Star Ocean The Second Story R First Impressions | Refining a shining classic

A classic that definitely deserved a remaster.

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Given the caliber of the recent releases Square Enix has had such as Final Fantasy XVI and the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it’s easy to let IPs like Star Ocean fly by without much thought. After having hands-on time with it during Tokyo Game Show 2023, it’s safe to say that this game deserves all the attention it can get. Here are our Star Ocean The Second Story R first impressions. 

You’d be forgiven if you said that this would be the first time you heard of the game given that Star Ocean The Second Story R is a remake of a 25-year-old game that was initially released on the PS1. The original game earned acclaim for several reasons, making it a standout title in the RPG genre. First and foremost, the game boasted a compelling narrative with multiple branching storylines, allowing players to make meaningful choices that shaped the course of the plot and influenced character relationships.

 

Star Ocean The Second Story R First Impressions

 

Furthermore, the game’s real-time action combat has pseudo-turn-based mechanics which provide a best-of-both-worlds gameplay system, and the richly detailed environments, along with impressive 2D sprites, contributed to the game’s visual appeal. Star Ocean: The Second Story R effectively combined storytelling, character depth, and engaging gameplay, leaving a lasting impression on fans of the genre and solidifying its status as a beloved classic in the world of RPGs.

The remake of Star Ocean The Second Story R seeks to preserve the beloved aspects that made the original a classic while elevating them to meet modern gaming standards. While staying true to the essence of the real-time action combat system, the remake refines it through visual improvements, new “Break” and “Assault Action” mechanics, and performance boosts ensuring that battles remain fast, fluid, and fun. 

Star Ocean The Second Story R graphics

Graphically, the game strives to bring the world of Star Ocean to life with increased clarity and updated sprite designs, breathing new life into familiar environments and characters. Seeing the 2D sprites standing out in 3D environments brings back a healthy sense of nostalgia and charm that you just can’t get with a lot of AAA releases nowadays. There’s just no denying it. The game looks beautiful and continues to prove just how timeless the aesthetics are. 

The less said about The Second Story R, the better. This is one of the classics that deserves to be experienced in your own time. The developers have already confirmed that the core story will remain intact but there will be some additional dialogue to enhance the experience. Thankfully, the remake is going to provide the perfect welcome back to veterans and a definitive introduction to newcomers. Star Ocean The Second Story R  will be released for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam on November 2, 2023.