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Nov 28

Nov 28

PS4 Remaster of Star Ocean: The Last Hope Launches Today

How Square Enix remastered a legend.

Takaaki Kai's Avatar Posted by Producer, Square Enix

Hello everyone! My name is Takaaki Kai and I am the producer for Star Ocean: The Last Hope 4K and HD Remaster.

When The Last Hope originally released on the PS3, I was still a student, and it was the first game from the Star Ocean series I ever played. I was captivated by the beautifully scenic outer space, as well as the spectacular effects displayed in battle that were generated through the capabilities of the next-gen hardware. The battles were challenging, and I remember being late to class countless times back then.

It must have been some kind of fate that I have now had the opportunity to take part in the development of Star Ocean -anamnesis-, a mobile game released in Japan. Some anamnesis players became interested in the series through the mobile game, and desired to play the previous console titles. We wanted these players to enjoy the beautiful experience and exhilarating battles from The Last Hope, and then began planning for its remaster.

Star Ocean - The Last Hope Remaster

The game already had gorgeous graphics, so in order to really elevate the value of its beauty, we didn’t want to do a simple remake. Instead, we decided to support 4K resolution, even if it meant that the cost would increase drastically. I thought that the sense of awe I felt looking at the beautiful visuals would not translate appropriately in this day and age unless it was displayed in 4K. On the other hand, there is an established sense of enjoyment in the battles and the game itself, so we kept those intact, since we wanted people to experience those aspects as close to its original form, rather than having us inappropriately meddling in those areas. Thanks to this, the exhilarating actions (i.e., Sight Out, among others) that had been enjoyed since the original release feels better than ever with the beautiful 4K graphics. I’m sure those who played the game back in the day on the PS3 will also be satisfied with what we’ve accomplished.

For this particular title, we focused on maintaining the gameplay experience from the original, while elevating the visual expression. Some of the more representative work done on this title include:

  • Upconverting the textures, and upresing the UI textures to 4K
  • Implementing graphical options, such as camera blur, self shadow, and shadow quality selection.

tri-Ace’s proprietary engine, the Aska library, has also been overhauled since then, so it allowed for a more realistic lighting that also contributed to the overall quality. A big hurdle was realizing 60fps with a 4K resolution. Since a wider area needs to be rendered, the post-processing load was heavier, so when the tri-Ace programmers repeatedly worked to optimize the game, and reached the point where the frame rate was stabilized at 60fps, it was a true moment of relief for all of us.

Star Ocean - The Last Hope Remaster

There were a few more hurdles we had to overcome to get the game where we wanted it to be for the fans. For example, the texture colors appeared different, areas that shouldn’t be transparent appeared transparent, the dynamic processing changed as well, so suddenly the sizes of the characters had changed. As a result of the cleaner textures, areas that were previously hidden became clearly visible, and as a result of the improved hardware, glimpses of scenes that weren’t dropped due to a slowdown are now visible. There were so many incidents needed to be dealt with until the final stages of development, it was truly a project in which we felt the progress in game development that occurred over the past 10 years.

There were many hurdles, but the team also still had a lot of fun remastering the game as well! For example, there’s an important scene with Deputy Director Shimada that is only played once, but the voice played over the scene is randomized, or whenever the player opens the bathroom door, there’s a 1/16 chance that Bacchus would be sitting there. There are truly many instances that reflect the love and attention that was poured into such small, random moments throughout the game.

For all the Star Ocean fans out there, thank you for waiting. This remake has finally been realized 7 years since its original release in 2010. Rest assured, the high-speed action battles that had been one of the joys of the original experience remain intact, and players can now enjoy their adventures through the cosmic sea with graphics supporting 4K resolution when played on a PS4 Pro. We hope those who experience The Last Hope for the first time, as well as those who played the original game, enjoy its drastically improved, beautiful, spectacular visuals. Lastly, we hope to continue various developments/activities for the overall seires in an effort to satisfy Star Ocean fans, so your continued support for the series is much appreciated.

Add Your Own

gohan16ken said:

November 28th, 9:18 am

Dear Square,

The first RPG I played from you was Mario RPG. I even just replayed it on my SNES Mini. For the past few years, I have been digitally collecting your RPG on Wii U, 3DS, PS3, PS4, X360, XB1, and Android. I just bought this game today. All I am asking for is for you to re-release the earlier Dragon Quest games to the US PS Store. If you can re-release Star Ocean, then you can do the same for Dragon Quest. I have two of the remakes digitally on the 3DS but I would really love the originals. I have them on Android but I also want them on either PSV, PS3, and/or PS4.

