Despite the crowded landscape of video game releases in 2023, the action RPG game, Star Ocean: The Second Story R, may have flown under the radar.
Nevertheless, players on Steam have been effusive in their praise for this remake of the second installment in the Star Ocean series. While less renowned than franchises like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, the action RPG series has garnered a solid reputation, with its second installment considered one of the best. Square Enix has undertaken the development of this remake, released on November 2, adopting the HD-2D style that proved successful in Octopath Traveler. The game combines pixel art for characters, akin to the original released in 1998 on PS1, with 3D environments and modern visual effects, delivering one of the most appreciated RPG remakes in recent years.
Despite a positive Metacritic rating of 86/100 based on 25 reviews, it is on Steam that Star Ocean: The Second Story R has won over players. With over 1100 reviews, the game boasts an impressive 96% positive rating, earning it an overall classification of “extremely positive.” Gemdrops Studio, the creator of the remake, expressed satisfaction, with the producer even releasing a letter of thanks to the players.
However, despite this positive launch, the Star Ocean series is currently not in its prime. After the disappointment of Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness, with a Metacritic score of 58/100, the series returned last year with a sixth installment, Star Ocean: The Divine Force, which fared better with a score of 69/100 but remained relatively discreet compared to the success of the first three episodes. Nevertheless, there is hope that the success of Star Ocean: The Second Story R will inspire Square Enix to continue developing the franchise, perhaps even considering a remake of the third installment, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, considered by many fans as the best in the series.