With the recent announcement of the upcoming sixth mainline entry in the Star Ocean franchise, Star Ocean The Divine Force, I think now is as good a time as any for Square Enix to finally localize the PlayStation 4 port of Star Ocean: The Second Story.
For those of you who aren’t aware, the PlayStation 4 currently has every mainline game of the Star Ocean series, with one notable exception in the West; Star Ocean: The Second Story. Unfortunately, this second entry is only available on Japanese PSN despite every other mainline game being available globally via this service.
What makes this Japan exclusivity more bizarre is that Star Ocean: The Second Story has been localized on PSP, so a full-scale from the ground up localization would not be necessary. Star Ocean: First Departure R, the definitive version of the first game on PSP, was also localized, and that release is what is available on PlayStation 4 and Switch.
For a while, I gave up any hope of this potential localization occurring since, well, Star Ocean is still fairly niche, and sales for the remasters of Star Ocean: First Departure R and Star Ocean: The Last Hope were probably meager. However, I think after this announcement, steps should be taken to make as many of these prior games available to as vast an audience as possible, especially considering how Star Ocean is not a consistently lucrative IP.
So, the most straightforward step, at least to someone like me who knows nothing about business, would be to make the second game globally available on all modern platforms because not only is its localized release still stuck on the PSP, but it is widely regarded as the best entry in the franchise.
Additionally, bringing Star Ocean: First Departure R, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time to all modern platforms alongside Second Story would be ideal. Still, I believe Second Story’s global release should be prioritized given its favorable reputation and lack of existence on any modern platform.
Currently, the Star Ocean games are somewhat fragmented with their modern release platforms.
- Star Ocean: First Departure R is available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. (PC and Xbox release missing)
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. (Switch release missing)
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is only available on PlayStation 4 PSN. (Xbox, PC, and Switch releases missing)
- Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is only available on PlayStation 4, though I don’t think many would even care about this entry being more accessible.
I’m a massive Star Ocean fan if this piece hasn’t made it clear, but my appreciation and hype for the series have remained dormant for several years. However, with the announcement of The Divine Force, my excitement is back in full swing, and I genuinely believe that bringing Star Ocean: The Second Story to the West and the other games to more platforms is borderline necessary for the series to grow enough for this new game to be a success.
Maybe Square Enix already has plans to do so; who knows? All we can do is politely ask and await promising results.
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