So you've got things that, on paper, should make your game more free and open, right? But it's like they hit an uncanny valley of openness. Eliminating "random" battles sounds more free, but the end result in Star Ocean 5 delivers virtually (if not exactly) the same number of battles. Allowing characters to move during scenes sounds great, right? But instead of the freedom, one's focus is drawn toward the place where the freedom ends. It's admirable to add these things, but weird that they don't end up helping Square Enix's cause.
What little I got to see of the story was decent, but that's just it: I saw very little. Where it goes could be anywhere at all. Longtime Star Ocean fans know exactly what I mean.