Star Ocean: The Second Story R - Version Differences Comparison

This is a list of version differences found in Star Ocean: The Second Story R compared to earlier versions of the game. 

Note that there are numerous small adjustments throughout the game, and this list may not comprehensively cover all of them. This list should cover all the significantly adjusted or added components.

Graphic and Sound

  • New Voiceovers: In the original PSone version, the original Japanese cast just did battle voices, there were no voiceovers for the dialogue. The game now features a new dub from the original Japanese cast, as well as the option to switch to the Second Evolution (PSP) JP or EN voices. 
  • Portrait Art: Can switch portrait art with the new remake or artwork from previous versions of Star Ocean 2.
  • New OST Arrangement: Players can toggle between the original version of the soundtrack or a new arrangement.

Navigation and General Gameplay

  • No Random Encounters: Enemy encounters appear on the map instead of random encounters. You can also gain an advantage by going behind the enemy, however, the same applies to you as well. 
  • Objective Marker: A red exclamation mark will show on the mini-map to display where the next story objective is. 
  • Private Action Switch: Private Action in the original game requires manual activation on the world's map. You can now switch to Private Action mode at any time. Some events are no longer private actions but rather regular events instead. 
  • Pickpocket: The pickpocket function has been reworked to something similar to the Octopath games. Instead of having only 1 item to steal, there are multiple items and you can see the success rate as well. If you fail to steal in the original, your pickpocket days with that NPC are completely gone. There is a new item that lets you restore stealing or increases your chance of pickpocketing. 
  • Character Affinity: Character affinity is displayed in the Status screen as a meter of hearts.
  • Fishing: SO2R now includes fishing, you can catch fish on the world's map in a location near water. Check out our Fishing Guide!
  • Reel: A new NPC added to Harley that gives out fishing rewards.
  • Guild Missions and Challenge Missions: You can pick up guild missions from a guild, which usually requires completing a task related to Item Creation, and these work as mini-tutorials for the mechanic. There are also 100s of challenge missions that are automatically picked up that work as combat-related or IC-related objectives. You can kind of think of these like battle trophies that are found in later Star Ocean titles.
  • Unique Spots: A landmark that can be found in certain locations. Examining them will give out EXP, lore, or even an item. Check out our Unique Spot Locations guide!
  • Private Action Locator: Private Actions are now displayed on the map. 
  • Event Difference: Certain events were dependent on a specific location. However, in this version, some events are now prompted by the player's choice.
  • Backlog: A text log that lets you read past lines.
  • Fast Forward and Scene Skip: An option to fast-forward the game slightly by holding the right trigger button. You can also skip scenes by pressing the Start Button.
  • SP Points: SP is no longer a finite resource. It now can be earned through fights and other means, this also changes certain specialty effects.
  • BP Points: BP is a new resource separate from SP used to power up battle skills and arts.
  • Ending List: An ending list is included when you have completed the game, showing which endings you have achieved. Check out our Endlings Guide!
  • Location Layout: All locations have been completely redesigned, so they don't exactly follow the same layout as the original game. 
  • New Game+: An option to carry over your save data for New Game+. This makes replays much quicker.
  • Fast Travel: You can fast travel to practically any Save Point in the game, except in certain circumstances.

Combat Related

  • Break: A new mechanic where enemies have a shield gauge, when broken they will go into a weakened state known as Break. Similar to the stagger system from later Final Fantasy games. 
  • Perfect Counter: A new gameplay mechanic that with precise timing, you can perform a perfect dodge that will prevent you from taking damage and will also deal a lot of damage to your opponents. It also greatly increases shield damage for triggering Break.
  • Magic System: In the original game casting magic takes a while and will also pause the game, which makes casters pretty weak compared to the melee units.  In this version, weaker spells no longer pause the game and stronger spells can be entirely skipped.
  • Assault Action:  Characters that are not on the frontlines can be used as an attack. There are also jewels found in the game that will let you use cameos from different Star Ocean games. 
  • Bonus Gauge: A gauge that is filled by either attacking enemies or defeating broken enemies. The bonus gauge has three levels and as it fills, you'll gain various benefits such as increased attack power and improved drop rates. However, if the character you're controlling gets broken during combat, knockout, stunned, or even fails at Perfect Counter the bonus gauge will reset to 0.
  • Battle Formation: Different formations will change your Bonus Gauge bonuses.
  • Leader Enemy: Sometimes on occasion, there will be an enemy leader that pops in the field that will give its ally buffs and other advantages. Defeating or breaking the enemy leader can remove these disadvantageous buffs for the player. 
  • Raid Enemy: A new super enemy that can be found on the world's map. Defeating them gives out a luxurious reward. 
  • Retry Option: When dying in combat, the game over screen doesn't send you straight to load data but rather has a retry option as well. 
  • Factors: Equipment can now be boosted with factors to add additional effects. Equipment with a factor is listed with a + in the item name (such as Longsword+ instead of just Longsword)
  • New Combat Skills
    • Heavy Hitter: Grants a chance that a greater ratio of the enemy's shield value will be removed after a perfect counter.
    • Breaker: Grants a chance of doing increased damage to the enemy's shield.
    • Accumulation Aid: Grants a chance that a small amount of bonus spheres will remain with the bonus gauge resets.
    • Surpass Damage Limit: Increased maximum damage based on skill level.
    • Overload: Grants a chance of stun time increasing based on the number of times the same enemy's shield has been broken.

Item Creation / Specialties

  • Bodyguard: A new super specialty where everyone stays on alert to spot enemies and stop them in their tracks. The higher the skill level, the longer enemy symbols remained stopped. Gain the advantage with back attacks or ignore battles altogether while the party member has the enemy symbol stopped. Weak symbols (green) will be defeated on the spot, making it possible to earn EXP and Fol without fighting. Requires: 2 people at Level 4 Scouting, 1 person at Level 1 Train.
  • Remaking: A new super specialty related to where everyone works together to apply new factors to equipment. The higher the skill level, the greater the chance of getting a rare factor. Can be used on any weapon, armor, or accessory, regardless of whether they have factors or not. Any existing factors will be overwritten. Requires: 2 people at Level 4 Replication, 1 person at Level 1 Customization
  • User Interface: Item Creation user interface has been completely overhauled, offering tutorials and potential creation lists for each type of Item Creation.


  • You must beat the final boss in order to return to Expel, instead of just reaching the last save point.
  • There are new Duel Battles in the Fun City Arena.
  • There are various new equipment throughout.