STAR OCEAN®: First Departure™

Release date: 31 October 2008
Developer: tri-Ace
Publisher: Square Enix


Experience a journey through time and space on PSP.

Spacedate 346. As a Galactic war rages on, the crew of the starship Calnus beam down to the little-known planet of Roak, only to find that the population has been decimated by a mysterious plague.

So begins a race against time to save the Roakians and restore peace to the galaxy.

Featuring stunning graphics, exhilarating real-time combat and a galaxy-spanning storyline, the opening chapter of the hit STAR OCEAN series arrives in Europe for the very first time exclusively on PSP.

  • Updated real-time battle system puts you right at the heart of the action
  • High quality graphics, music and video immerse you in the STAR OCEAN universe
  • Unique Private Action system lets you influence how the story proceeds


Planetary Plague

Take a space age trip with Star Ocean on PSP.

Fans of Square Enix's classic RPG series Star Ocean will have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of First Departure, a remake of the very first Star Ocean game that appeared on consoles in Japan over ten years ago. The game is a remake of that very first entry in the long-running series complete with a PSP update that adds a myriad new features to a classic RPG formula.

These additions include all new backgrounds and an enhanced 3D battleground and system, which help deliver a stellar Star Ocean experience.  And with the added bonus of new features this makes this PSP exclusive a must-have for any fan of the genre or anyone looking for a great starting point in an established RPG series.

Visitors from afar

The story centres around three friends who are tasked with protecting a small village surrounded by a huge forest. The friends, Roddick, Millie and Dorne are soon faced with battling a mysterious plague that turns people into stone. They must set off on a mission to a nearby mountain in search of a medicinal herb that they believe can help those townsfolk affected in the town with the plague that has ravaged them.

The story then delves into the realm of science fiction with the arrival of two new characters called Ronyx and Ilia, who, from a distant planet, land in the trio's small town of Roak with aid in the form of advanced weapon technology. Soon the threesome discover they're fighting a space-age biological weapon that has the power to wipe out their entire planet unless they can put a stop to it.

You travel back in time to the old planet of Roak in search of a genetic sample that can be used to battle this fearsome biological weapon. From here you have to traverse the old Roak, uncovering secrets, battling enemies as a team and delving deep into dark dungeons that hold the secrets to freeing your planet from extinction in the distant future.

On the battlefield

Battling in Star Ocean is simple and intuitive, allowing you to control one character at a time during brawls. Pressing the X button lets you attack an enemy while moving around and holding the L or R button activates your special attack. Special attacks can be mapped to the L and R buttons before you begin the fight so remember to do that if you want to take enemies down fast. To mix things up a little during the action sequences of Star Ocean you can easily switch between each of the three characters by pressing the Circle button.

The more your do battle in the game, the more points you and your team garner, levelling you up as you progress deeper and deeper into the huge story that features almost 30 hours of play. Points can then be spent at the skill menu allowing you to hike up character attributes such as speed, strength, health and weapon skills.

Re-imagining a classic

The higher you develop each skill level, the more prepared you are to defeat Star Ocean's tougher, more lethal enemies. However, these more powerful enemies require a decidedly more tactical approach unlike the less dangerous hordes that can be easily disposed of with a few swift swings from your sword.

For anyone looking to delve into the realm of RPG games Star Ocean: First Departure is a great place to begin with thanks to its galaxy spanning storyline, time travelling heroes, huge array of upgrades, intuitive design and brilliant re-imagining of a classic game on PSP.