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Critic Reviews

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4Players.de (Feb 05, 2009)
Das zweite Star Ocean ist auch heute noch ein packendes SciFi-Fantasy-Epos, das den bereits sehr guten Erstling klar in den Schatten stellt. Second Evolution ist ein Pflichtkauf fĂŒr jeden Rollenspielliebhaber, der das nicht minder grandiose Original noch nicht in seiner Sammlung hat!
Vandal Online (Feb 13, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution es, sin duda, un título mejor que su predecesor, tanto en algunos aspectos técnicos como en todo lo referente a su argumento y jugabilidad. Es un excelente título de rol, apto tanto para los noveles que quieran conocer la saga como para los clåsicos aficionados a la misma que, pese a los años con los que carga a sus espaldas, no defraudarå a los seguidores del rol clåsico de la compañía Square Enix.
Second Evolution isn't the most complex RPG out there. Things are fairly cut and dry; you get your quest, you make your party, you defeat evil and the Ewoks throw you a party on Endor (wait
 what?). But the action-based battles and a presentation that is second to none, especially in the world of handheld games, makes Star Ocean: Second Evolution a fun RPG and worthy addition to anyone's PSP collection. The system's game drought has been awful, but here's hoping that these two remakes will breathe new life into the handheld and make it worth playing again.
Game Vortex (Feb 09, 2009)
We've seen a glut of retro titles on the market, and there's an argument to be made that many of the recent RPGs haven't come that far at all from their ancestors. Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a stronger installment than the first game, whetting our appetite for the possibility of a third and final entry (Star Ocean: Till the End of Time) to make its way to PSP. It's especially rare to find a deep RPG with replay value, but that's exactly what is on offer here. It's sad there isn't much competition on the system now, considering the slow release schedule for PSP during the last 6-8 months. In a time of drought, everyone craves even a sip of water; Star Ocean: Second Evolution is more like giving the proverbial dying man a drink from the fire hose than a glass of water! You'll appreciate the depth of the game and its replay value, since unfortunately there's no telling when we'll get another good release on the system.
411mania.com (Feb 16, 2009)
Star Ocean was awesome 10 years ago and it's just as awesome today. Depending on how you play the game, it can either be a walk in the park or an endless journey as levels do go beyond 100 and playing matchmaker will take many, many hours.
Da ich bisher noch nicht so den grossen Kontakt zur Star Ocean-Reihe hatte und mich auch eher an einfach gestrickte Rollenspiele gehalten habe, war die erste HĂ€lfte von Star Ocean: Second Evolution fĂŒr mich eine Geduldsprobe. Die langen Dialoge, das komplexe Charaktersystem und die zufĂ€llig ausgelösten KĂ€mpfe haben es mir nicht einfach gemacht. Aber nachdem ich das alles einmal hinter mir gelassen hatte, hat das Spiel auch mich gefesselt, nicht nur wegen den liebevoll gestalteten Charakteren (optisch wie charakterlich), den toll animierten StĂ€dten und einer guten Story. Fans werden so oder so ohne grosses Überlegen zuschlagen, jedoch sollten Ungeduldige und AnfĂ€nger sich lieber nach einem anderen Vertreter des Genres umschauen.
Gamers.at (Feb 09, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution ist in jeder Hinsicht ein Must-Buy Titel, gleichermaßen fĂŒr Square Enix-Fans und Rollenspieler. Seine fesselnde Story, die mit liebenswerten Charakteren durchsetzt ist, kann man nur mögen! Und bitte vergesst nicht, dass irgendwo am Horizont Star Ocean: The Last Hope fĂŒr die Xbox 360 lauert. Second Evolution durchgespielt zu haben ist demnach essentiell fĂŒr wahre Fans der Franchise.
