Due out for the PlayStation 4 and the Switch, Star Ocean: First Departure R is a remaster of the 2007-released Star Ocean: First Departure on the PSP, which itself is a remake of the very first Star Ocean that debuted on the Super Famicom back in 1996.
There aren’t any details out yet, but tri-Ace and Square Enix did confirm that Star Ocean: First Departure R will have new features that set it apart from its original incarnation.
That said, what fans should really be on the look out for is how it looks. Judging from newly released artwork of Roddick Farrence, Millie Chliette, and Dorne Murtough, the designs are being updated. We probably shouldn’t expect anything on the level of Anamnesis (this is a remaster, after all), but it would be a shame for it to simply appear the same as it did over 12 years ago.
In any event, this is the latest instance of a Star Ocean title getting a remaster for modern platforms. Star Ocean 3: Till the End of Time got a remaster for the PS4 in 2017, and Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope got one for PS4, Xbox One and PC later that same year.
Considering the poor reception towards Integrity and Faithlessness, tri-Ace keeping interest in the franchise alive via low-risk remasters is hardly surprising. However, if it really wants to make a push towards Star Ocean 6, something a bit more ambitious will have to be done. Maybe a genuine remake is in order? And Star Ocean: Second Evolution — whose recent port is still unavailable in the West — would fit that bill.
Anything would be good, really. The mobile game is doing well, so the franchise deserves a solid mainline entry.