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1/1/07

We're not quite there yet, sorry...

Please update your bookmarks/favorites/whatever. The official URL for this website is starocean.org, now and forever. It shan't change ever again. Unless Square-Enix gets angry at me...

Wait, looks different, you say? Well, this actually isn't the planned redesign I was talking about before. This is just the result of some practice with CSS.

I really couldn't stand to look at the page as it was anymore. That awful navigation bar I somehow thought looked good years ago just took the cake. It didn't fit the site and the method of implementation was embarassingly bad.

That said, this little design is just a slight facelift on the original idea. The code is W3C compliant (the old front page had over 420 validation errors... I seriously can't believe it even worked). No more ugly Times New Roman font, and poorly edited ToP sprite graphics.

I only upgraded this front page. I shoved all 2002 and older updates into the old news section... they're so embarassing I really couldn't convert them to this format with a straight face.

As for the real redesign... I got far with the basic design of that but I'm largely unsatisfied on the whole. I want to further improve my web design skills and perhaps get it running with a database. I'm not that good yet. So I'm back to square one on that idea. It's certainly going to be another long while until that's ready...

One last thing. You have no idea how much trouble this was getting to work properly in Internet Explorer. If you are still using that thing, please upgrade to a better browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera. Please, for the sake of all web developer's sanity. The Microsoft Internet tyrant must be stopped until they adopt better standards support.

2/5/06

Doh

Well, it looks like I'm not going to reach the goal of getting the site up in time for Tales of Legendia's US release. The shell of the new site is mostly done. I've converted a few of the biggest game content pages to the new format, but I still have a few more of the smaller pages to convert and need to make some additional changes to those content pages so that Google doesn't end up hating them.

Anyway, Legendia's being shipped to retailers on the 7th (just a couple days!). Remember to buy it, so we can get Tales of the Abyss over here!. Here's a picture of the cover art so you know what to look for:

Tales of Legendia cover art
12/8/05

Yep, seriously.

I'm definitely serious about the upcoming redesign and site revival. I just registered a domain for a it! The domain is starocean.org. I'm very surprised it hadn't been taken by this point.

'starocean' had always been apart of this site's URL address in some way or another. What could be better than a pure 'starocean' domain?

It's kind of funny though. This site hasn't been exclusively about Star Ocean in years (it only became a tri-Ace centric site when Valkyrie Profile was announced). And with coverage being expanded to the Tales series as well, it's even less so. But, may as well keep with tradition, eh?

12/5/05

WHAT!? a tri-Ace news update!? Say it ain't so!

I couldn't pass up not updating about this before putting the new site up. If this isn't a scan of Valkyrie Profile 2 from a magazine, then I don't know what it is! It has Silmeria!

11/9/05

Yes, really! It's still coming along! ...and Tales of Legendia

Yeah, it's been slow coming, but I did mention before that that my time is somewhat limited. My free time is pretty hard to prioritize and I just tend to work on whatever I feel like at the moment. My goal is to get the new site up and running by the time Tales of Legendia is released on US soil in Februrary of 2006.

If you're a Star Ocean series fan but have never played a Tales game I'd strongly suggest taking a look at the series. No one really knows if another Star Ocean installment is planned and Tales is probably the closest thing available to it. The battle systems in Tales games are fast-paced realtime battle system with a lot of fighting game influences. The upcoming Tales of Legendia (on PS2) is a good place to start as it's a more traditional installment.

The previous installments of the series in the US on Sony's systems (Tales of Destiny, and Tales of Destiny II/Eternia) bombed pretty bad, primarily due to poor marketing strategies. While Tales of Symphonia was a big hit on the GameCube (mostly because of Nintendo's strong marketing tactics), it's possible the series might still not have an audience on the PlayStation 2.

As they say, word of mouth is the best form of advertising. I urge all Star Ocean fans to give this game a shot! And spread the word, too. We don't want to miss any more games in the series due to poor sales over here!

Click here to see the official Tales of Legendia website!

7/24/05

Redesign: Underway

One of the big things happening with the redesign is that the graphics will make it look far less like a Star Ocean centered site and more like a general Tales series/tri-Ace hybrid site. It seems this page was so widely recognized as a STAR OCEAN site that even Google would ignore the TITLE tag in the site code and list the site as being titled "Star Ocean" rather than Tales of tri-Ace.

