Going into the second day of TGS, I had a list of things to try. Right at the top was Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. I hadn't actually played a game in this series since Blue Sphere, so why not brave the morning rush and give it a try? Well, I may not have played an SO game in ages, but I have played many things with the same general feel, including several of the more recent Tales iterations.
The opening of the demo laid out the basic situation: the local kingdom was coming apart at the seams, and a gang of thieves was laying waste to the hinterlands. The two of the three playable characters were out to avenge the destruction of their home village, with the help of several members of a mercenary force. With three combatants actively under my control and another three under AI backup, I infiltrated the bandits' lair, fought crossbow snipers and their pet dragonoids, and generally button-mashed everything to death. The biggest challenge in the main quest was camera shakiness in some areas.
My only question is, where's the science in this fiction? I know the series has always been about blending SF with fantasy world settings, with a heavier emphasis on the fantasy, but there was nothing to distinguish this from a Tales title until the very end. That was when the bandit boss pulled a laser pistol and started firing, much to everyone's surprise. From the responses, I doubt that this was a quotidian event, but it's also the only thing I saw in the entire demo that was not purely high fantasy. The game was all pretty and HD, though a bit wobbly at times, but it was also kind of generic. The Xillia 2 demo I played in 2012 did more to stand out than this.
In any case, I beat the boss with enough time left to explore a different branch of the level that contained a hideously overpowered monstrosity called the Avalonie. It looked more like a squid crossed with a beholder than any gastropod I've eaten, but after the pounding I took, I'm all for finding a restaurant that serves abalone and having some tasty, slightly crunchy revenge for lunch.
As for the game... I'm sorry, Square Enix. It seems this series has lost its integrity and is faithless about its stellar namesake.