We’ve seen Square Enix port a lot of beloved RPGs from the original PlayStation to modern platforms in recent years. Some were fine. A few of them were disappointing. None of them seemed quite worthy of the source material they were working with…even Star Ocean Second Story R. the Final fantasy The game maker’s latest blast from the past isn’t just the best version of classic games ever: it sets the new standard for PS1 RPG remakes moving forward.
It will be released on November 2 on PS5, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch. Star Ocean Second Story R is Japanese action RPG studio Gemdrops’ revamp of 1998’s mix of space exploration sci-fi and medieval fantasy tropes from Tri-Ace, upgrading the visuals, adding voice acting, and introducing a host of new quality-of-life improvements and engaging gameplay. Gameplay modifications. It helped me fall in love with one of my favorite games all over again, and proved that a retro remake could elevate the original while maintaining the style and feel that made it so special in the first place.
You play as either Claude, the son of a starship pilot who is stranded on a medieval planet called Expel, or Rayna, a troll-like orphan with magical powers who joins him to investigate a mysterious asteroid called the Magic Realm whose influence has unleashed monsters all over the world. the earth. . You travel across the world and eventually to a futuristic sister planet where you can choose between different characters – a three-eyed bounty hunter, a swordsman pursued by demonic dragons – to add to your collection. The story isn’t always memorable, but it continues to get to some really strange and interesting places.
There are over a hundred different endings based on who you recruit and your relationship statuses with them, while the standard dungeon combat and button mashing are augmented with a host of secondary skill systems that let you do everything from crafting weapons to playing in an orchestral game. I’ve spent 10 hours with the game on Switch so far and everything is as I remember it, much prettier, more streamlined, and more engaging than the original game or the 2009 PSP remaster. I enjoy driving around in my old Prima Star Ocean 2 The strategy guide, which still feels obligatory in some ways given the sheer amount of offbeat side content and baroque skill trees.
Remastered of the classic PS1 game
Star Ocean: The Second StorySprite Pixel Art returns with an HD touch for characters, NPCs, and enemies, but the environments and backgrounds have been overhauled with a beautiful new 2.5 HD look in the vein of Traveler Octopath. Doesn’t always retain the vibrant colors and textures of the original pre-rendered scenes. However, the new look often made me feel like I was exploring the game for the first time again. Aside from the jarring look, 2D pixel art versus 3D wallpapers feels like the best of both worlds.
The quality of the new English voice acting varies from character to character, but it helps bring life The second story‘s lengthy, detailed text (you can convert it to Japanese or turn off the sound at any time from the settings menu). The stunning soundtrack has also been newly arranged by original composer Motoi Sakuraba to add real string instruments and live musical performances. I still prefer the little reverb tracks designed for the PS1, though I suspect anyone coming to the game for the first time will appreciate the warmer, deeper sound of The second story R Total.
The remake also shines during combat. This is great because it’s where you spend almost half your time. Random encounters now appear as small floating clouds on the map that you can surprise attack or completely bypass. Real-time battles still play out like chaotic conflicts, but some major changes add new layers of depth. Enemies can stumble if you hit them enough times in a row, or dodge them if you pull off a new evasive maneuver perfectly. The window is small and fickle, but it helps break up the monotony of regular attacks or special abilities. You can also summon a group of collectible characters from other games in the series to act as a temporary summon to aid you in battle. Anytime you die in combat, you have the option to retry the fight instead of being sent back to your last save.
Each defeated enemy also drops orbs that you can collect to gain temporary mods like a 25 percent damage boost. They are only eliminated when you die or fail a save, motivating you to be more precise during melee. However, my favorite feature by far is the ability to chain multiple battles together if enemies in the overworld get close enough. Doing so makes battles chain, which results in double the money and experience points you get at the end. It makes grinding much more interesting and less grinding.
The second story It is a long game filled with large dungeons, lots of dialogue, and a huge amount of side content. Fortunately, while the classic RPG is still slow and bloated by contemporary standards, the remake streamlines proceedings in some important ways. Each dialogue scene can be skipped, played at double speed, or skipped automatically. The mini-map gives you a good location for the land, and also includes important markers to keep you from wandering around confused in the face of obtuse storytelling. Plus, the generous autosave helps reduce lost progress.
Otherwise, it’s the same heady mix of party building, item crafting, fighter customization, and side stories that has wowed fans of the genre for decades. There are six main games in Star Ocean series, and none of them ever matched The second storyAn enchanting blend of magic, beauty, and an overwhelming RPG extension of the PS1 era. The new version displays these high points perfectly, and improves dramatically in areas that were outdated. The winding, evocative story still can’t compete with era rivals like Final Fantasy VII, Xenoggersor Suikoden II. But the overall package is still irresistible to me, and has never been better. I just hope that some of the other original PlayStation RPGs stuck in the past can get the similar glow they so richly deserve.
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