The Enduring Cosplay of Star Ocean
The Star Ocean series has been playing Showtime to Final Fantasy's HBO for close to 20 years in the Japanese Role Playing Game market. Consequently, the under-hyped announcement of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness at this week's E3 Expo a day after the biggest game industry news of the year -- the re-boot of Final Fantasy VII -- should have surprised no one.
The first game in the series was released a year before Final Fantasy VII, and saw no distribution outside of Japan. But the second Star Ocean came along at a propitious time -- that long gap between the releases of FF VII ('97) and VIII ('99) -- just after mainstream gamers had gotten their first taste of a top-drawer JRPG and with very little else available to satisfy their new craving. Star Ocean: The Second Story brought players a bit more hard science fiction than FFVII (its creators have confessed to having been greatly influenced by Star Trek) but it also introduced an innovative and story-affecting character relationship system lifted right out of Japanese dating sims. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness will mark the sixth game in the franchise (if you count the Gameboy Color-only Star Ocean: Blue Sphere, and not everyone does). With so many games, across various timelines, the size of the cast has given fans of the series quite a bit from which to choose.
First Row: Edge Maverick cosplayed by Echow, Meracle by Ally Bee, Nel Zepher portrayed by Fire Lily Cosplay; Seconf Row: Cosplayer Catherine (owner of God Save the Queen Fashions) as Myuria, cosplayer StarDustShadow as Luther Lansfield, and Barbara Boera as Reimi Saionji. At the bottom is Arumat cospayed by Rei Kashino, and Arumat is cosplayed by Jiaki Darkness on the homepage.