Mr. Wonderful writes "The pre-rendered backgrounds are all high-resolution and at times absolutely breath-taking to behold. While I personally find most applications of pre-rendered graphics ugly these days, (and I'm looking at you, Baten Kaitos,) First Departure does the style beautifully enough that one can forgive the static feel pre-rendered graphics create.
Another notable upgrade from the PSone engine is the higher resolution character sprites. All the characters are much more detailed than the ones in The Second Story, which is a great thing. It should be said, however, that the sprites are still slightly too low of a resolution. At some points, they look fine, depending on the zoom level of the area the player is in and how much the sprites are scaled, but at most times, the characters' resolution is too low, causing everyone to look like a slightly blurred mess, as in the screen above, instead of the extra-sharp sprites we've seen in 2D games as of late such as Wario Land: Shake It! and Odin Sphere. The low resolution of the sprites is the one factor keeping this game from being a gorgious one instead of simply a good-looking title."