Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness Review


The name; it just rolls off the tongue…

Game: Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Developer: tri-Ace
Publisher: Square Enix
Reviewed on:

star ocean box

(Review copy provided by publisher)

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is a game that was announced to be in development in the early start of 2015. Just over a year later, I am amazed to see it release in the western parts of the world. The quick release window however soon becomes apparent.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness follows the story of Fidel and friends who after saving their village from a war, find themselves on a journey with a strange and mysterious young girl named Relia who has powers beyond recognition and try to protect her from soldiers that wish to reclaim her. The story is as many would expect; it is fitting for a Star Ocean game. However, the downside comes from the voice acting. For the most part, the voice acting is fine but then at other times it seems so bad that it feels out of place so for me it is a mixed bag.

After the opening you find yourself in a friendly battle which you are given tutorials on how to fight. Star Ocean veterans will instantly attune to its system, although I would advise following them as things do differ slightly from previous games.

One of the first things I noticed is that you can now bump into people. As you do they will jolt awkwardly whilst Fidel gives an abrupt apology. This is all good but there can be a lot of NPCs in one small spot, which just happens too often so you just end up being a mass nuisance to everyone. At one point I found myself at an Inn with 6 NPCs pacing the small corridor whilst all 3 rooms were occupied and was near impossible to walk it without bumping into anyone. It makes me wonder why there are so many people in the Inn anyway when it is so small but I don’t think it has an effect on anything.

One major flaw I found is that subtitles are ill placed on the screen; by this I mean that the text actually goes off screen sometimes. While it hasn’t happened often it shouldn’t, especially when there was room to put the subtitles in a way that letters aren’t missing off the screen. There is no screen re-positioning option either and on a 50 inch television I would not think this to be a problem.

Gameplay consists of traversing towns; treacherous paths and dungeons. Enemies can be seen on the map much like they do in previous installments but instead of loading into a battle screen the game instantly allows you to fight where you are with no disruption. There is the option for sneak attacks but enemies can also have the upper hand if you choose to try to run past them. Some enemies can also fire projectiles at any of your other party members and if they get hit then you can find yourself in an ambush. There is an invisible barrier as you are fighting; if you wish to escape you can do so by running into the barrier until the escape gauge fills up. You can do two types of normal attack; one which is stronger than the other and you can also have up to 4 special attacks linked. For example. holding X while in short range of an enemy can allow you to do one special attack. Also, while holding X while you are far from an enemy will unleash a different special attack. Whilst this works really well, I find that overall it lacks; attacking normally feels bland and you cant knock your opponent into the air or do any thrust type of attacks. You can also guard and counter attack but I found for the most part enemies just break through it. If you do manage to pull off a guard and counter attack you will fill up a bar to your right which is known as a Reserve Rush bar.

This is similar to the Bonus Board and Battle Gauge in previous games but works differently. The Reserve Rush bar fills up very slowly and gives increased experience and money the more it is increased and depending on which attacks you use. You can unleash a special attack by using the Reserve Rush but this will use all of it up. Whilst the effect is devastating, I have never found a reason to use it. I have only encountered one boss in the game which gave me trouble but instead of resorting to my Reserve Rush I conquered it after a few hard tries. I welcome the extra experience and money rather than wasting a special attack which I spent half of the game building up.

I found dungeons really lacking compared to the rest of the game. There are minimal puzzles and the paths are very linear; I found the overworld areas a lot more vast. While the beginning of the game requires you to conserve MP, it soon becomes an unlimited pool that you never have to worry about running out of. I would of thought using items would be more mandatory considering there is no health recovery after battle but healing and save points appear more often than not even in the smallest of dungeons.

Welch makes an unwelcome return; fortunately she isn’t as annoying but still she waves her pointy finger on a stick telling you what to do. I would avoid her but this time around I actually found her more useful than ever. She gives you several quests to do which in time unlock all the crafting abilities such as Alchemy; Smithing; Synthesis and so on. I found these very useful especially early on; crafting can be done anytime from the Menu as long as you have it unlocked and the items can be obtained from Gathering points and Fishing.

Backtracking becomes an integral part of the game which is a shame; especially as it isn’t always obvious as to where to go; destination points are denoted by a red star. However, during cutscenes where you are able to move, you find yourself in limbo and are not able to progress unless you have spoken to everyone which can be confusing. Linearity becomes apparent again as during important story parts you are unable to go to certain areas; they become blocked with your character running into thin air and being told that you cannot go that way which is normally fine but happens in this game far too often.


Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is by no means a terrible game. I enjoyed it and was very much immersed from start to finish. I just feel that there is so much wasted potential here especially as the crafting system is by far the best in the series. It’s beautiful to look at and the music of course is fantastic as you would expect it to be. The story, battle system and voice acting could of been a lot better. I think the fact that I was able to complete the main campaign before writing a review may put a lot of people off as JRPGs are not something you can usually complete in three or four sittings. I would say however this is a game any JRPG fan should not overlook either; it is clear to see that some care and attention has gone into the latest offering of Star Ocean, however not quite enough. The quick release window with the game shows and many fans of Star Ocean like myself may feel disappointed due to how rushed the game feels. Approach with caution.


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