Review – Star Ocean The Second Story R


There’s a long-standing saga that fans love out of nostalgia. Let’s go back to 1998, when the Star Ocean saga turned a corner, with a determination to change the world of JRPGs. And it’s perhaps thanks to him that we’ve seen such an evolution in the saga and in other games in the genre. Let’s see if the passage of time has done this remaster any good, as it resembles its predecessor with the addition of modern techniques.

2D, but mixed with 3D…

As an old-fashioned JRPG, the beginning of the adventure is slow. And that’s exactly what’s needed to understand the depth of the gameplay. Controlling 4 characters with a huge number of possibilities and effects on all sides quickly becomes chaotic. So it’s a good idea to take your time and learn to master all your character’s evolving talents. You’ll never see the time go by.

Just mastering breakage and chain effects alone will take you a long time to learn how to squeeze as much life out of your enemies as possible. One word: optimization. Add to this the addition of an assault formation that wasn’t there in the base game, and you’ve got enough to become a weapon of war against your enemies. Without spoiler, you’ll be pleased to see some familiar faces…

A more open game than in the past.

Let’s face it, when it first came out, the title was basic. It was on PSX and the console was fairly limited, and there was no talk of 3D everywhere yet. And in the translation and story reworking alone, you can feel that the studio has gone to great lengths to make the plot more coherent and, above all, more gripping. Whether you start with Claude or Rena, you’ll see the game through different eyes.

This is a Remake…

This is a remake of the original game. And yet, keeping the 2D characters evolving in a 3D world is both exciting and successful. The scenery is magnificent, teeming with detail. All this with detailed character sprites, even if in pixels. This constant sense of being caught between two eras just makes us want to dive right back into the adventure.

Add to all this a soundtrack revisited by Motoi Sakuraba, with the possibility of having period music or new music is a must. It’s a great way to appreciate the evolution of both sound and visuals. The dubbing is also top-notch. Even to the point of re-recording passages from the already excellent 2008 remake. Suffice it to say that Star Ocean fans (like me) have a remake worthy of their expectations.

In short, this Star Ocean is for fans, nostalgics and newcomers alike. The revised formula of the original game in a 2.5D mix is just right, and will bring a tear to the eye of the oldest among us. With a gripping story and revolutionary gameplay for its time, this is a JRPG masterpiece!

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