Director Yuichiro Kitao talks about the Star Ocean The Second Story R changes

Remaking a classic for both newcomers and Star Ocean veterans alike.

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In a recent interview with the SEA Media, Yuichiro Kitao, the Producer and Director for Star Ocean: The Second Story R along with others from the team sat down to discuss the upcoming remake of what many of the fans would call one of the best entries in the Star Ocean franchise. In this interview session, a lot of the Star Ocean The Second Story R changes to the game were discussed. Here’s a quick rundown based from the interview.

 

Revised Combat System

One of the points that was heavily emphasized is how Star Ocean: The Second Story R is designed to attract both Star Ocean veterans as well as newcomers to the series. And while the story beats have mostly been preserved if not enriched to be able to introduce the game to people who don’t know why the original of this game is so good, it’s via the combat where the devs hope will give long time fans something to be really excited about. They’ve added a bunch of new systems that will hopefully keep the game fresh for people who have played the OG title.

In this game, you now have the BREAK, Combo Link, and the Assault Action Systems. The BREAK system allows you to break the enemy’s shield gauge to stun them while allowing you to deal even more damage while they’re in this state. To add another tactical layer to this system, if you BREAK the leader of a group, the BREAK status will spread to nearby enemies as well.

Another system is the COMBO LINK system. In Star Ocean: The Second Story R, you can use L1 and R1 to use the special art skills of a character. COMBO LINK lets you tap L1 or R1 twice to launch special art combos easily. It’s a simple enough feature but one that lets you keep the action as smooth and flowing as possible.

Then you have the ASSAULT ACTION. In combat, you will now have an ASSAULT GAUGE that fills up. Once filled, you can use the ASSAULT ACTION to call on your party members to do follow up attacks. If you use this in conjunction with the BREAK and COMBO LINK systems, this will really light up your foes with a LOT of damage.

Overall, Kitao-san mentioned that the focus for the development team was to keep or retain the good, better qualities of original battle system while introducing changes that will make the experience look and feel better through these new systems, graphical upgrades, and by making battles not drag on.

 

Updated Audio and Visuals

This is probably the first change that one will notice about the game. There are a lot of visual upgrades done with the game in both the overworld and with combat. Kitao-san revealed that the visuals were newly designed and newly illustrated in a way that the game doesn’t feel old but still keeps the essence of the iconic title. These were also matched with 3D CG scenes that were done in a way that would fit the feel of the world so that players wouldn’t be jilted off their immersion once cutscenes would happen. Immersion was a huge factor when they came up with the redesigned visuals of the game and, with what we can see so far, it looks like they really did a great job with it.

For the games music and audio elements, a lot was done as well. The game lets you switch between 2 voice sets (PS1 and PSP) AND you can even change the musical scores between the two. It was also said that new sound effects were recorded for this. Sakuraba-san is back for this project and has produced new scores and tracks for Star Ocean: The Second Story R. He even used raw live instruments to compliment the games’ more impactful scenes so definitely look forward to that!

 

A Richer Story Experience

Another point that was emphasized by the team was how they didn’t want to CHANGE the story that Star Ocean: The Second Story was known for as this was one of the main highlights of the title. They did however, take a lot of steps to enrich the game’s narrative. It was revealed during the interview that there is indeed more dialogue in Star Ocean: The Second Story R. You’ll be seeing characters communicate with each other while moving around in the field and even during fights. You can also expect some new characters and new narrative elements that will be introduced in Star Ocean: The Second Story R.

 

These are some of the most notable Star Ocean The Second Story R changes but, with what has been discussed, it seems like the ever popular Second Story is set to make an impact with both new and longtime fans. We honestly can’t wait to see how this all pans out once launched!

Star Ocean: The Second Story R releases on November 2, 2023 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.