I think this version tweaked a few names ever so slightly but overall the story is the same. (Though the psp version adds Welch Vineyard as a recruitable character and also added more anime cutscenes)

Chris Yarger Community Manager

01/13/2014 at 01:27 PM

Awesome!! I loved that game whenever I was younger. I think the one guy was named Ashe, but he had two dragons coming out of his shoulders. Badass dude, I loved playing as him (When I discovered how to recruit him that is)!


01/13/2014 at 01:31 PM

Yeah,Ashton is pretty bad-ass though the story behind "how" he got the dragon heads fused to his body is hilarious! Tongue Out 


01/13/2014 at 04:10 PM

Good luck with the relationship kiddo, I knew it was only a matter of time before you found someone special. Wishing you all the best!

PS. Star ocean is awesomesauce.


01/13/2014 at 05:08 PM

Thanks,Carly! I still have trouble believing it myself though. lol. Seems you put more faith in me than I did.

And yes, Star-Ocean is awesome-sauce,I concur!


01/13/2014 at 04:20 PM

Star Ocean's one of a bunch of game series that I've yet to experience. Maybe someday that'll change.


01/13/2014 at 05:10 PM

I suggest it,C.S. I love the more actiony combat system in the Star-Ocean games and it's a nice change of pace if you get tired of the "ye olde dark ages" setting. lol. The SO games also have multiple endings based upon certain social interactions.

I'd heartily suggest Kotor and Mass Effect too but I'm sure you're already familiar with those gems!


01/14/2014 at 02:16 PM

Good luck with your relationship Ben!

As for Star Ocean, i've been interested in playing the game ever since I read a review on a Spanish gaming magazine. Is it safe to start with Second Evolution, or should I start with the first game?


01/14/2014 at 05:24 PM

There are ties to the first game but not so much you need the first game to understand its' sequel,Alejandro. 2nd Evolution stands pretty well on its' own two feet! 

The biggest connection is Claude is the son of the protagonist from the first game. Beyond that it's its' own thing more or less.


01/22/2014 at 01:29 PM

I really, really, really need to step up my quest for more RPG's for my PSP. I've been passing on them as of late. I need to fix that espeically since I saw Star Ocean only two days ago.

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