Original Air Date: November 21, 2007 (Expanded Today!)
I uploaded a video for this game a few years ago and it was one of the only videos ever uploaded for Hoshigami... I had stopped playing the game around the time for "unknown" reasons and ripped the gameplay movie off of my disc for YouTubers. Fast forward a few years... I now own the English and Japanese version of Hoshigami, the game was "remixed" for DS, and I never went back to the original PSX game for "unknown" reasons... until today. I decided to give the game a smidge more justice and put up a proper sample for the game, but in the short time I started it back up, I can remember why I didn't pick it up. Seems people don't care much either... there's just as many videos now as there were more than two years ago (a few more now, in 2016).
Hoshigami was touted in some circles as a FFT (Final Fantasy Tactics) killer... but as someone who has invested MANY hours into both games, I find that to be ludicrous. This is one of the driest, most boring, cookie-cutter strategy games on the Playstation. At least other games like Saiyuki: Journey West (while it may not have been too pretty or complex) had likeable characters, a decent script, and a gameplay system that wasn't almost wholly inconsistent. I had to laugh that one of the most advanced healing items I could buy restored 300HP...Romleth has over 6000!
Hoshigami suffers from an almost insufferably slow pace, uninspired dialogue (almost all around), and just...man, it's uninspired. Music is unmemorable...I'd even go as far as to say it's super-repetitive rubbish, save a track or two (title, movies), which are decent. The graphics are really fuzzy and generic, with a few things being serviceable.
In H: Remix, their idea of remixing the game was giving the game a cool anime intro and some newer anime portraits and minor cosmetic changes...now Elena's boobs are bigger, but the game suffers in most (if not, all) the same ways. The art by Takamichi was more appropriate in the PSX game IMO... the newer look just seems more tossed-together and typical of ecchi/bishonen+ stuff we get from Japan these days (perhaps a cynical way to look at it). Still, this game looks and sounds more like it belongs on a GBA than anything with tinny audio and even tinnier (?) sound effects.
I could deal with a game that looked bland AND sounded bland AND maybe if the story wasn't anything worth getting excited about IF the gameplay was good... but I'd say it's far from it. The problem (and it's been said by those who have played Remix as well) is that the game has some really cool ideas, but they just don't work right, even in Remix...which is made many years after Hoshigami.
The game's selling point from other strategy games is its inclusion of "Coinfeigms", the "R.A.P." system, and "Sessions". Coinfeigms are how characters gain various magic abilities (by spending lots of time and money and HOPING you create the coin you desire). They aren't a necessity in the beginning, but are waaaaaay too overpowered later and you need them for nearly EVERYTHING.
Strategy? Think of it this way; you could heal Romleth for 50HP with an item or use a coinfeigm to heal 1000+. It's your call...PSST...just between you and me...it can actually cost LESS R.A.P. points to use healing magic too, meaning you can move and attack more. Pointless manuevers like using an antidote can cost a ****load of R.A.P. and work on a single target. You tend to fight roughly double the amount of enemies than you have party members...which I'm used to in my strategy games. However, they usually have supreme terrain advantages and such where one of the only strategies is to have powerful magic or charge them blindly while minimizing damage. Walking a few spaces and killing everyone in a few blows is a lot easier than going around some mountain while your friends die halfway there. People make the game seem hard, but it's actually not; it's VERY easy for the most part, but it's not much of a strategy game, which is part of the reason people buy games like this.
Sessions are a joke and are a means to get a few better items. You position your characters a space apart and whack the enemies around until they die. The time and effort it takes to orchestrate a session greatly outweighs its benefits and the damage it deals makes a mockery of us all. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible. It's so bad, each terrible deserved to be a fragment sentence. You notice I didn't even bother using it in this video? The game has some lighter, not so detrimental elements like dieties and devotion, but the total package is mediocre at best. I would tell you more, but YT text limitations won't let me. Get Saiyuki, Tatics Ogre, Brigadine, Ogre Battle, Vandal Hearts 1 and 2, FFT, FM3, Arc the Lad (series...maybe not AtL3), Vanguard Bandits, Kartia, or just about any other SRPG. The only games I can think being worse right off the bat is Master of Monsters (PSX) and possibly Monsterseed.