Star Ocean: Second Evolution (スターオーシャン２ セカンドエヴォリューション, Sutā Ōshan 2 Sekando Evoryūshon?) is remake of Star Ocean: The Second Story for the PlayStation Portable. It was the sixth Star Ocean game released.
The first details of the game were revealed at the "Star Ocean Special Stage" during the Square Enix Party 2007, alongside those of Star Ocean: First Departure. Yoshinori Yamagishi, the producer of the series, stated that he wanted the remakes to feel as though they're completely new games.
It was adapted into a manga and serialized in Dengeki Maoh. The art is by Yoshida Morohe and follows Rena's point of view.
- Due to receiving a new translation, most locations, items, talents, skills, Special Arts (formerly called Killer Moves) and even some characters have been renamed—most notably the Ten Wise Men, whose names had been changed due to religious sensibilities.
- New voice actors, animated cutscenes and character portraits, as well as a new character designer. All major story events now have voice acting.
- The player now holds to walk (rather than to run as it was in Second Story).
- New recruitable character: Welch Vineyard.
- New Private Actions and endings.
- Unlocking the Galaxy and Universe modes now require defeating a specific number of enemies in a single playthrough rather than unlocking voices in the Voice Collection.
- Pratically all Combat Skills have been refined, some being removed (such as Cancel, which is now automatically implemented).
- Gale is now called Godspeed, and along with the increase of movement speed, randomly teleports the character towards the enemy.
- Flip is now called Backstab, and instead of making the character only attack from behind, the character will randomly teleport behind the enemy.
- New skill: Sidestep, that randomly makes the character evade an incoming attack.
- New skill: Concentration, that randomly prevents spell cancelation when the character receives damage.
- New skill: Recast, that reduces recovery time between spells.
- New skill: Trance, that randomly increases damage dealt from spells.
- The skills Strong Blow, Float, Provocation and Cancel have been removed.
- The combat system has been slightly refined, now allowing all melee fighters to perform a 3-hit combo as their normal attack.
- Additionally, short range anti-air attack no longer makes the character jump.
- Players can press during some actions to cancel them (such as when the character is running towards an enemy).
- The combat HUD has been toned down to be more light visually and fit better the PSP screen.
- All characters have a cast bar below their MP, which is used for mages to see their recovery time between spells (but also affects non-mages that use casting items such as "The Scream").
- The item timer is now located on the left side of the screen, at the bottom.
- The Super Specialty "Bunny Call" no longer allows the player to "climb" on towns and some terrains. The player now will enter a town upon approaching while in Bunny Form, and can even activate private actions.
- All items in the inventory screen are now depicted as 2D icons.
- Item Creation can be sped up by holding down the button.
- Many bugs and glitches have been fixed (most notably the infamous random Cave of Trials screen freeze).
- Ring of Lightspeed (called Slayer Ring in Second Story) now works on Dias Flac.
- In Rena's story, in a PA in Arlia, if the player stands for some time in Claude's path when he is pacing down towards the entrance to the Sacred Forest, a 'frustrated' bubble will appear over his head and, if talked to, he will say "Sorry, RENA, could you step aside for a second?".
The remake's music was compiled into a soundtrack; however, it is virtually the same album as the Star Ocean: The Second Story Original Soundtrack except it features the game's theme song, "Start", performed by the Japanese group Scandal.
Second Evolution was produced using an improved version of Star Ocean: The Second Story's engine, with improved audio and graphics. The same engine that was used for Star Ocean: First Departure, produced at the same time as this game. Production I.G provided new artwork and animated cutscenes for the game. There are new voice actors and massive amounts of new, fully voiced dialogue.
Plot-wise, a new character, and consequentially, new private actions and endings were added to this game. In terms of gameplay, the game has been virtually unchanged.
Accessory Kit Set
Hori, the Japanese game peripheral manufacturer, unveiled a Second Evolution-branded PSP accessory set to be released alongside the game on April 2, 2008. The kit includes the following: a limited, gray PSP case with the Star Ocean logo (not a new PSP entirely), matching headphones, a cell phone strap, and finally, 2 UMD cases to hold both First Departure and Second Evolution games. The kit's release seems to coincide with First Departure Eternal Edition package.