Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R


October 29, 2023

Star Ocean The Second Story R is a remake of the classic PlayStation-era RPG, developed for PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Windows), featuring revamped mechanics, a rearranged soundtrack, and a bold new 2.5D art style to commemorate its 25th anniversary.

  • Revamped mechanics
  • Rearranged soundtrack featuring new music
  • Bold new 2.5D art style


Introducing Star Ocean The Second Story R: A Deep Dive into the Remake of a Beloved RPG

By Kei Komaki

In collaboration with Yuichiro Kitao, Gemdrops, Inc.

November 2 marks the highly anticipated launch of Star Ocean The Second Story R, a remake of the classic Playstation-era RPG. Developed for PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Windows), this revamped version expands upon the original adventure with revamped mechanics, a rearranged soundtrack featuring new music, and a bold new 2.5D art style. As the game prepares to hit the shelves, let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at the development process and how we approached the challenge of remaking such a beloved game.

The Remaster Takes Flight

The decision to remake Star Ocean The Second Story was driven by the continuous requests from fans. Even as we worked on new installments in the series, such as Star Ocean The Divine Force set for release in 2022, fans consistently expressed their desire for the return of Star Ocean The Second Story. With this year marking the 25th anniversary of the game’s original release, we began contemplating how to commemorate this milestone. It was during this time that I had the pleasure of meeting Yuichiro Kitao from Gemdrops, Inc., who would later become an integral part of the development team. We discussed the project, and he quickly embraced the idea of a remake.

However, our initial plan was to bring back the game as a remaster, similar to Star Ocean First Departure R. Things took a drastic turn when we laid our eyes on a piece of concept art created by the talented team at Gemdrops, Inc. This artwork showcased an art style that perfectly balanced 2D and 3D elements. The graphics were fresh and innovative while still capturing the essence of the original pixel art. It also managed to faithfully present the world in a way that resonated with each player’s imagination—a true world of adventure!

Creating the 2.5D Experience

Kitao (Gemdrops): Developing these new visuals required a tremendous amount of effort. Our goal was to strike a balance between nostalgia for fans who played the original PlayStation version and the visual aesthetics popular in today’s gaming landscape. However, we didn’t stop there. We contemplated what it would be like to inhabit the world as one of the pixel art characters, and how that world would appear from a realistic 3D perspective. We then brought that vision to life in these stunning 3D environments.

A Star Ocean for Fans and First-Timers

As we delved into the development process, we had two primary objectives in mind: to honor and preserve everything that made the original game so beloved, while also creating an experience that would appeal to new players. Remaking a game involves respecting the memories of the fans who have supported it since its release on the original PlayStation. To achieve this, we added numerous conversations and gameplay systems that allow players to forge deeper connections with these incredible characters. Simultaneously, we wanted to ensure that newcomers could enjoy the game as a fresh and modern experience. For instance, we revamped the battle system, transforming it into a more visually captivating and exhilarating experience. Additionally, we incorporated features that modern gamers expect, such as Fast Travel and other quality-of-life enhancements.

By keeping these concepts at the forefront of our development process, we believe we have successfully created a game that offers equal enjoyment to both longtime fans and those venturing into the Star Ocean universe for the first time.

Elevating Combat

In reimagining the combat system for Star Ocean The Second Story R, our aim was not to completely reinvent it but rather to evolve it into something equally enjoyable for both existing fans and newcomers.

The first step was to increase the overall speed of combat. However, it wasn’t just about making it faster—we also focused on improving the pacing. Kitao: We introduced new systems such as Break and Assault Action. The Break feature allows players to chain attacks together, breaking enemy shields and stunning them. On the other hand, Assault Action enables players to prompt a character who is not in their active party to join a combo and launch an attack.

These new mechanics not only enhance the strategic depth of battles but also provide players with a greater sense of fighting alongside a diverse cast of allies. Moreover, players can even bring in characters from other Star Ocean games, some of which have been meticulously recreated in pixel form for the first time. We understand that many players have experienced other Star Ocean titles, so we wanted to include these characters as a treat for our dedicated fans. Expect nothing short of greatness when it comes to their moves in battle!

The mechanics in Star Ocean The Second Story R were designed to encourage players to consistently think about the best strategies to gain the upper hand in combat. We offer players a plethora of options to explore.

Final Thoughts

When we initially launched Star Ocean The Second Story R, the team was eager to gauge people’s reactions to the art style, particularly when they played the demo. We are incredibly proud and grateful that the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their excitement for the game.

Star Ocean The Second Story R will launch on November 2 for PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Our hope is that this game will leave a lasting impression on players, and we encourage you to spread the word and share this Star Ocean adventure that our dedicated fans have helped us create!

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Devs Detail Process of Modernizing Star Ocean: The Second Story R

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Background Information


About Nintendo: Nintendo, a important Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company, has left an indelible mark on the gaming landscape. Established in 1889, Nintendo has evolved from producing playing cards to becoming a gaming giant that has introduced some of the most beloved and enduring franchises in the industry, including Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon. With a rich history of innovation, Nintendo has consistently pushed boundaries, leading to the creation of iconic gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch, which offers a unique hybrid gaming experience.

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