I like tri-Ace and so can you!

I'm not a tri-Ace aficionado by any means but Star Ocean Second Story R coming out shortly I figured a dedicated thread for that developer is a bit warranted. Their games get mentioned in various threads - and I personally want to explore more of their catalogue. I suspect others might feel the same way.

For context my entry into this developers work started with Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. I borrowed a copy from my friend accidentally for 6 years and it became somewhat of a running gag for us. I've picked up and immediately put down games The Last Hope, and Integrity and Faithlessness in the past but I'm curious about picking them back up now. Listening to Insert Credit and joining the forums makes you want to engage in a bit of historical revisionism lol. I really really enjoyed The Divine Force despite its flaws game and I think the franchise has a certain je ne sais quoi quality overall.

I started Valkyrie Profile this year with the intention of dropping it when FF16 came out. I did and I sort of regret that decision. Valkyrie Profile is close to a masterpiece.

Aside from that I put Resonance of Fate on my to do list!

Resonance of Fate rules!

I have got part way into it twice but fallen off each time because there are so many battles with the same layouts at a certain point. That game is all about positioning but lots of battles have the same layouts. It would have been cool if they randomised enemy and ally positions each battle. There's probably a good reason they didn't though.

Anyway, when the attacks happen and it all flows together, it is glorious. The attack animations are like nothing else. An incredible game in motion. It also does that thing where the player characters are just doing wild stuff and no one else is and no one comments on it.

The overworld map unlocking is super cool as well. You gain hex pieces to place to build routes and connect places to activate buffs.

The whole game is inspired and if they dropped the encounter rate, they'd potentially have an all timer.

Valkyrie Profile is one of the most insane games ever made. It's obtuse, weird, and beautiful. Love that game and will definitely get to 2 sometime!!

I feel that Resonance of Fate is high up there on the list of games that I think about playing but don‘t actually play. I do want to! I just don’t.

I really enjoy Valkyrie Profile's whole deal, but I also feel that you don't really need to play more than 10 hours or so. Or, at least, I didn't. Can't really compare the two, but Covenant of the Plume is the Valkyrie Profile I would probably want to play right now.

I remember Star Ocean because it was one of those big fan translations back in the day. I think I played about ten minutes of it? I've also made halting attempts at Star Ocean 2. I haven't been able to find my way into the series.

I once accidentally saved over my friend‘s file in Star Ocean Till The End of Time. He had brought his ps2 over with the intention of us playing it together, but he was 20 hours in and I stubbornly wanted to see the beginning. To his credit, he wasn’t even mad, we just kept playing and did a marathon weekend where we got further than his original file.

It's a very happy memory for me. A couple years ago I got myself a PS2, and I made sure to get Star Ocean and the exact strategy guide we used. I was intentionally trying to recapture a feeling and sense of safety I had back then, before a lot of sad life stuff happened. It worked! I gather that the actual game is divisive, but it will always hold this special meaning for me.

recently played Valkyrie Profile and I def agree it’s very very weird and abrasive (not bad necessarily). The first 2 Star Oceans are pretty good. Probably in the minority opinion on this but I think the SO2 remaster looks hideous

I keep playing them Star Oceans in hopes they finally make them Real Good, but somehow never happens. Based on the demo, The Divine Force seems pretty fun with the fly-around thingie?

Love Resonance of Fate though, and Valkyrie Profile is great as well (2 is good too).

Resonance of fate is my favorite tri-ace game but once you have to know what you‘re doing in the battles it becomes impossible for me because they don’t teach it to you. I recommend playing it up until that point! Ha ha

It‘s interesting how you can sniff out a tri-ace game from a mile away. I played Exist Archive a few years ago, and didn’t like it very much, but i could tell immediately it was a tri-ace game.

BUT what I DO like is the original Star Ocean, the snes and psp remake. I think its just such a nice little nugget of a jrpg. And the snes original is one of the nicest looking snes games.

I also enjoyed Star Ocean 2 and I'll probably take a break from my souls-like binge to play the remake. I played Star Ocean 3 for like an hour and all I remember is how the characters gesticulate wildly during cutscenes. I got like 80% through Star Ocean 4 and it's probably the most generic jrpg I've also spent the most time with. The characters are all just awful and the plot is basically nothing.

I also like Eternal Sonata but it is tri-ace adjacent. (Tri-Crescendo)

@“yeso”#p138471 yeah visually I'm still on the fence with SO2 remake. I know those Suikoden remakes are coming out with a similar-ish style as well.

