Star Ocean Second Story R Review Score

All Version Differences in Star Ocean The Second Story R

One of the best RPG remakes yet.

The second title in the Star Ocean series has gained quite a few different versions throughout the years. Here are all of the new updates and features in Star Ocean: Second Story R new game plus.

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All-Star Ocean The Second Story R Differences Listed

Being a full remake built from the ground, expect to see a lot of changes in the game compared to previous releases.

  • All updates previously added in the Second Evolution remake, which is the basis for Second Story R.
  • Graphics are now made in 2.5D, blending 3D scenarios with 2D pixel sprites for characters and enemies.
  • New sprites and new arrangements for OST were made exclusively for this remake.
  • New Japanese voice cast available as well as the previous Japanese and English casts from Second Evolution too.
  • On top of the new cast, players can choose which voice they want for every playable character (you can have old English Claude with new Japanese Rena and old Japanese Celine, for example).
  • Universe difficulty (Hard mode) is available by default.
  • You can find Unique Spots scattered around the world, which give you some extra EXP and have a dedicated section.
  • Combat has been revamped. Enemies now have a Break bar, and depleting it leaves them open for attacks. You also have a dodge button now.
  • Spells will no longer pause the game temporarily and are much more dynamic. Many of them have also been reworked.
  • Damage can exceed 9999.
  • Many quality-of-life items were introduced as special bonuses, such as an item that reveals where all chests are found in a dungeon.
  • Enemies have a database for you to view their sprites and info.
  • Fast Travel was added, showing where PAs and side quests are available and if they’re limited or not.
  • Abilities and Specialties systems were remade.
  • Equipment works slightly differently now. They might have a Factor (indicated by a “+” in their name) that grants it an extra effect such as extra ATK or more MP.
  • The Thief’s Gloves are now a key item and you don’t need to equip them to Pickpocket people anymore.
  • Spells and Special Arts are now leveled normally instead of having to be “mastered”.
  • Fishing is now available as a Specialty. Fish can be exchanged at Harley for various rare items.
  • Assault Formation is added, allowing you to summon your backseated characters to assist you in battle with one of their skills.
  • In addition to this, special stones containing the spirits of other Star Ocean protagonists unlock them as Assault Formation assists.
  • Different Battle Formations grant you bonuses based on your current “Bonus Gauge”, obtained by repeatedly defeating enemies without receiving a Break.
  • New Game Plus is available.
  • Characters have access to true “ultimate weapons” by completing special challenges.
  • Challenge Missions are now available, rewarding players with extra SP and BP for completing said missions.
  • Encounters are not random anymore, and you directly need to touch an enemy sprite in the overworld now. You can chain enemies for extra experience/FOL.
  • Raid enemies were introduced to the map. These rare enemies are powerful challenges and reward you with unique equipment once defeated.

Star Ocean Second Story R – New Game Plus Explained

If you have experience with New Game Plus modes with other games in the Star Ocean franchise, you’ll be right at home here. It’s essentially the same deal here: most progress is carried over from your save into a new game. This gives you the opportunity to play different paths, recruit different characters, without having to start entirely from scratch.

Here’s a list of noteworthy things that’ll come with you into in New Game Plus.

  • Encyclopedia completion status.
  • Every item that isn’t story important.
  • FOL/SP/BP.
  • Character level.
  • Learned skills and moves.
  • Character Friendship level.
  • Fun City Facilities completed.
  • Guild Missions completed.
  • Challenge missions completed.

And that’s basically it. You’ll still be able to play your old save file, as long as you have a save before the final battle. Going into Star Ocean Second Story R New Game Plus gives you a somewhat fresh start with the same stats and equipment carried over.

There are probably even more changes that weren’t mentioned here, but these are certainly the most important ones. This is definitely the best way to experience Claude and Rena’s adventure, and you can make it even more special by bringing more people to your party.


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Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.
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