Sea of Stars: Once upon a time … All at once …
Isometric camera, light RPG, turn-based combat, exploration, fishing mini-game, 16-bit look, colorful, Japanese. Technical facts: Check.
Sea of Stars is High Fantasy at its best. Ghost ships, warriors of the sun and moon, ancient powers,
world-breaking dangers. Despite the simple plot, it’s not bad if you have a hard time keeping up with the world at first. The many characters and creatures have a lot to tell in their many text boxes – and that mostly touches me when it’s about people and not exactly about the lore.
Dear Sea of Stars: Give me an important reason to save this world and spare me with the Rabbit Hole details, please. Make me curious, let me try a bit and then ask follow-up questions, but don’t COMBO me to death already at the beginning with the 300,000 pages of your world almanac.
Let me arrive in this game first, or – since it’s an RPG – be born as a character. So you are warned, Sea of Stars comes along HIGH. For this reason, I’ll spare you the original terms in this review, which will only lead to more questions.
Despite all the JRPGs …
In Sea of Stars, you play as either Valere, the Moon Bender, or Zale, the Sun Bender. However, since you control an entire adventuring party anyway and send them into turn battles, this choice only affects who leads your party. The game starts right in the adventure. Valere and Zale set out to save the world. But then, around the campfire, they reminisce about their training at the academy – and how much they miss their old friend Garl. What follows is a review, a tutorial within a tutorial. Sea of Stars takes its time to tell its story.
This may require some patience, but will be rewarded with the characters growing on you. We, who have liked, loved and hated a lot of video game characters, need that certain something to feel more characters. Sea of Stars has that something. A prime example of this is Garl, a bon vivant with unlimited curiosity, who reappears shortly after the memory as a fighter cook and joins the group. It is the secondary characters who are the true heroes of the hearts here. The story fulfills its purpose with twists and great mysteries, but the journey remains the goal.