Should you play Star Ocean 1 before The Second Story R?

Star Ocean 2 The Second Story R Star Ocean 1 Guide
Image: Square Enix

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.

Star Ocean 2 The Second Story R Star Ocean 1
Screenshot: PC Invasion

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.

Related: Why you should play as Rena in Star Ocean: The Second Story R

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.

Other Star Ocean: Second Story R articles.

Sam Robins
About The Author
Sam has been a Contributing Writer for PC Invasion since November 2021. After escaping university with a Master’s degree in Media and Communication, he decided to take up the mantle of writing. From covering the news to crafting guides, he'll take any chance to pick apart whatever he's currently playing. Sam spends most of his time delving into JRPGs and horror games. When he isn't obsessing over the intricacies of Kingdom Hearts he's diving headfirst into the world of tech. Keeping an eye out for the next big purchase that's sure to upset his wallet.