Do You Need to Play Star Ocean: First Departure Before Second Story R?

by J.R. Waugh
Do You Need to Play Star Ocean First Departure Before Second Story R
Images: Tri-ace / Square Enix, Remixed by Attack of the Fanboy

For fans of JRPG classics, Star Ocean is a subtle gem. Its recent releases have gotten muted reception, but diving into the original shows us why it’s special. But fans might wonder: do you need to play Star Ocean: First Departure before The Second Story R, the latest remake?

Star Ocean Play Order: Do You Need to Play First Departure R Before The Second Story R?

You don’t need to play Star Ocean: First Departure before you play The Second Story R. First Departure, originally simply titled “Star Ocean” is the first game in the series and precedes Second Story on the timeline, but it follows different characters. It follows the generation before Second Story’s main characters Claude and Rena, and even features Ronyx J. Kenny, Claude’s father as a playable character. It’s largely a separate story but in the same universe, and you can hop right into the sequel.

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This means you don’t need to play First Departure first, but if you want to play it, you’ll need either a Nintendo Switch, or either a PS4, a PS5, or even a PSP. Part of why it’s a good thing that you don’t need to play this game first is that it’s not available on PC while Second Story R is.

What Does the ‘R’ Mean in Star Ocean: The Second Story R?

The R stands for remake, which in itself is funny especially in the case of First Departure, itself a PSP (then Switch and PS4) remake of the Super Famicom original. Interestingly, Second Story R is also not the only remake of Second Story, with the PSP getting a Second Evolution release in North America in 2009.

These games date back to when their publisher was simply known as Enix before the Square Enix merger, and the remakes helped bring the games outside of Japan-exclusive status. They’re entertaining space operas, and while flawed, have classic JRPG gameplay and a great soundtrack.

- This article was updated on November 8th, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a Staff Writer with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. is streaming his favorite RPGs and other forgotten gems.