If you don't want story elements of Star Ocean: Till The End of Time spoiled for you, stop reading now.
I've had a couple more hours of Star Ocean 3, and I must say the game has left me bitterly disappointed. First, it confirmed my earlier suspicions by maintaining the same glacial pace as before. Second, it compounds the sin of including fantasy magic ("symbology") by stranding our young hero on a medieval planet (!) with elf-like natives (!!) oppressed by an evil wizard (!!!) (actually an advanced-technology human), stripped of his technology and with only his trusty sword (!!!!) for a weapon.
Thus the bait-and-switch of this article's title. I went in expecting science fiction and instead got medieval fantasy. At least Xenosaga had the decency to stay in science fiction land despite its use of "ether" effects.
I will give it one more chance; I will consult an online walkthrough to see whether the game detours briefly into medieval fantasy land or spends the bulk of its time there. If the former holds, I will grit my teeth and play through the medieval portion. If the latter holds, out it goes.