Please bring the old school Dragon Quest games to the US. Thanks.

Lionarith said:

November 28th, 9:19 am

So to be sure i have to ask though i read the article: Does it run at 60 fps on a PS4 Pro in normal HD?

kensami1975 said:

November 28th, 9:41 am

Hi. Japanese voices?

    Tatanka2007 said:

    November 28th, 12:56 pm

    YES! Just go down in the Settings menu and you can change to Japanese audio.

cusman said:

November 28th, 9:54 am

I hope I remember to look up this game after all my current backlog of games are cleared.

TSTina said:

November 28th, 10:00 am

Anyone want to buy my PS3 BluRay copy of Star Ocean: The Last Hope International?

White_JackaL said:

November 28th, 10:03 am

well sense bandai wont remaster Xenosaga series, this looks like a nice 2nd. anyone tell me if its got the same feel?

Sora9669 said:

November 28th, 10:34 am

Please give us the Star Ocean Second Evolution port as well.

    Sefier said:

    November 28th, 2:39 pm

    Day 1 preorder! I would love love love if they remaster second story. Heck, even a release for the Vita. I loved SS much

    oEterniao said:

    November 28th, 3:38 pm

    I agree 100% I would DAY ONE BUY , ive been hoping for them to bring it to USA since they launched it in japan a few years ago for ps4, Star ocean Second evolution ps4 I WANT IT :D

    minimox16 said:

    November 29th, 6:58 am

    Same here !

    saveur said:

    November 29th, 12:32 pm

    Ditto. God I want to reply the first two so badly.

    xxnike629xx said:

    November 29th, 2:39 pm

    I hope we do get a disc release of:
    – Star Ocean First Departure
    – Star Ocean Second Evolution
    – Star Ocean Til the End of Time
    – Star Ocean The Last Hope

    – Japanese voice
    – 1080p/4K, 60 fps
    – trophies

    Why are these getting digital only releases?

american_36 said:

November 28th, 11:03 am

Thanks for the info about the porting process. I really like those kind of reads^^ and of course I’ll buy the game again. It’s one of the last few reasons I still have my PS3 hooked up xD

xxnike629xx said:

November 28th, 11:29 am

As excited as I am, why not just do a disc 4K remaster that has remasters on the PS4 with Japanese voice option:
– Star Ocean First Departure
– Star Ocean Second Evolution
– Star Ocean Til the End of Time
– Star Ocean The Last Hope

    Tenoko1 said:

    November 28th, 2:19 pm

    I agree with this guy! I love the Star Ocean games and would love to own a physical collection that has them all on the same system.

    xxnike629xx said:

    November 29th, 2:37 pm

    Maybe if we can keep this comment going, Sony will eventually notice and work with Tri-Ace and Square-Enix to make this come true? I’d gladly pay $60 if we had a disc release of :
    – Star Ocean First Departure
    – Star Ocean Second Evolution
    – Star Ocean Til the End of Time
    – Star Ocean The Last Hope
    …and they each had Japanese voice option, 4K, 1080p, and trophies.

    Jbomb81 said:

    December 5th, 4:19 am

    I agree 100% that these games SHOULD be released on disc with all the features people listed! I’ve been a fan of SquareEnix & the Star Ocean series since day 1 and it saddened me to see that Star Ocean The Last Hope was released only digitally. SquareEnix if you read this, PLEASE make all of your loyal fans happy by releasing these games on disc for PS4 (And I guess Xbone lol).

    – Star Ocean: First Departure
    – Star Ocean: Second Evolution
    – Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time
    – Star Ocean: The Last Hope

    SquareEnix, I thank you for the 30yrs of awesome games & I wish you the best possible future in the gaming industry!

thatoneguy314 said:

November 28th, 11:42 am

But did you guys fix all of the game breaking bugs that stopped me from being able to finish this game on PS3?

Tatanka2007 said:

November 28th, 11:53 am

Very interesting read about the remastering process!

I really enjoyed SOIV the first time around. I enjoyed it even more the second time on my PS3. I was excited to fire it up this morning briefly on my PS4 Pro. BTW there were no options at the beginning for Japanese voices. For all the complaints about the English dub, it’s mostly from people repeating stuff they’ve never heard lol. I remember playing the Japanese audio on my PS3. The characters were intoned the exact same way, so they sounded the same even though the language was different.

