With the release of Star Ocean: The Second Story R, it’s only natural to wonder if you can skip the first game. The answer to that question is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. So let’s talk about whether you should play Star Ocean 1 before checking out the sequel.
Can you skip Star Ocean 1 and play The Second Story R
The quick and simple answer to the question is no, but again it’s a bit more complicated than that. Each Star Ocean game takes place in the same universe. So that means it’s not an anthological series like Final Fantasy. But that doesn’t mean that each game is a straight-up sequel to the other either. Each Star Ocean game is a self-contained story, for the most part, with its own characters and plot. But there are certain nods and references to previous games that you may not understand if you haven’t played the prior entry.
In Star Ocean: The Second Story R, there are a few references to the first game that will mean more to players who played it. For instance, Claude C. Kenny is the son of Ronyx J. Kenny from Star Ocean 1. Ronyx appears briefly in the sequel but is by no means a major player in its events. With that said, having a connection with Ronyx’s character might make interacting with Claude more interesting. There are also other easter eggs relating to Star Ocean 1 like a Fanfic cover starring Roddick, the protagonist of the first game. So my recommendation is to play Star Ocean 1 first.
So you’ll get a richer understanding of some aspects of Star Ocean’s wider universe and lore if you’ve played the first game. But you don’t need to worry about it too much if you haven’t got the time or interest. Star Ocean: The Second Story R also lets you choose to play as Rena who’s an inhabitant of Expel and has no prior connection to the first game. So if you want a smoother introduction to the universe of Star Ocean, I’d recommend starting the game with her.
My recommended way of playing the first Star Ocean
If you do want to play the first game, the best way to do so is by playing the remake, Star Ocean: First Departure R. It’s available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch but not on PC sadly. It’s the best way to experience the first game on modern hardware though. And just like the second game’s remake, it remakes and enhances various aspects of the game.