I've changed a lot since in the few years since I was actively updating this site. Don't expect as much immature commentary or emoticons. I've eased up my stance when it comes to translated entertainment (video games in this case) -- I am no longer a diehard purist, now preferring localized to literally accurate. I prefer adaquete dubbing to Japanese voices. I don't care so much about name changes (most of the time). Though I still maintain that Star Ocean 2 had an all-around crappy localization (even looking worse than I remembered it when I replayed the game a couple months ago), and that the voice acting in the US version of Tales of Eternia (Destiny II) is subpar, I found both US versions of Star Ocean 3 and Tales of Symphonia to be very well done with relatively few complaints.

With the site design being overhauled, I gotta say that I'm honestly not totally up to speed with everything related to the games being covered, and it will probably take a lot of time to get there. As far as Tales goes, I have not completed Destiny 2 (the real one on PS2) or any of the spinoffs (I haven't even played nearly half of them). tri-Ace wise, I never put more than 10 minutes into Star Ocean Blue Sphere, finished any of the end game bonus stuff in Star Ocean 3, or played the Radiata Stories import. I don't have as much disposable income as I did when I got my first job several years ago and my collection is lacking.

One thing I've always wanted for this site, even when I was updating regularly, was more original content. I put up things like packaging and manual scans of my own stuff, and screenshots when possible. I intend to do more of this kind of stuff, as I have a capture card and can also emulate. Bandwidth permitting, I'd like to make some gameplay movies for some things.

While all this may sound well and good, I'm not sure about time I'll have available to devote to the site (as well as the fandom that goes with it). I'll at least need to make an effort about posting news as I learn about it.

This'll probably be the last update on this page while the redesign comes together. Since it's being built off the recent Phantasian Productions redesign, it's going to look very much alike to it, except with a bit of a different color scheme and graphics. The redesign will be uploaded when all the current content from this site gets ported over. It's going to be a lot of work making new sections for the other games.

7/19/05

The Future

Well, I've finally moved the site over to tales-cless.org.

In the time to come, we might actually see this site design updated and even with a content update. I'm thinking of using the current Phantasian Productions design as a template. That would make redesigning this much simpler. Well, we'll see. I'll have to try coming up with something that attempts to balance out the tri-Ace and Tales series theme. There are a lot more Tales games than tri-Ace games these days.

For what it's worth, I started playing through Star Ocean Till the End of Time again and it's better than my original impression (but I still have some issues with it). It definitely goes down better with a guide.

The move has disabled the message board. I didn't really check it that often anyway. Use the Phantasian Productions Tales of Forum for now.

12/8/05

Umm... like, hi

Can you believe it? This is Cless, the original owner if this website. As you all probably well know by now, I handed this website down to Lillymon a few years back. I don't know what happened, but she didn't update past her introduction. I supposed I'll take ownership back if she's not going to do anything with it.

Anyway, this site is way past its prime. I'm sure most people coming here now are just looking for information on Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (SO3) or maybe even information on Radiata Stories. But those games were never covered here as I quit working on the site just when real media for SO3 finally surfaced.

Reading this site just takes me back. Reading my old, whiny, immature comments/rants from way back is kind of nostalgic. Wow, I really sounded dumb sometimes. And this site, ugly as sin, as well as my awful image editing skills at the time (actually, I'm still not great at that, but I think I've improved a lot since). Oh well, that was then.

But to be honest with you guys, I actually started losing interest in tri-Ace's games in general, and started biasing myself more towards Namco's Tales series (which has seen three major entries and numerous spinoffs since I last personally updated this site. Not to mention there's a fourth major title currently in development) than tri-Ace stuff. Since there are so many Tales titles being released these days, had I continued updating it, it'd probably have lost its tri-Ace focus anyway.

I still don't see a resurrection of this site happening. Fans are probably going to shout blasphemy at me for saying this, but I was honestly very let down by Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. It was a shock to me that after 5 years of waiting, I got something I didn't find nearly as enjoyable as its predecessor. I used to feel tri-Ace could do no wrong and that they were "perfect", but this game seriously tarnished their reputation with me. Maybe the greatness that was Valkyrie Profile (still my favorite PS1 game) set my expectation bar too high. I don't know. But currently, I'm looking at Radiata Stories with a bit of skepticism. If it gets released here though, I'll definitely buy it, give it a shot, and hope for the best.

Anyway, that's that. My main site, Phantasian Productions is still alive and well (and currently undergoing a redesign). I've just archived this site, and will probably move it to my tales-cless.org domain so that it won't be lost should ZTNET fold or this account gets killed or inaccessible. When the site moves to its next resiting place, it'll be located at this link