The game explains things very poorly, so I imagine there are a number of players who aren’t aware, but a few changes to your in-game settings will make dodging a lot easier:
Graphics settings: Effect Settings: Turning “Effect Settings” all the way down will remove all the fancy particle effects that impair your vision. The game won’t look quite as pretty, but it’ll be so much easier to see.
Battle Settings: Camera Range + Battle Camera Effects: Set “Camera Range” to “Far” and disable “Battle Camera Effects.” These will fix your camera at long range so you can always see the boss from a reasonable camera angle.
Battle Settings: Battle Skill Name Display: THE MOST IMPORTANT SETTING TO DISABLE! It makes it so that only the bosses’ skill names will be displayed, meaning the game will warn you when the boss is about to use skills! You won’t be forced to solely rely on hard-to-see tells in order to know when to dodge.
Here you can see an example from Crystal Guardian where the boss is using “Auto-jamming” (his green balls attack). As you learn the boss’ skill set, this will let you know whether or not you will need to dodge, and if so, how and when to do so. For example, in the just-past Millioneyes fight, if you started to dash the second you saw “Special Attack: Paralyzing Waltz,” you would have been able to successfully avoid this aggravating skill. Knowing how to read the targeting reticle (if you don’t, read below) and having this setting disabled absolutely trivializes the Frost Tree fight. He literally becomes a punching bag :p
Additional note: Not a change to an in-game setting, but another very-poorly-described game mechanic that will help you immensely with dodging is the targeting reticle. If you look at my screenshot of the Crystal Guardian fight above, you’ll see a yellow triangle pointing at the boss (just under the hit counter). That targeting reticle lets you know who has aggro from the boss and who is about to be attacked by a skill. It will show different colors throughout the fight, and depending on the color, you should get ready to dodge:
Green: another player has aggro.
Yellow: another player has aggro and the boss is targeting them with a skill. This will coincide with a skill name notification at the bottom of your screen. Even if you are not being targeted, you may still need to get ready to dodge depending on what the skill is and your position relative to other players.
Red: you have aggro.
Blinking red: the boss is getting ready to hit you with a skill. If you see a blinking red reticle AND you see a boss skill name display at the bottom of your screen, GET READY TO DODGE. For example, with Blood Valkyrie, if you see a blinking red reticle on her and “Special Attack: Spiral Pierce” appear at the bottom, you still have 1-1.5s until a perfect dodge timing; dodge right when the skill name appears to dodge with plenty of room to spare.
Join this Star Ocean: Anamnesis Facebook Group for tips & discussions with other players! 😉