Onlinewelten.de (Feb 17, 2009)
Ich könnte jetzt die banale Floskel "wer Rollenspiele mag, sollte zugreifen" anbringen, denn im Kern trifft diese Aussage auf Star Ocean: Second Revolution absolut zu. Das Remake des PSOne-Vorbilds ist sehr gut gelungen, wartet mit einigen netten Boni auf (z.B. die exklusiven Cutscenes) und macht auch heute noch sehr viel Spaß. Allerdings hat tri-Ace auch einige Macken wie die sich zu oft auftretenden ZufallskĂ€mpfe und die langen Zaubersequenzen ĂŒbernommen. Wer sich davon nicht abschrecken lĂ€sst und zudem Wert auf eine gute Story legt, sollte sich das Spiel auf jeden Fall zulegen.
Gaming Age (Feb, 2009)
Second Evolution is a really solid port of the PS1 original, and for those of you that haven't had a chance to play it I'd say it's well worth picking up. For the people that already own the original, you might want to give this one a go for the updated translation and added voiceover work, but there are not nearly as many changes here as there was in the first Star Ocean PSP title. Still, it's definitely worth checking out, and I really enjoyed it.
Game Shark (Jan 20, 2009)
Thankfully, Second Evolution is a solid enough of a game that it doesn’t need a bevy of useless bonuses to be a worthwhile purchase. With a story that’s worth replaying, a cast of characters that are both fun and unique, and a skill/battle system that just begs to be used and abused, it’s easy to see why the original PS1 version is still heralded to this day. Whether it’s your personal favorite or your first foray into the series, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is an extremely solid and well-told RPG that deserves a slot on any gamer’s shelf.
Cheat Code Central (Jan, 2009)
The game may be virtually the same in many regards, but the experience it offers is superior. Most quality RPGs can easily absorb dozens of hours of your time; Second Evolution doubles that with multiple playable character perspectives and a compelling tale that simply screams for a second playthrough.
RPG Site (Mar 20, 2009)
Second Evolution is a better game than First Departure. The translation, voice acting, music and presentation are all of the same quality as the first PSP remake, with the gameplay improved and the storyline far more interesting, if still a little predictable. The game still suffers from the same flaws the first remake did – but when it’s this much fun, who cares? Recommended.
InsideGamer (Feb 12, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is een degelijke Japanse RPG, die goed is voor flink wat uurtjes spelplezier. Ondanks dat de gameplay en graphics enigszins ouderwets zijn, is het levelen van je personage nog steeds verslavend en weet het verhaal genoeg te bieden en te boeien. Liefhebbers van het eerste deel kunnen dit vervolg zonder twijfels in huis halen. En als je gewoon op zoek bent naar een leuke RPG op je PSP dan hoef je niet verder te kijken dan deze titel.
None the less, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is the same solid, well-rounded RPG as it was back in the day and it looks great on the PSP. Much of the core mechanics and game play are all still there so fans of the series will appreciate their favorite classic being reborn on a more next-gen system. It's packed with a ton of replay value which you don't find that often in most of your modern day role playing games. I do recommend that if you're new to the series, the game is little square on first impressions but with enough time in really develops into an engaging adventure. This is a solid PSP title that I would definitely recommend checking out especially if you've been following the highly anticipated "Star Ocean 4" debuting on Xbox 360.
GameFocus (Feb 11, 2009)
If you are a gamer who likes their PSP (and what is not to love) then this action role playing title is for you and is a must buy. Especially if the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Star Ocean: The Last Hope interests you then find out why the series is loved by the older gamer who grew up on the original games.
Thunderbolt Games (Mar 21, 2009)
It may not stand out massively in the RPG world, but Star Ocean: Second Evolution deserves a lot of recognition for simply being an enjoyable, well scripted and interesting RPG. Its appeal ultimately lies in its down to Earth approach to making a likeable, charming, no nonsense RPG. It doesn’t genre-defy, it doesn’t claim to be anything more than what it is: a fantastic journey into the places we can only dream of visiting, and a compelling story to boot. When you think of it like that, it’s easy to love the spellbinding RPG genre all over again.
