Today’s Nintendo Direct was rich in JRPG news. Among them was the return of Super Mario RPG with a fresh coat of paint, but not only. After successfully launching Star Ocean First Departure R in late 2019, Square Enix is coming back with the second installment in the series. Star Ocean The Second Story R is indeed coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5 and PC via Steam on November 2nd, 2023.
What is Star Ocean The Second Story R?
Star Ocean The Second Story R is a highly anticipated game, a polished remake of the original Star Ocean: The Second Story first released in 1998. This new rendition of the game, announced by Square Enix during a Nintendo Direct broadcast, is set to revolutionize the original game’s aesthetic and gameplay elements. The game’s release is set for November 2, 2023, on platforms including the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC via Steam.
The reveal trailer showcased several key aspects of the game. The game’s graphics have been extensively updated, now featuring a blend of 2D pixel characters and 3D environments, marking a significant upgrade from the original release. The character art, redrawn for this remake, reimagines the iconic characters, including the dual protagonist Claude C. Kenny, in a style reminiscent of Square Enix’s “HD-2D” titles (such as Triangle Strategy or Live A Live). This lends a nostalgic yet fresh feel to the game, marrying classic aesthetics with modern visual fidelity.
What’s the story of Star Ocean The Second Story R?
Just like other Star Ocean titles, The Second Story R fuses elements of science fiction with fantasy. The storyline revolves around a spacefaring Federation officer named Claude C. Kenny who gets stranded on an underdeveloped planet. Here, he meets a young woman named Reina Lanford who possesses mysterious magical powers.
What’s the gameplay of Star Ocean The Second Story R?
Players can choose to lead the story as Claude or Reina. This choice and the actions taken by players will determine potential allies that can be encountered. Each playable character possesses a deep skills system, offering a plethora of skills to utilize in combat. This makes every character, active or inactive in the party, vital to the party progression.
In terms of gameplay, this definitive version of Star Ocean: The Second Story offers a blend of adventure and action role-playing video games elements. At the core of these are the game’s real-time combat situations.
The fast-paced combat has been enhanced with combat enhancements, including the ability for allies outside the active party to contribute during battles. Players can execute chain attacks and assist-style follow-up attacks, adding a new layer of strategic depth to the explosive battles. The real-time battle system is more dynamic and engaging, with major combat bonuses providing incentives for strategic play.
Is Star Ocean The Second Story available on other platforms?
It’s worth noting that this is not the first updated re-release the game has received. In 2008, a remastered edition titled Star Ocean: Second Evolution was released for the PlayStation Portable, introducing new endings, skill balancing, a new playable character, and animated cutscenes. It’s currently unclear whether The Second Story R will include content or changes from Second Evolution.
Long-term series artist Yukihiro Kajimoto is behind the revamped character illustrations and sprites. In addition, English voice overs will be included in this version, a feature not present in the original Japanese game.
While the announcement trailer has provided a glimpse into what the game will offer, it is yet to be seen whether this version will include content or changes from the 2008 remaster, “Star Ocean: Second Evolution”. This enhanced remaster added new endings, skill balancing, a new playable character, and animated cutscenes to the game.
Star Ocean The Second Story R is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Star Ocean series, and fans are eagerly awaiting to experience this classic adventure game in its new, enhanced form. With the updates to graphics, character art, and battle mechanics, this Square Enix’s remake is set to be a popular release among fans of the series and new players alike. The Nintendo Direct Post-Show and updates from the official Star Ocean Twitter account continue to build anticipation for the game’s release.
Whether it is a homage to the 13th best-selling game in the Action role-playing video games genre, or a contender for the 90th best-selling game in the adventure games category, only time will tell. Regardless, Star Ocean The Second Story R is set to make waves upon its release, breathing new life into this beloved title from the annals of gaming history.