Every STAR OCEAN fan has their favorite game in the series, but if you asked them all at once, we’d wager that one game in particular grabbed hearts and minds: STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY. Widely considered one of the crown jewels of the series, this beloved RPG is being completely remade for Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4 and PC (Steam) as STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R.
Set to release November 2, 2023, It features a stunning new 2.5D visual style, a revamped battle system and quality of life improvements galore, while retaining everything that made that original adventure so beloved. If you’ve never played the original game, or even the STAR OCEAN series before, you are in for a true treat… and if you’re a longtime fan, get ready to experience this classic adventure in a bold new way. Read on and we’ll go into much more detail about what you can expect from the game.
What is STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R?
The second game in the spacefaring RPG series, originally released for the OG PlayStation in 1998 in Japan, 1999 in the US and 2000 in Europe. An epic tale of love and courage set in the vastness of the universe, it featured many of the elements that have become synonymous with the STAR OCEAN series, featuring the Dual Protagonist system, fast-paced battles, deep skill systems, Private Actions, and multiple endings.
The story focuses on Claude C. Kenny – a young officer in the Pangalactic Federation. Under the orders of his father and commanding officer Ronyx, he embarks on a mission to investigate a mysterious dome on Planet Milokeenia. Hoping to demonstrate his courage, he touches the dome, only to disappear in a blinding flash of light.
Later, Claude wakes up surrounded by a lush forest and realizes he’s been transported somewhere far away. Trying and failing to get in contact with his father, Claude scouts out the area around him, only to discover a monster just as it’s about to attack a young woman – Rena Lanford. Rushing into the fray, Claude fires away with the Phase Gun his father gave him. Seeing Claude rescue her with this bright, powerful weapon, Rena mistakes him for a figure from the myths of her homeland – a hero who bears a sword of light. Rena takes Claude to her village of Arlia, hoping that he could be the one to save her entire nation, setting both heroes on an adventure that will change both them and the galaxy.
Do you need to have played a STAR OCEAN game before?
Short answer: no. It’s a standalone adventure with its own story, worlds and characters.
Longer answer… well, let’s be honest – the name “STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY” does imply that there might be a first story to experience first. Don’t worry though – that’s not the case. You’ll get a complete RPG with a beginning, middle and end, unique mechanics, memorable characters and brand new worlds to explore.
If you have played STAR OCEAN THE FIRST DEPARTURE R, you may spot some connections between the games, but it’s absolutely not necessary to do so. In fact, the original version of STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY was the first in the series to come to the West, so this was also the first STAR OCEAN experience for many longtime fans!
Introducing the Dual Protagonist System
At the start of the game, STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R lets you pick between two very different protagonists. Both characters experience a different tale, with story events that develop differently, and unique conversations with other characters that take surprising turns.
You can choose between Claude C. Kenny and Rena Lanford:
Claude C. Kenny
Claude is a second lieutenant in the Pangalactic Federation. His father is a revered hero, and the young man has always felt in his shadow as a result. This has made him doubt his own skills and develop something of a rebellious streak.
Despite his issues, he’s a serious-minding and caring man, with a defined sense of justice that makes him unable to ignore those in need.
A young woman who lives with her mother Westa in the village of Arlia. Her innate kindness and sense of justice make her well-liked by everyone in the village
But Westa is only her adoptive mother, and this, along with some unique healing powers, makes Rena curious about where she really comes from…
The characters of STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R
We’ve introduced Claude and Rena, but those protagonists are just two of the fascinating people you’ll meet during this adventure.
STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R is full of rich personalities, from stoic swordsmen to eccentric inventors. Many of them will join your party, and over the course of the story, you’ll be able to interact with them through Private Actions – optional conversations that will affect your relationships and each companion’s ultimate fate.
Let’s meet a few of these party members:
Celine is a symbologist from the town of Marze. When she’s at home, she has familial and national responsibilities to live up to, so she much prefers the freedom that comes with treasure hunting – a hobby she indulges in at every opportunity.
She’s extremely skilled at offensive symbology, and uses fire, wind and light elements to attack enemies from afar. Up close, however, she’s far less effective, so watch out for that when she’s in your party…
Ashton is a swordsman who Claude and Rena encounter as they try to kill a two-headed dragon spoken of in the town of Salva. He fights by mixing symbology with his dual-sword style.
Due to a series of unfortunate events, he is possessed by the two-headed dragon – a fact he is far from happy about…
This Arlian swordsman has known Rena since childhood. He’s famous across the land as an accomplished master of the blade and is able to use all manner of cutting and slashing weapons. He specializes in long-range attacks based on sword arts and magic.
Precis F. Neumann
Precis lives with her father in the academically driven town of Linga.
She has been influenced by her inventor father and taken an interest in machine technology – for example, she fights with tools like the Robot Puncher in her backpack and Robbie, a small, transformable robot that she developed.
New 2.5D visuals
If you’ve watched the trailer or even glanced at a screenshot, you’ll have noticed the distinctive 2.5D graphical style. The game combines beautiful, detailed 3D environments with stunning 2D character sprites that capture the feel of the original game.
It’s a unique look that fuses retro art and modern visuals to create something that looks entirely unique. You’ll explore numerous fully explorable 3D towns, fields and dungeons, but characters are portrayed with incredibly expressive 2D art. It hearkens back to the game’s past, while still feeling fresh and modern – an approach that can also be felt in the combat…
The combat of STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R
The STAR OCEAN games are defined by flashy and exciting combat systems, and that’s definitely the case here. In addition, the already great combat of the original game has been enhanced by new features that make it delightfully dynamic and satisfyingly strategic.
A great RPG is comprised of many elements, including a gripping story, likeable characters, fun combat… and of course a fantastic soundtrack. And, appropriately enough, the music of STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R is stellar.
The entire original soundtrack has been rearranged by its original composer, Motoi Sakuraba, for a much richer, fuller sound. Not only that, but he’s composed entirely new music for certain parts of the story, including some boss battles. Some tracks have even been recorded live with a full band!
The new Break feature lets you stop enemies in their tracks, setting them up for devastating combos with your party. Assault Actions are also new, and let you bring in allies to deliver massive amounts of damage very quickly!
Battles are also incredibly fast-paced with slick animation and flashy effects that enhance the action while remaining clear and readable. It all adds up to exhilarating and explosive and endlessly entertaining encounters.
When is STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R out?
You don’t have long to wait before you can experience this incredible interstellar adventure. STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R launches November 2, 2023 for Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4 and PC via Steam.
Pre-order the game to get access to some awesome preorder bonuses including:
- Weapon for Claude: Pangalactic Federation longsword
- Weapon for Rena: Forest Knuckles
- Sunrise Ring accessory
- 20 x Resurrection Potions
- 20 x Mixed Berries
In addition to the Standard Edition, a STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R COLLECTOR’S EDITION is available as a special, limited quantity set made for both newcomers and fans. It includes:
- STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R Standard Edition game
- Collector’s Edition goods box
- STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK COLLECTOR’S EDITION
- STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R ART BOOK
- STAR OCEAN THE SECOND STORY R Mini Acrylic Stand Collection Box
We hope you enjoyed this look at what to expect from the game and are excited to start playing in November. To stay up to date with news and information about it, be sure to follow us on social media: