Curiously absent from yesterday’s Nintendo Direct was the announcement of a free demo for Star Ocean: The Second Story R. The demo was released a short time after the Direct, clearly timed to ride hype from it, yet….no mention. You had to follow the official Star Ocean Twitter account (or Wario64’s) to be notified this was a thing.
One thing’s for sure — no one expected this demo so soon, almost two months ahead from the date of release. Square’s other demos have counted any progress you make in the sampler to those in the finished game, and it’s the same here…you can start legitimately playing Star Ocean 2 R with this demo. You just can’t get very far.
For not only does the Star Ocean: The Second Story R demo automatically end once you clear a certain area (there was a screen that told me exactly where, but I can’t get it to appear twice), it’s double-restricted by a time limit of three hours. You might think they did this just to be mean, but given how this action RPG is set up, it would be possible to run around in one place near the end and grind your players into invincible status by the time the full game came out. They won’t let you cheat.
For those who want to preserve their time in Star Ocean: The Second Story R, here’s a new eight-minute gameplay trailer that’ll give you an overview of the planet Expel and its inhabitants.
We know this holiday season is a crowded one, but Star Ocean: The Second Story R NEEDS to be on your list of games. The PS1 original remains the best in the series, and hopefully this remake will surpass that. The game will be released November 3 for Switch, PS4, PS5 and PC; the demo is out for Switch and PC.