When you first hear the name “Star Ocean,” it immediately conjures images of thrilling adventure, expansive 16-bit landscapes, and the wonders of space. However, the subtitle “The Second Story R” does not quite have the same ring to it. It evokes memories of mistakenly sent WhatsApp messages. Nonetheless, when combined, these elements give us Star Ocean: The Second Story R, a stunning 2.5D remake of the classic Square Enix PlayStation JRPG. Now available on Steam with a demo, it is time to dive into the captivating world of Star Ocean: The Second Story R.
In Star Ocean: The Second Story R, players have the opportunity to take on the role of either Claude or Rena, each accompanied by a unique set of companions. The relationships you cultivate with these characters will ultimately affect the available endings. How you interact with NPCs and your party members directly impacts the outcome of the game, giving players a sense of agency and personalization in their gameplay experience.
Combat in Star Ocean: The Second Story R unfolds in real-time, introducing a dynamic “break” mechanic that adds depth to the battles. Players can strategically order their allies to perform specific attacks, enhancing the cooperative nature of the gameplay. Additionally, the game offers skill and crafting systems for activities such as cooking, art, and metacraft. These mechanics provide an extra layer of immersion and allow players to further customize their characters’ abilities.
One of the standout features of Second Story R is its unique blend of 2D sprite characters and real-time 3D backdrops. This combination creates a visually captivating experience that enhances the overall immersion and beauty of the game. Furthermore, the remake features expanded voice acting with the original cast, a refined battle system, re-arranged music, and fast travel, all of which contribute to a more polished and enjoyable gameplay experience.
Originally released in Japan in 1998 for the PSone, Star Ocean: The Second Story R made its way to the west a year later. While it is a sequel to the original Star Ocean game from 1996, Second Story R can be enjoyed independently, without any prior knowledge of the series. It is worth noting that a previous remaster called Second Evolution was released solely in Japan for PlayStation devices. Some elements from this remaster have been incorporated into Second Story R, enriching the overall experience for players.
For those still on the fence, a demo for Star Ocean: The Second Story R has been available since September. The demo offers a playable section from the early stages of the game, allowing players to get a taste of its mechanics and world. However, certain features are limited, and save files have a three-hour time limit. Should players decide to purchase the full game, they can carry over their progress from the demo and continue their journey seamlessly.
Star Ocean: The Second Story R reignites the magic of the original PlayStation classic with stunning visuals, engaging gameplay mechanics, and a rich storyline. Whether you are a fan of the original game or new to the series, this remake promises an unforgettable adventure through space and time. So, embark on this epic journey, forge relationships, and shape the outcome of your own story in Star Ocean: The Second Story R.
You can find Star Ocean: The Second Story R on Steam for the price of £40/$50.