Anyway, SOIV is a great game, LOTS of content and awesome cinematics. Even the price is great. You could pay $40 for a “sale” price of the half-baked Bulletstorm port which could be found in recent months at Amazon for $15. Don’t do that when you could pay under $20 for a game that actually looks this gen. It’s what a remaster should look like. Best of all, no DLC and no microtransactions! Support titles that deserve your support.

If by chance you played the last Star Ocean game on PS4, please forget that game existed. Star Ocean Faithlessness and Integrity was a blight on the franchise. So don’t let that hinder your purchase of SOIV.

    Tatanka2007 said:

    November 28th, 12:55 pm

    Edit: It does have Japanese audio!!! Just click down on Settings to expand the options.

    xxnike629xx said:

    November 29th, 2:37 pm

    Well the PS3 release in the US had Japanese voice acting, right?

BlaqMagiq24 said:

November 28th, 11:57 am

Are we ever gonna get First Departure and Second Evolution on PS4 like Japan did? The demand is there. Get to it.

    oEterniao said:

    November 28th, 3:39 pm


    xxnike629xx said:

    November 29th, 2:38 pm

    I hope we do get a disc release of:
    – Star Ocean First Departure
    – Star Ocean Second Evolution
    – Star Ocean Til the End of Time
    – Star Ocean The Last Hope

    – Japanese voice
    – 1080p/4K, 60 fps
    – trophies

    FreeRPGer said:

    November 30th, 5:25 am

    Indeed. The demand is also here. I’d get them, like that.
    An entire collection sounds good, too — 1, 2, 3, & 4, all in one box.

Kishnabe said:

November 28th, 12:03 pm

Same trophy list…oh my 600 hours.

Teflon02 said:

November 28th, 1:22 pm

on ps4 pro, does it have supersampling? What’s the 1080p benefit on pro?

RyuuHou24 said:

November 28th, 3:54 pm

All this work and care, and yet you guys left that god awful, insipid, “you’ll never get this Plat!” trophy list that requires absurd things be done like actually obtaining 100% of battle trophies -.-

I’m sure the game looks gorgeous, but that alone put me off buying the remaster. No way in ever loving hell am I going to be attempting THAT trophy list ever again. It was absurd as hell the first time around. You guys really should have altered it to be more reasonable.

    TJ_Solo said:

    November 28th, 7:20 pm

    So don’t play the game with getting a platinum in mind. I think there’s more to the game than increasing your gamer score card but that’s just me.

    TJ_Solo said:

    November 28th, 7:20 pm

    without* not with.

Rinkawa said:

November 30th, 2:50 am

I wish they added some additional content though, like costumes. To give those who already played this a slightly diff experience playing it again. Replaying it just because of better graphics isn’t really that worth it.

FreeRPGer said:

November 30th, 5:19 am

I’d snatch this up like that … *snaps fingers* … “IF” it had a physical release. Love this series (except for Integrity & Faithlessness).
I do love this game. I even named my dog Reimi, for the meaning of the name fit her.
Star Ocean is one of my favorite series, and I’d love to see this remastered version on my 4k TV. But I don’t do digital games, so when I play it again, it’ll by my PS3 version.
I’d rather have this remastered version on my shelf — OWN it — in case I want to play it again in the future, in another 20 years.

I’d get this and Till the End of Time remasters quickly, IF they’d ever get physical releases, because I plan to play the entire series again some day, one game after the other — 1st Departure, 2nd Evolution,, Till the End of Time, Last hope. If by some chance they do get physical releases, I’ll be there day one (pre-ordering).

NayaMerai said:

December 5th, 9:05 am

The game has now been out for a week and in NA at least, trophy data still shows as unavailable on PSN. I get PSN trophies for the game in game with the little trophy pop-up and I get the auto screencapped proof but in my list of games on PSN, it loads as trophies unavailable both on the top and bottom where it’s supposed to show the best trophy you earned. 7 days thus far and no one has fixed this. So is SO4 just gonna be the first PS4 game that doesn’t legitimately have trophies? You all aren’t going to fix this and upload them to PSN? Do you just not care? I pay for a PS4 game and I expect all the features a PS4 game is supposed to have.

Manny_Ack said:

December 27th, 6:57 pm

This game is great. I never finish the trophies on the ps3 so I’m going for them now fun fun. The only think I can say is I wish they would have done something like the FF7 re-release where you got the speed up time or god mode just something. It takes so long running back and forth from the calnus lol

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