Star Ocean 5 will have an Infinite Undiscovery-like battle system

Tidbits from a new interview with the producer and programmer.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

Japanese publication published a new interview with Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness producer Shuichi Kobayashi and tri-Ace programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda today.

Here’s a summary of what’s new and important, via Games Talk:

  • Within the series timeline, there are a lot of stories still untold. So for this game, they decided to tell the story between Star Ocean 2 and Star Ocean 3.
  • There are fans that think a sequel to Star Ocean 3 would be difficult to do, but if properly considered, it can be done.
  • The story concept is included in the subtitle “Integrity and Faithlessness.” The subtitle was decided before the scenario was even written.
  • tri-Ace’s Gotanda wanted to make the original Star Ocean 100-percent sci-fi, but that idea was abandoned as it was pointed out that it wouldn’t sell if it had no fantasy elements.
  • Producer Kobayashi points out that the main, numbered Star Ocean games have an odd number of protagonists with blue hair (1, 3, 5) and an even number of protagonists with blond hair (2, 4).
  • The protagonist Fidel is 23 years-old, but Gotanda originally wanted to make an even older protagonist. But considering the story of Star Ocean 5, 23 felt more natural, and they didn’t want to tell a story about “a young boy who saves the world.”
  • The title, logo, and character models have returned to the style seen in Star Ocean 1, 2, and 3. This also includes the platform choice. They wanted to bring the game out on the platforms that fans of the series expected to see it on. (It wasn’t just sensationalism, there was actual marketing research done, as well.)
  • Private actions, branching affection rating-related events, and item creation will return. However, not in the same form and optimized for Star Ocean 5. They’re looking for a way to make item creation not too complicated.
  • Although Japanese RPGs often have cut-scenes that interrupt the game, Star Ocean 5‘s events occur seamlessly on the field. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cutscenes at all. Some cut-scenes are necessary to produce a dramatic story.
  • When you encounter an enemy on the field, the area becomes a battlefield without change or transition. Battle gameplay feels similar to battles from Infinite Undiscovery. You get the sense that Infinite Undiscovery‘s base system was replaced with Star Ocean‘s. Infinite Undiscovery‘s combat had an MMORPG-like complexity, but for Star Ocean 5 they’re adjusting each element and making it more intuitive to play.
  • Once you enter battle, the viewpoint will automatically change from the field camera to the battle camera that follows the back of the character. You’ll also be able to freely adjust the camera.
  • More than six characters can participate together in battle. For Star Ocean 5, they wanted to have battles with a large number of people, so they’re implementing a system to allow this. That said, it doesn’t change the basic feel of battle, so special controls are not necessary. You won’t be required to always be aware of each character’s HP.
  • Players can set strategies for AI characters.
  • The UI showcased in the trailer is different from that in the actual game, as there are a lot of things still hidden.
  • Keeping in line with the game’s concept of “seamless” gameplay, your party members will always be displayed on-screen, both while moving and during battle, and you won’t have to choose which members participate in battle, as they all will. However, you won’t always be in a large group, as your party varies depending on how far along you are in the story.
  • “Naturally, I also want to do Star Ocean 6 and Star Ocean 7,” Kobayashi said. “As long as there’s still room and ideas for new entries, we have a sense of duty to continue the series. Be that as it may, whether or not we can move forward with those is dependent upon the sales of Star Ocean 5.”

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is due out this winter for PlayStation 4 and PS3 in Japan, and in 2016 for PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe.

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