41. Star Ocean: Til the End of Time

First Played: 2004

Times Completed: 5

I’m a pretty big fan of Star Ocean and there is no doubt in my mind that the third game is still the best. First off, I enjoy the story, even the twist, I think the quality of voice acting is generally good and cutscenes are well written. The battles are fun, making use of real-time combat with up to 8 different characters to use that all play pretty differently. The game is also huge, spanning two DVDs on the PS2. Besides the story, there is plenty of optional content that keeps opening up as you play, even post-game. It might seem odd, but I also like the extensive information section explaining all the lore and technical terms, it even explains many real scientific terms and theoretical concepts (I love detail like this). The battle trophies give an in-game achievement system before consoles were doing it, which eventually unlock some rewards and each trophy even has a really low res photo of the moment the trophy was earned.

As expected, the music is masterfully composed and the graphics are good, making use of some effects that weren’t often seen in PS2 games. It's also nice enough to run at 60fps (50fps in PAL Land, but on a 50hz screen it matches the refresh perfectly and looks smooth) and it even loads really quickly on the PS2. The one downside is the crafting, it's almost impossible to do properly without a guide, however the end results of crafting are very useful and pretty much required to take on the most difficult optional challenges. There is so much packed into this game and there is still more for me to discover, I still don’t know what special item can only be crafted on Christmas day.