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Star Ocean: The Second Story R will bring the ‘90s PlayStation RPG to PC with a hot new 2.5D look

Octopath Traveller and Triangle Strategy fans, take note

Star Ocean: The Second Story R gameplay showing the party in town
Image credit: Square Enix

Science-fantasy RPG Star Ocean: The Second Story is back with a remake that gives the ‘90s PlayStation game a gorgeous lick of 2.5D paint and its first-ever outing on PC.

Star Ocean: The Second Story R remasters the second entry in the long-running franchise - which recently ventured onto PC in last year’s sixth chapter The Divine Force - with a mixture of 3D environments filled with 2D character sprites.

The 2.5D effect similar to Octopath Traveller and Triangle Strategy is impressively gorgeous, with new character art from veteran series illustrator Yukihiro Kajimoto melded into the nostalgic mix of styles. While I personally found Octopath Traveller’s visual style a little iffy, the trailer’s look at Second Story R had me enticed. Maybe I’m a 2.5D convert now.

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The Second Story follows stranded Pangalactic Federation officer Claude C. Kenny as he encounters the mystical Rena Lanford on a planet under threat of destruction. As is typical for the series, you can choose to play as either Claude or Rena, affecting the companions you can add to your party and the branching paths of the story.

In another hallmark of the series, the second Star Ocean game featured a bunch of different endings that were affected by your choices during its lengthy story. In R, those endings will be handled by the Private Actions system, which tracks your relationships with more than a dozen allies and which endings you’ve unlocked.

The upcoming remake’s combat will apparently introduce new mechanics to battles, including the ability to ‘break’ enemies with repeated attacks, opening the window for damaging follow-up attacks.

Star Ocean: The Second Story R gameplay showing combat during a battle with an alien creature
Image credit: Square Enix

Other additions in The Second Story R include a recomposed soundtrack and full voice acting during event scenes from the game’s original cast, with the choice to add extra dialogue from previous 2008 PSP remake Second Evolution.

Despite being the second in the Star Ocean series, you don't need to have played the first entry to dive in here - especially given that The Second Story was the first Star Ocean game to make it to the West back in 1999.

The Second Story R will land on PC on November 2nd, letting you give it a whirl and decide what you think of its look for yourself.

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