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Parents' Guide to

Star Ocean: The Divine Force

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Space opera meets medieval fantasy in epic fashion.

Star Ocean: The Divine Force packshot

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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From Mark Twain to Star Trek, the concept of a culture clash between futuristic sci-fi and medieval fantasy is nothing new. But that stale plot device manages to feel fresh and fun in Star Ocean: The Divine Force. A big part of this is because the overall plot seems to develop organically right from the start. These are characters you can't help but get invested in and want to help through their adventures. The game's dual protagonist system also gives players the unique option of seeing the events of the game, as well as interactions with other characters, from two distinctly different points of view. It gives the game an added layer of replayability that doesn't feel repetitive or forced.

While the story and the characters in The Divine Force are instantly likable, the gameplay takes a little more time and effort to appreciate. On the one hand, the open world and seamless battles are engaging and fluidly move things from exploration to combat. But the actual fighting is a bit awkward. It feels like a hack and slash, with a focus on timing and positioning. But every attack, including basic ones, burn up a set number of the character's Action Points (AP). While they fill up quickly, it still leads to frequent issues where players chain together moves or even just try to initiate attacks, only to be met with a prompt stating they're out of AP. It forces players to dodge or switch characters often in battle, rather than pressing an attack, which trips up the otherwise smooth flow of combat. Finally, the game requires an insane amount of micromanagement, from what weapons and armor they have to which attacks are equipped for combos to the ridiculously large skill trees. And that's got to be done for each character individually, something the game's clunky menu system doesn't help with. These are all issues that players will easily adjust to as they play the game, but they make the initial experience a bit overwhelming. Even so, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is an absolute blast to play, whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to the Star Ocean legacy.

Game Details

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