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Name: Star Ocean 2 The Second Story (87.50% in 12 votes)
Type: RPG
Platform: PSX
Company: Tri Ace
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Tamahome

As the pressure for the most anticipated game from Enix Dragon Quest 7 keeps getting delayed. Enix decided to release a sequel from their previous game Star Ocean to satisfy the fans. Star Ocean The second story is definitely a game that is worth watching out for. Shown in the Tokyo game show of last year, Enix finally released this game in the summer of 1998 and promised it to be released in English sometime in the First Quarter of 1999. After the all the great games that were released before the summer such as parasite eve, Xenogears, Brave fencer Musashiden, the games that have been released in the rpg category is almost zero until Star Ocean the Second Story. In terms of gameplay, story and graphics, Enix is probably second to Sqaresoft. I would still say Square has the best over all graphics in any rpg games today.

The Story of Star Ocean The second Story is new and innovative. Instead of humans being the primitive race, the story is about a soldier from Earth crash landing on a primitie planet where people still use swords to fight and a place where there is magic. There are two main characters in the game and depending which one you choose, the story will go in different directions. (Finally, a game with multiple endings ^_^) The main male character who is a human is Crawd. C Kenny, and after crash landing on the planet, he bumped into the main female character Rena Lanford and saved her life from a demon. That's when Rena recognized him as the hero from the legend who will appear in time of crisis to save the world with his trusty light sword (which is actually his phaser). The story is then decided on how the player respond to different people and where to go. The game is quiet non-linear and you don't have the plot restriant of most square games. (To tell you the truth, it is kinda like playing Saga Frontier).

There are a lot of moves items and skills which can be learned and buyed. Instead of just having levels, there are certain talents a character can major in from his sp points that he/she gains after each level. These talents ehance the performance of the character or allows them to different things such as duplicate items, create new weapons, identify unknown items and cook :) Different characters also have a completely different set of special moves, Rena has healing type magic as well as some attack. Celine is the magician with the fireballs and Crawd is the fighter with sword moves. All I gotta say is, this game is good and deserves to be up there with the top rpgs of the year.

Here are the ratings I give to this game:

gameplay: 9/10

Very good gameplay, very new and innovative. This is unlike other square games that you might have played. There are so much more to it then Xenogears or Parasite Even or even FF7. The gameplay definitely deserves a good rating.

Graphics: 8/10

The graphics of this game is basically the same technique used in FF7. Characters walking in Pre rendered CG background and the battle graphics is not amazing either. One would mistake the battle scenes as those of SNES quality. But it is not the graphics which made this game good :)

Music: 8/10

This game has some good tracks in it, but I still perfer the music created by Square. But it is nonetheless good soft music, but it is just not catchy enough for it to stick to my mind.

Story: 8/10

Not the greatest story, the idea has been used before in other anime, but the mutiple ending and the multi path makes this game replayable, and the fact that you cannot get all the talents on one character in one try will also allow you to replay the game just to master all the talents.

Overall: 8.5/10

Overall this game is good, and is recommended for rpg fans or just people who enjoy playing rpgs. IF you don't understand japanese, I would recommend waiting for the english version, becasue of the non-linearity of the game. You could be stuck for some time if you don't understand what's going on.

The game Star Ocean The Second story is copyrighted by Enix and Tri-ace and all rights are reserved to that company.

Please feel free to email me for more info.
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