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Star Ocean: Second Evolution

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GF Rating
7.7

620 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Remake of a Solid RPG Classic

posted by RaftRider (ORANGE PARK, FL) Feb 2, 2009

Member since Jun 2007

14 out of 15 gamers (93%) found this review helpful

If you missed the original 1999 sleeper hit, "Star Ocean: The Second Story", for the PSone, now is your chance to play it--but with a few vast improvements. For those of you who played the original, there have been a few changes; The character art, a handful of items, Heraldry, Killer Moves, and city names have been altered or changed completely, the item creation sequences are much quicker, the formalities stemming from Japanese culture in the dialog has been overhauled completely to flesh out the characters more and appeal more to Western audiences, and characters can now dish out THREE (normal) attacks successively (which compensates for Bowman's lack of range).
More Private Actions have been included as well involving Dias Flac, whom was curiously omitted from PAs in the original, and some involving the secret character (and bane of my existence)Welch Vineyard.

For those that are new:

Pros:

-The game is an absolute blast. There are random battles, but combat is free roaming. Party Member A.I. is exceptional, so they'll get you out if you're in a pinch (Unlike Star Ocean 3).

-Voice acting was surprisingly good, as many of the actors are second and third rate actors from FUNIMATION. Unfortunately, there are a few bad apples (Dias and Leon, for example, felt too forced and eye rollingly haughty at times)

-Innovative item creation system. Depending on your individual characters' talents and skill levels, food, powerful weapons, armor, anti-personnel weapons (cluster bombs, grenades, instant kill items)and other unique items can be created. Hate how stores rip you off? There's a specialty to combat that!

-Easy learning curve

-Up to 86 different endings (character pairings)

Cons:

-Slow start. AS SOON AS YOU GET CONTROL OF YOUR CHARACTER, go to the OPTIONS and select the "skip messages" option. You'll thank me later.

-Some places seem to have MUCH higher encounter rates than others

-Story isn't stellar, but certainly better than SO3's inane plot

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

ok

posted by greenman30 (CONYERS, GA) Jan 24, 2009

Member since Feb 2008

5 out of 9 gamers (56%) found this review helpful

almost done with this one but plays very similar to the last one. good graphics, ok storyline, good game mechanics, overall a very solid game. If you like the series its a must play and if not its still one of the better rpgs out there.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Too Much Talking

posted by Clink2208 (SILVER SPRING, MD) Mar 7, 2009

Member since Jan 2009

2 out of 9 gamers (22%) found this review helpful

Very good graphics, the game play is good. the dialog is way too long. It's boring before any real action happens.

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GF Rating
4

Weak

Remake does not add anything for me

posted by prisoner6 (ATLANTA, GA) Jan 19, 2010

Member since Mar 2008

1 out of 5 gamers (20%) found this review helpful

I never played the original, but with the exception of the combat interface, nothing new here at all. Too much talking and horriblely over-done plot.

I rather use an emulator and play an old RPG game with a better plot. Honestly, that was the only thing that held us to the lower-end graphics and hack-and-slash mechanics.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

i love this game!!!!

posted by peterce1111 (EAST LONGMEADOW, MA) Apr 6, 2013

Member since Apr 2012

i pretty much am obsessed with this game and have loved it so much!
there is nothing wrong with it.
it is 20 years after first departure. so the charaters are different.

i recommend u rent first departure then this one to feel with the storyline so you don't get confused with both.

this game has two modes: claude and rena:
claude mode is where you play as claude a boy whose 19 and the son of ronaex kennedy, he gets sepurated from his dad by accident (i do not understand wat happened he just randomly teleported) but pretty much in his mode u return to his dad.
rena mode: this mode is about a young very cute 18 year old girl who can pretty much heal in battle (use healing symboligy) and she searching for her real mother.

when u play this game play both modes to get a feel to both characters, look up guides for recruitments on party members etc. etc. on youtube there is some walkthroughs (best ones are from sephiroths awakening) thats all folks!

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Great gameplay makes up for a weak story

posted by Iamnobody (WILMINGTON, DE) Sep 23, 2011

Member since Jul 2008

SOSE represents the first Star Ocean game I've ever played. It was certainly an impressive introduction to the series, but at the same time it falls well short of perfection.

Let's start with the positives. Star Ocean has one of the expansive character customization systems I've ever seen. Every character can achieve up to ten ranks in literally dozens of skills that lead to specialties, which then further lead to Super Specialties. The usefulness of these skills/specialties varies heavily, but there is a certain entertainment value in increasing your character's Whistiling skill even if you're never going to need it.

SO's party development is equally impressive. It's possible to refuse every single party potential party member in the game except protagonists Claude and Rena. Don't like a character? Just tell them they can't come along and you'll never see them again.

Finishing up the positives is SO's "Private Action" system. This lets you take your main character into cities alone, leading to some interesting cutscenes and events that would not otherwise be possible.

And now for the negatives. First off, most of the voice acting in SO is downright awful. While Claude and Rena are usually passable, several other party characters and major NPCs were almost physically painful to listen to. There is no option to turn off voice acting.

The voice acting is certainly not helped by SO's convoluted mess of a story. The first half of the story is actually reasonably well-done, but it all ends up feeling pointless after a mid-game plot twist. The second half of the game feels like something ripped out of Scientology and features distractingly bad physics even for Sci-Fi, poor level design, and extremely little new plot/character development.

