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Messages - Gillian Seed
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Commercial Critique / Re: Commercial Critique - Star Ocean: Blue Sphere
« on: February 09, 2009, 06:01:43 pm »
Conceit kindly linked me to this topic (after finding my videos on Youtube) so I thought I might post about some of the more interesting graphics/animations in Blue Sphere.

I can't offer much of a critique in terms of technical skill but there are a lot of very nice animations which I thought you might want to look at.

You probably know that Blue Sphere was made on the largest Game Boy cart available and it's (supposedly) part of the reason why it was never bought outside of Japan (there isn't enough space for all the English characters/text) which goes to show just how much tri-Ace packed into the game.

I made gifs of some of my favourite animations. They're not timed perfectly, they're really just things that I liked which you might want to look at in-game. First the Edifan Kings in Aqua:

They look as though they are producing the light from within their bodies. It's a nice effect which stood out.

My favourite battle animation is probably the final attack in Ashton's short combo chain:

It's interesting how he slaps his twin swords together to form one giant sword which he brings down on the enemy. I think the little bounce of the sword at the end of the animation is meant to signify that the sword is so heavy that Ashton just lets it fall on the enemy and that it hits the floor with a bounce afterwards.

Another great thing in battle is when you get a long combo going - with each extra combo the background/foreground (which both move at independent speeds) increase in speed until they're rushing past. Even though it's something you might not consciously notice every time, I think it makes long combos more intense.

For enemies I really like the force at which certain enemies rush you. The bee enemies zoom back and forth creating long trails. There are also the Dragon Warriors which literally rush into your face and then slam a sword into you. There are also enemies that roll up or spin around (like the frog enemies) and come at you. I think the way that the sprites move around at high speed whilst still looking smooth is a real accomplishment.

And a couple of enemy attacks:

The frog's laser beam which creates nice highlights on it's metal body:

And one of Rival's forms during the final boss fight:

I just chose this because it looks impressive.

One other thing I really liked are the few areas where you can look out from a high vantage point and see other landmarks. For example, on the way to Knott you can take a detour through an old building to a dead end area, on top of a cliff, where you can see Knott (with the huge disc of Grand Knott above it). Then if you go back to this area later, after Grand Knott has detached and flown off, you'll see that it's missing in the background. There's no reason you ever HAVE to visit this area, but it's yet another nice touch that tri-Ace put in.

That's all I could think to mention, but if you want to see pictures of anything specific then I'll try and help.

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