Thursday, September 7, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Sea of Stars on PS4

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Sea of Stars. For clarity, i did back this game on Kickstarter so i have a copy of this game already, as well as it's soundtrack, but i haven't played it as yet. This demo is my first experience playing this game.

I played through the whole of demo. it's a "slice" of the game that tries to not spoil the game's story. so at points, it stops your characters from exploring too much, and some parts of the story are redacted. it's a little weird as it feels less of a public demo and more of a demo for publications to play. Whilst i'm not against such a thing being available for the public, it does mean it's less accessible than people may expect. For example, there's no main tutorial. it meant that there are aspects of the gameplay that i didn't learn about until right at the end. some of the key battle mechanics are in the pause menu in the How to Play section. a simple splash screen of slide show before it began would've done more than than what the game does. Some characters are given dialogue that's just for the demo, one of them could've reminded the player to check out the How to Play section.

The reason why i highlight this is that the battle mechanics especially are deep and fun to play with. the basic battle stuff is fine and easy to understand. it's one reason why i didn't check out the How to Play section first. having played many RPG's in the past, i understood how it basically worked. but as i started to explore it, i grew to understand that it's much deeper than i anticipated. there are combo's,  different ones between pairs of characters, there are power up moves, and the player can reduce damage taken and increase damage delt by pressing O at the right time.

The slice of the game this demo showed had been good. it shows the great pixel art, the beautiful locations, the music, and locations. i was already enjoying playing it. but by the end, once i learned how to take better advantage of the combat mechanics, i was excited to play the main game. ultimately, the demo did it's job. it made me want to play the full game after playing it. it's not the most accessible demo i've played, but it's good and if you're interested in Sea of Stars it's a good place to start. But as it's a couple of sections from early in the game, you can't carry on with the main game with your save.