But in the end, these significant flaws are not enough to ruin the game. The battle system and the sheer amount of customization are more than enough to make up for lacking acting and writing abilities on the part of Square.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

i didnt even make it to the first fight

posted by nettlc (LANSING, MI) Jul 10, 2011

Member since Jun 2011

well, first i started playing the guy's story but i had to stop because the voice acting was sooooooooooo bad. so i started over playing rena's story. shes not as annoying to listen to but i found myself pounfing the x button the majority of the first 45 minutes trying to get past all the boring dialog. i eventually just got sick sick of it, popped it out, and im waiting to send it back.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Fun Times

posted by RichTown (ABERDEEN, NC) Oct 21, 2010

Member since Jul 2010

Very well made game fun all around

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Star Ocean

posted by animal91 (EAGLEVILLE, PA) Sep 15, 2010

Member since Sep 2010

I thought it was a great game, and it has the ability to take different paths towards the common goal so save often you never know you might want to go back and do something different to change the situation you are in. It is also easy to get back into the game if you havent played in a while, the tools are all there. I really like this game and gave it a 8.9

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

hard but fun

posted by GtheGreat (VANCOUVER, WA) Aug 20, 2010

Member since Aug 2010

the game is basic and simple there is a way to fast forward through the cut scens just go to options.
i had trouble at the end of the game i am lvl 50 and could not beat the fire guy and other guy that is all i am going to say dont want to spoil it but i do suggest u lvl up more then i did :)

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

Ahhhh I cannot believe it........

posted by 3nigmaPSP (MESQUITE, TX) Aug 13, 2010

Member since Aug 2010

Ok first off this is one of those games that i wasn't sure about but gave it a try for Square Enix sake and i can honestly say this is not worth playing!.....................pros: battles might get interesting later in the game, but thats seriously the only thing a tad bit good............cons: script writing is absolutely horrible, the main characters lack any depth whats so ever, and the story is just pathetic. Honestly Square Enix totaly missed the mark on this one. If you must play this game, for the sake of money and time please RENT!

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Hey, not half bad.

posted by Pyrospazz (BROOKFIELD, MA) Dec 20, 2009

Member since Mar 2009

I have to say, I love this game. The story line is somewhat lacking but it makes up for it with hilarious character interactions.

Each character has their own personality and emotions. If you're the kind of person who needs to get attached to the characters in order to enjoy the game, this is definitely one for you.

There were side quests so if you got stuck in the story line, you could go off on a side quest and level up with out getting bored. (Although the side quest I went on was just as hard as the story line.)

I only have one complaint - MORE SAVE POINTS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! I often got faced with a boss that takes an hour to get to from the previous save point. So if I was defeated, I'd have to play another hour just to try again. It became more tedious than fun. (This is the only reason I didn't give this game a 10.)

All and all, this game is great and definitely worth a rent. The bosses can be very difficult and I got stuck on them for weeks sometimes. but aside from that, and the lack of save points, I love the game and recommend it to any RPG fan.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

surf the stars

posted by jakeob (SACRAMENTO, CA) Oct 2, 2009

Member since Apr 2008

star ocean 2 is a great game it has a stroy that would make the creators of star wars and star treak proud that and the game has such a great boss battles tat make ninja grand games[nes verson] look as ancing as having to go to the bank.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

pretty much the same as the 1st game

posted by dulun21 (CHANDLER, AZ) Aug 25, 2009

Top Reviewer

Member since Aug 2007

new characters, storyline (not so great though) and some other things.. but. overall it's like a clone of the first game.

also. if you are having problem with some enemies.. plz note that in some battle you suppose to hold out for about 2 minutes while some. you supposed to die.

if you a RPG gamer.. then it is a decent game to add to the collection. Don't expect much from the story though..

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GF Rating
7

Good

decent remake/update

posted by thinkbomb (KAYSVILLE, UT) Mar 23, 2009

Member since Mar 2007

Overall this is a pretty good remake of Star Ocean 2. The game's aged considerably well (all things considering) from the PS1 days, so while there are some unimpressive moments, on the whole it's pretty good

STORY
The game gives you two different options for your main hero, but the stories are mostly identical (it mostly changes whose head you're in thought wise). It centers around a young space captain who gets stuck on an undeveloped planet (no space ships for them). So he ends up saving the world for them, and there's also a young priestess type who's looking for the truth on a number of the planet's mysteries. Standard fare, but it's pretty well executed (if obscenely wordy at times).

GRAPHICS
For the most part these are brought back from the PS1, though fans of the original will note the following differences:
- Anime sequences to help with the story, but the direction of these sequences suck and carry less impact than the original in-game-engine cinematics carried ... sad.
- Portraits for dialogues have been added based on the look of the new anime sequences. These help out the story considerably since it's more interesting to look at than the b-grade chibis for the hour-long dialogue bits.
- Mulitple camera angles have been re-shot (still using the original 3D models). These help format it for the PSP and also correct some of the angle problems of the original.
- 3D models of the items are replaced with still images. Smart move since I have no idea why they were 3D in the first place.

VOICE
The two main characters are actually fairly superb. Claude has his faults but does provide an entertaining performance. Rena Lanford actually has the best performance in the game and is top class, very well done. The rest of the cast is satisfactory to let-downs, and some of the NPCs provide bad readings that are flat out hilarious. Overall though they did do a pretty good job of the voice casting.

GAMEPLAY
exactly the same

So yeah, fairly easy recommend =)

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