GameSpy (Feb 17, 2009)
JRPG fans should really enjoy Star Ocean: Second Evolution. Sure, it sticks to the formula in ways we've seen many times before, but at the same time it also deviates in ways that make it more than just another RPG. Clever new storytelling, updated visuals, an unexpected amount of depth and a stellar battle system all make it worth playing. If you're a fan of the series or if you have a PSP just waiting for something new, this blast from the past should keep you entertained for a good long while.
RPGFan (Feb 09, 2009)
Most RPG fans will be relatively happy with Star Ocean: Second Evolution as a purchase, especially if they are fans of tri-Ace titles. I wouldn't recommend it as an entry point to the genre or for those who are inexperienced with RPGs, but there's nothing that's really bad about the game. Yes, portions of the game are outdated by modern RPG standard, and the game's not a true classic in comparison to some of the other remakes that have hit the PSP, but Star Ocean: Second Evolution is, above all, just fun to play.
IGN (Jan 14, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is clearly a better game than First Departure, despite suffering from some of the same issues. If you don't mind playing an older game with a more simplistic battle system, Second Evolution will definitely reward you with a diverse cast of characters and a classic story that mixes fantasy and science fiction together in a charming way. This member of the Star Ocean series also boasts a hefty amount of replay value and one of the biggest plot twists I can remember. Even though it's not perfect, I recommend Second Evolution, especially if you never had the pleasure of playing its PSone counterpart.
Spazio Games (Feb 27, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution ù un discreto remake. Questo RPG targato Square Enix alterna alcune idee originali, un buon sistema di combattimenti e due differenti protagonisti, a incertezze che minano in parte la giocabilità. I difetti sono legati prevalentemente a un ritmo di gioco assai lento, un livello di difficoltà che richiede molta pratica e una esagerata quantità di scontri casuali. La presenza della sola lingua inglese potrebbe rappresentare un ulteriore limite. Se amate i giochi di ruolo e cercate qualche novità nel sistema di combattimento potreste trovare in Second Evolution un’avventura duratura, gratificante e anche rigiocabile. Un GDR che sicuramente non ù adatto a tutti, ma che ù costruito con la passione e la competenza tipiche di Enix.
3D Juegos (Feb 19, 2009)
Sin plantear una verdadera evolución con respecto al original de PlayStation, la segunda entrega de Star Ocean para PSP contiene todas las virtudes de un producto que experimentó con la rejugabilidad en el género RPG para conseguir una aventura donde el usuario puede amoldar la trama de acuerdo a sus decisiones. Un clåsico muy a tener en cuenta por los fans del género, sobre todo si el inglés no es una dificultad para ellos.
Worth Playing (Feb 23, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution for the PSP will almost invariably appeal to nostalgia gamers and those who retain fond memories of Star Ocean from all those years ago. Sadly, those memories may easily cloud good judgment, as this game has clearly been left behind in the interceding years. The combat is tedious and boring, the visuals are bland and ugly, and I can't remember the last game I played where so many words were spoken and yet so little of substantive importance was said. If you played and enjoyed the original, then Second Evolution is a great blast from the past; if you haven't, there are modern RPGs that do almost everything this game does — only much, much better.
Jeux Vidéo Network (Feb 13, 2009)
Ce second Star Ocean ne se montre plus aussi enthousiasmant qu’il y a neuf ans. Il est nĂ©anmoins loin de faire pĂąle figure, et l’aventure copieuse qu’il propose saura charmer plus d’un joueur.
JeuxActu (Mar 09, 2009)
Sorte de diva à la fois énervante et follement charmeuse, Star Ocean : Second Evolution fait partie de ce type de soft dans lequel on rentre soit totalement, soit aucunement. Bardé de réels défauts et victime d'un portage un peu chiche, il conserve pourtant toutes les qualités qui ont fait sa renommée sur PSone. Soutenu par un scénario prenant bien que classique et un gameplay défoulant, il s'envase quelque peu dans des tonnes de dialogues et une progression hachée. Mais malgré cela, il reste l'aventure, les personnages, tout un univers que l'on prend plaisir à découvrir. Un RPG pur jus dont les dépÎts pourront toutefois rester en travers de la gorge de certains.
