Sea of Stars on PS-Plus first impressions
The games that are offered as the monthly features on Playstation Plus aren't always something that you would recognize. In fact, most of the time they tend to not be, which is just fine with me because it gives me a chance to experience some games that I otherwise maybe wouldn't even know about.
This game was just one of the 4 featured ones and I normally will at least have a look at almost anything that they offer there. It was a small download at around 3GB so I wasn't expecting the world.
Anytime that someone says retro-inspired I think that this could go one of two ways. It could either be a great addition to something that was the norm back in the 80's and 90's, or it could be a tired carbon copy of something we already have a thousand of in the game-sphere. At first they threw so much dialogue at you that I nearly gave up before it ever even started but since I have this 1-hour rule about all new games I play, I trodded on and now that I am a few hours into the game I am really glad that I did so.
The graphics are definitely nothing special and they are quite reminiscent of the Sega Genesis or SNES that I had back in the 90's. The gameplay is very similar to that as well but instead of being just purely turn-based, there are certain instances in almost all attacks and defenses where if you time your pressing of a button right, you will do more damage or deflect some of that which was intended for your characters.
This seems simplistic until you realize that every enemy's attacks are timed different and the pressing of the button is specific to that particular enemy. You enter all boss fights blind because you have no idea what the timing on their attacks is going to be.
There are other aspects of this game that take some getting used to such as the things that appear above an enemy that indicates what you have to hit them with in order to "break" their upcoming attack. Sometimes it won't even be possible to break their attack because their simply isn't enough time.
Almost all of these elements of gameplay are things that I recognize from games played long ago and it would likely get boring if it weren't for the fact that the level design is so good.
The puzzles are simple enough that you will definitely not get stuck, but they are interesting enough that you are actually pretty excited about what lies beyond the locked gate. Things progress quickly enough to keep you interested but not so fast that you don't know what is going on.
It is a simple game that is very easy for even casual players to get into. I don't think that it is absolutely necessary for you to appreciate what all RPG's were like back in the 90's in order to enjoy this game but it certainly would help a bit. For me it was like a great RPG from a console of the early to mid 90's but with modern sound and WOW the sound is amazing on this game.
Sound was a bit of a problem back in the day because audio simply couldn't be processed very well by the machines that we had back then, forget about full voice. The only exception that I can think of would be the TG-16 CD but that was so expensive that almost no one other than me even had access to one.
I believe I will play this game to its end. I have been in it for a few hours and already love it. It is just the right level of difficult as well because I have died only once but it was in an optional area that I knew was optional and there was plenty of indication that it was going to be a bit tough when I got in there.
If you have the chance to play this, especially if you can do it for free, I highly recommend that you do so.