Star Ocean: The Last Hope

From Before I Play
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  • The item customization is about the same as Till the End of Time, though it's not as abusable.
  • Most of the changes are in the combat system. The bonus board from SO3 has been overhauled to be less frustrating with changes like not losing all of your bonuses from a single critical. You can add different bonuses like extra fol/exp/skill points/etc depending on how you defeat your foes.
  • More importantly there's the addition of the Rush guage. By charging or taking/doing damage you build up a rush. When this fills up you gain a bunch of bonuses, like immunity to stun and knockdown, along with some other abilities like super combos.
  • As in the previous game you can guard, but now you can also perform an evade move just as the enemy is about to strike. This is great as it automatically sets the enemy up for critical attacks. Some enemies can respond to your attempts with a counter of their own but with the correct alignment you can counter their counter.
  • Depending on your alignment, you can focus on either the Rush guage(and gain additional bonuses related to it) or the evade(ditto). Some players favor one alignment over the other, but both have their uses.
  • For some odd reason Tri-ace forgot to optimize this game for three discs so you actually have to swap discs depending on what side of the universe you're on by the endgame. This is really frustrating as the sole place you can create items at is on one disc while at least one of the post-game dungeons is on another disc.