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Star Ocean: Blue Sphere

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Star Ocean: Blue Sphere (スターオーシャン ブルースフィア, Sutā Ōshan Burū Sufia) is a 2001 Game Boy Color video game that is the direct sequel to Star Ocean: The Second Story. The original game has never been released outside of Japan. On 8th June 2009, a remake was released for mobile phones but so far, only a Japanese version has been released. The text is colloquial with an emphasis on "sci-fi" jargon.

Plot

Setting

Taking place 2 years after Star Ocean: The Second Story and the defeat of the 10 Wise Men, all the characters have since moved on with their lives. Claude has taken Rena, Leon, and Precis to live on Earth with him. Ashton, Celine, Dias, Noel, Chisato, and Bowman still live on Planet Expel. Ernest and Opera are treasure hunting when their ship crash lands on Planet Edifice. Opera manages to send out an S.O.S. to Precis, who then rounds up the entire gang (sans Claude and Rena, who are on a Federation mission) in her self-built ship and heads to the planet. They are also mysteriously pulled down through the planet's atmosphere and crash-land. They decide to explore their surroundings and search for their missing comrades, hoping that Claude and Rena will rescue them, but they too crash-land on Edifice later on in the game.

Characters

Rival and Dias

Rival and Dias

Now 21 years old, Claude C. Kenni takes Rena, Precis and Leon with him to live on Earth after the events of Star Ocean: The Second Story. After helping Precis and Leon settle, he returns to the Earth Federation with a real job along with Rena. While constantly being sent on missions into space, Claude's relationship with Rena doesn't change much at all.

When Precis receives the SOS from Opera, Claude and Rena are on a mission and cannot assist immediately. Once the mission is complete, they travel together to Edifice where their ship is pulled through the planet's atmosphere and they crash. Claude is separated from Rena and contracts a deadly illness. He is bedridden in a nearby village and it's up to the player to find the herb that will cure his sickness.

The main antagonist is known only as Rival.

Gameplay

Blue Sphere attempts to adapt traditional Star Ocean gameplay to the Game Boy Color. For the first time, random battles are removed and enemy characters can be seen on the field. When engaged in combat, the screen changes to a side scrolling view and retains real time combat. The characters can only move left and right, and the majority of fighting is influenced through combos. Battle techniques and magic can be assigned to button combinations, making the battle system more similar to Star Ocean's cousin series, Tales.

Blue Sphere is the first game in the Star Ocean series to include a player vs player mode which would later be re-introduced in the Director's Cut version of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Two players, each with their own cartridges, link their Gameboy systems together with a Link Cable and have their teams battle until one team falls.

Special

New artwork for the mobile remake

Mobile Phone Version

On June 8, 2009 a remade version of Star Ocean: Blue Sphere was released in Japan under the same title. Only available on iMode phones, this game has a completely reworked battle system and new artwork for the characters and all backgrounds.

Merchandise

Much like the other games in the series, Star Ocean: Blue Sphere also has a manga based on it that was drawn by Aoi Mizuki and serialized in Monthly Shonen Gangan. Oddly enough, Noel Chandler and Chisato Madison, two of the twelve main characters from Star Ocean 2, have been omitted from the storyline, since the Star Ocean: The Second Story manga was cancelled prematurely before either character could appear in the storyline.

Composer Motoi Sakuraba released a two-CD soundtrack for this game. The first disc was an arrangement album of selected tracks, while the second was the complete in-game score.

Artwork

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