Square Enix announces the North American and European release date for Star Ocean 5 during the publisher’s first English live stream for the upcoming JRPG title.
The newest entry into the Star Ocean series, called Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness (but shortened to Star Ocean 5 by fans to maintain their sanity), is headed to North American and European PlayStation 4s in summer 2016. Square Enix made the announcement during its “Star Log #1” livestream presentation, which also revealed more about Star Ocean 5‘s characters and narrative, particularly protagonist Fidel and one of the game’s female cast members, Miki.
The Star Log presentation, which can be viewed below, also announced that the Western version of Star Ocean 5 will feature both Japanese and English voiceovers. Gamers were also treated to the most recent Star Ocean 5 story trailer, which shows an intriguing JRPG that looks to remain faithful to what fans expect from the series at this point. For a series that has gone six years without a major release, however, Square Enix and developer Tri-Ace will have a lot of catching up to do in regards to the modern innovations that have been made to the genre in Star Ocean‘s prolonged absence.
So far, though, Star Ocean 5 looks like a game that has been developed with the modern state of the console gaming industry in mind. The game’s announcement came as a result of an engaging and interesting Square Enix viral marketing campaign, which managed to generate a lot of hype in hardcore JRPG circles for a Star Ocean series that will now need to compete with other high profile Square Enix releases like Final Fantasy 15 and I Am Setsuna later this year.
Tri-Ace has, to its credit, done much to set Star Ocean 5 apart from its competitors this year. The game’s quirky take on a mixture of space adventure and medieval fantasy makes for a unique narrative, and Star Ocean 5 will also be releasing for the PS3, making it the only title out of the three big Square Enix releases this year to appear on a previous generation console. Appealing to JRPG gamers who haven’t been enticed into purchasing current-gen consoles might enable Star Ocean 5 to appeal more broadly to a Japanese market that has been abandoning console gaming in recent years.
Star Ocean 5 will actually release in Japan in just over a week, so gamers looking for more information before deciding if the title is worth a shot will be in luck. While worldwide simultaneous release dates are difficult to manage, Square Enix has shown that it’s possible with Final Fantasy 15. One has to wonder if that approach wouldn’t have been better for Star Ocean 5 as well, as the western RPG market has been relatively quiet lately after The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 dominated gamer discussion in late 2015. Instead, Star Ocean 5 will have some serious competition later this summer, and it remains to be seen if the niche fan favorite has what it takes to challenge the gold standard of RPGs.
What do you think about another JRPG releasing in the summer of 2016? Does Star Ocean 5 look like something you want to play? Let us know in the comments below.
Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness will release in Japan on March 31 for PS4 and April 28 for PS3. A western release is scheduled for summer 2016.