While Halo Wars clearly wasn't up to the task of battling Killzone 2 for exclusive superiority in the first part of 2009, there's another Xbox 360 exclusive that PlayStation 3 owners should want: Square-Enix's Star Ocean: The Last Hope .
Now, I'm well aware our readers really have it in for the veteran RPG publisher right about now, and that's perfectly understandable. We may get Final Fantasy Versus XIII as a PS3 exclusive some time in 2047 but until then, the days of Square games only on PlayStation consoles are over. Personally, I don't have even the slightest issue with that; I remain mostly convinced the multi-DVD production of Final Fantasy XIII won't be as good as the Blu-Ray production of the game on the PS3, especially considering the White Engine was specifically designed for Sony's machine. At the same time, I think it's great that Square-Enix has expanded their anticipatory fanbase by finally making a major FF release available to more gamers around the world. The more people that get to play great games, the better it is for our industry; plain and simple.
Therefore, I don't really have any personal vendetta against Square-Enix. I believe they haven't been able to live up to the Squaresoft glory days (and I doubt I'm the only one), but I can accept that…what irks me no end is that S-E goes and makes something like The Last Hope a 360 exclusive. Considering that most every installment in that series was on a PlayStation console, and not one ever came to a Microsoft console, I don't see how this was a wise move. Go ahead and make it multiplatform; no skin off my teeth. But why strip PlayStation owners of the game? They're the group that's actually familiar with this series! Well, whatever. The point is, PS3 owners should want this game, and it's only because – from what I've seen of the reviews and feedback – it's basically vintage Square. The voice acting is horrendous (FFXII's was fantastic, though), and the graphics are really, really pretty. And , that hybrid real-time/turn-based combat has apparently returned.
Look, it's kinda like a next-gen throwback, which is why it's not landing 9s in reviews. It got an 8 from IGN, a 7 from Game Informer and a 4/5 from X-Play; you'll probably see it hover right around an 8 when all the reviews are in. This is exactly what I expected, and in all honesty, it's the type of game that will appeal to fans of the franchise…which confuses me all the more, considering its exclusive console destination. If you enjoyed previous iterations in the series and you own a PS3 but not a 360, you should be annoyed. Me, I've got a 360 so I gots no problem (me gonna get my JRPG fix), but this is a general advisory piece; yeah, I'm trying to tell you how to feel: you want The Last Hope . If you're a JRPG fan, you just do. Don't scoff it off because you suddenly despise Square-Enix or hate Microsoft or whatever; just feel sad you won't get it.
Then again, there's always the chance of a port, right? Like they're doing with The Last Remnant . So perhaps The Last Hope will arrive on the PS3 at some point, and perhaps it'll even be the superior version. But the gap in time sucks no matter how you slice it; it's why I bought the GTAs on the PS2 when they came out rather than waiting like 8 months for them to arrive on the Xbox. The slight increase in quality wasn't enough to keep me from playing my favorite stuff for that long. In the end, PS3 owners who happen to be JRPG fans are missing out. Sorry, people.
Related Game(s): Star Ocean: The Last Hope