What about that Infinite Undiscovery?

I think that was actually the first 360 game I owned.

Actually still have my original copy and found it work with Xbox Series.

Pretty neat!

Like many, my favorite Tri-Ace game is the original Valkyrie Profile but by this point I have concluded that everyone involved probably made it great by accident. Tri-Ace was definitely at their most interesting when they were on top of their game from a technical perspective and trying weird shit on the PS2 and early 360 architectures.

https://youtu.be/FGjvXxQ1SlY

They suffered a lot from the Western-centric homogenization of HD development and probably from not fully committing to the PSP, which they could have possibly dominated, at least on a technical level, with the right project. Instead we only got quick and belated work-for-hire like **Frontier Gate**.

https://youtu.be/5BGy0ut4InM

_Or_ they should have noticed the vastly untapped Nintendo market, which would have needed their skills on unorthodox CPU/GPU combos like the Gamecube, Wii and Wii U. On that front, they evidently got "market-corrected" by Monolith. Remember that tech demo?

https://youtu.be/6cuXgRVMvZ0

Tri-Ace is not directly involved in **The Second Story R** but this important milestone in their legacy is getting raving reviews (by JRPG standards) on Western media. The original game was not welcomed as warmly in US magazines and nascent websites back then.

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<_insert usual caveat about the merits and limits of Metacritic_>

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@“◉◉maru”#p138693 <insert usual caveat about the merits and limits of Metacritic>

Very solid reviews! I think the game is going to be reevaluated by the broader game-touching culture. I hope it sticks and it gets some new respect. I was completely ignorant to the game until about a year ago until I played it on recommendation from all of you and it's pretty delightful.

I just played 2 hours of the demo for Star Ocean: Second Story R. I was on the fence (like @“MovingCastles”#1552) on the graphics until I had them in my hands. It's hard to describe… the world is beautiful enough that it distracts me from how weird the sprites look on top.

I do feel somewhat bamboozled by the very star trek opening cinematic that unsurprisingly appealed to someone with this username and then the quick + hard pivot to generic fantasy land 14. I skimmed the wikipedia page and it sounds like the game is pretty heavily focused on ~~violating the prime directive~~ I mean exploring this fantasy setting.

Are any of the other Star Ocean games more scifi (spacey) than this one?

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@“◉◉maru”#p138693 Remember that tech demo?

I actually don't! I must have missed it. The platform target was ps3/360 I guess?

@“deepspacefine”#p139104 I‘m around 3 hours in. I think some locations look better than others but overall I’m happy with the look. It's got a bit of a Paper Mario quality to it so I find it pretty charming.

The character portraits or pretty outstanding tbh honest. I've always liked the Star Ocean character design concepts but they've always translated pretty okay-ishly to 3D.

I've played Star Ocean 3, a bit of 4, and 6 and the majority of the game does take place in a fantasy setting then eventually leans more to the sci-fi setting towards the end. I could be wrong but I would say Star Ocean 3 till the end of time might have the most sci fi in it.

So after 33 hours and 23 minutes I rolled credits on Star Ocean Second Story R last night. Glad it‘s been remade and is widely available (without emulating or paying $300 AUD) because it’s a pretty fantastic game.

Before playing was a bit skeptical about the 2D sprite work against the 3D backgrounds. I didn't mind it overall and you get some pretty neat scenes out of it. I find some of those new arrangements a bit annoying but you can switch between that and the classic version.

The whole 'all the women want to sleep with the protagonist' thing is there. You can either see it as problematic or a relic of its time. It's stupid. Also if a female character doesn't fall in love by the end of the game they kind of just...wander around in the end credits? Like they're life is kind of meaningless without a man?? I was just strange I don't know.

So I started playing Second Story right after beating Dragon Quest 8. Those two games are very different and had me thinking about balanced vs. 'busted' game design. Dragon Quest 8 is a bit more traditional and straightforward for lack of a better term, whilst Second Story really gives players the tools to exploit the game through its crafting and systems. I feel like this style of game design or philosophy (I have no idea) really sticks with me.

I'm reminded of Final Fantasy 8 and how all my friends will tell me how to exploit that game through junctioning and card mechanics. Or how a friend of mine was able to get Squall's ultimate weapon on the first disc. I mean here I am still thinking about that today. And when that came game out again on modern consoles I wanted to check it out because I wanted to try breaking the game a little.

So yeah cool game. I'll set it aside for now but I'll be thinking about doing the post-game content. Make sure to Max out determination first. Try hitting publication early so you can public books and generate fol.