With the sixth mainline entry in the Star Ocean franchise, Star Ocean The Divine Force, now available worldwide, here are five tips beginners to the game should know before fully diving in.
1. Upgrade D.U.M.A.’s ‘Extend Scan’
One of the primary tools of this title is D.U.M.A. which is obtained during the opening hours. It provides a host of benefits, though I believe one of the most overlooked ones will be its scanning feature on the field.
Pressing L2 or its equivalent on non-PlayStation control schemes will make D.U.M.A scan the surrounding vicinity for treasures. And since many of the maps are quite vast, this functionality is inestimably helpful in discovering chests you might have overlooked. Leveling up this ability amplifies its range, so it’s worth keeping in mind.
2. Don’t Ignore Item Crafting
Like previous entries in the franchise, Star Ocean The Divine Force also has item crafting. Gained via Welch in the village of Delryk, players will have to fulfill her requests to unlock expanded iterations of the mechanic, creating different umbrellas of items and enhancing existing ones.
Newer players from previous titles usually ignored item crafting, and I expect the same to happen here, probably because it’s optionally acquired. However, it can be used to gain some particularly powerful items and equipment, so it should be embraced, though likely not in the first third or so of the game.
Many of the more potent materials are what really make item crafting vital for later stages of the adventure, meaning the earlier parts of the game won’t benefit from it all that much.
3. Es’owa Isn’t Just a Minigame
After acquiring a playable deck in the opening hours, one can challenge several townspeople to a game of Es’owa, which is quite simple to learn. Pawns are placed upon a board that differs in size depending on the opponent’s skill level, and the ultimate aim is to fully deplete the opposition’s health. The rules can seem a bit overwhelming initially, but a few games should make one comfortable with it all.
Though, what is also of note is how the pawn pieces used for Es’owa are actually in-battle accessories any party member can equip, with their functionality ranging from simply increasing stats to providing more standout benefits, such as increasing experience or currency gain. Defeating opponents will net you a new pawn piece, so it’s worth seeking them out, and trust me, there is no shortage of them.
4. The Quest Lists Are Viewable Via the Map Screen
This stumped me for a few hours, but the lists of quests one has completed and accepted are only accessible via the map screen and pressing Triangle or its PlayStation-controller equivalent. Further, not only are these lists convenient for keeping track of tasks, but they also let you fast-travel to the general location of the quest giver once you have finished the relevant task.
5. Map Items to Hold Buttons
Star Ocean The Divine Force utilizes a Chain Combo system, meaning that actions consecutively weave together if enough Action Points are present. However, that leaves items in an odd spot since combining them with attacks can seem messy.
Thankfully, each of the three face buttons can be held down to perform any action. This functionality makes items ideal for these specific avenues. Powerful abilities with lengthy wind-ups are also ideal for the hold buttons, especially for Semiomancy users.
Star Ocean The Divine Force is now available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam.
Star Ocean The Divine Force is the newest RPG from developer Tri-Ace. The game features a sci-fi setting as the sixth entry in the franchise with an action-focused battle system. This narrative tells an original story led by protagonist Raymond, the captain of a space trading ship, along with Ydas, and Laeticia, the princess-knight of an underdeveloped planet. After how lukewarm Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness was, it’s relieving to see this series be given another new chance.
Throughout Star Ocean The Divine Force, players choose between protagonists Raymond and Laeticia, witnessing the story from multiple unique insights. Raymond’s perceptions offer more sci-fi know-how, while Laeticia’s perspective focuses more on fantasy elements. Combat is real-time. Further, the addition of Stop Mode allows players to literally pause the action, letting them form new stratagems on the fly.
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