Game Revolution (Mar 06, 2009)
I realize that everything nice I’ve said has been rebutted with a glaring flaw, but this is a really great game. If you missed it on the PS1 and you like classic RPGs, then you really owe it to yourself to play this, though you may want to turn the sound off to avoid the bad voice-acting.
1UP (Jan 20, 2009)
It's easily the most consistent and enjoyable Star Ocean of the three released to date. After a somewhat plodding, dialogue-heavy first act, the adventure erupts into a well-paced quest across an engaging world packed with memorable characters, locations, and battles. Much like Namco's Tales series, Evolution focuses on interpersonal party relationships and detailed skill customization -- RPG completists might even be driven mad by the fact that it's impossible to get everything on one playthrough. The game's mechanics aren't fiddled with much at all, but veterans will discover that combat's become noticeably easier due to the addition of new combo attacks. Ultimately, Evolution's new localization justifies this PSP port's existence for fans of the franchise. The PS1 version's overly literal translation and amateur-hour voice work was mercifully binned, replaced here with an expanded, well-acted script delivered by capable actors.
GameZone (Jan 15, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a solid update for a title that many RPG gamers may have missed out on the first time around. While the game doesn’t really bring a lot new to the table (a lot has changed in the genre since Star Ocean 2 first hit the PS1) and the combat is pretty simplistic and repetitive, it’s still worth a look for hardcore RPG purists.
GameSpot (Jan 20, 2009)
You can finish the main quest line in about 30 hours, but activating private action scenes, exploring the game's intimidating secret dungeon, crafting, and completing character quest lines can easily triple this amount. You can also unlock a difficulty option for additional play-throughs if you're interested in acquiring new party members and seeing events from the other main character's point of view. With strong replayability and a stunning presentation, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a competent remake that offers a great opportunity for experiencing this PlayStation classic.
Gamona (Feb 02, 2009)
Trotz einiger aufpolierter Aspekte merkt man dem Gameplay die neun Jahre alte Vorlage an, vor allem die qualitativ gut vertonten Dialoge ufern hĂ€ufig in Geduldsspiele aus, da man sie nicht ĂŒberspringen bzw. beschleunigen kann. Letztendlich sollte man also schon ein ausgesprochener JRPG-Fan sein oder dringend frisches Futter fĂŒr seine PSP benötigen, wenn Star Ocean: Second Evolution Interesse wecken soll.
Eurogamer.de (Feb 06, 2009)
Star Ocean: The Second Evolution ist definitiv nur fĂŒr Liebhaber geeignet, vor allem fĂŒr Freunde des ersten Teils, der fast identisch ist. NatĂŒrlich auch fĂŒr Liebhaber von Square Enix, von traditionellen japanischen Rollenspielen und von Dialogen, die selbst ein Werk wie „Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Zeit“ vor Neid erblassen lassen wĂŒrden. FĂŒr alle also, die Rollenspiele in der 16-Bit-Ära am besten fanden. Der Retro-Charme von Star Ocean: The Second Evolution rettet das Spiel vor einem allzu unbarmherzigen Urteil. Wenn die kleinen Sprites an die frĂŒheren Zeiten des Gamings erinnern, schmilzt das harte Kritikerherz dahin und feuchte KinderhĂ€nde freuen sich auf den nĂ€chsten Kampf und das Aufleveln der pixeligen Helden.
Jeuxvideo.fr (Feb 19, 2009)
Pas aussi rĂ©novĂ©e que le premier Ă©pisode, l'aventure proposĂ©e est toujours aussi riche et dynamique. Cependant, elle accuse tout de mĂȘme ses dix annĂ©es d'existence. Les amoureux de jeux de rĂŽle Ă  l'ancienne et les nostalgiques retrouveront avec plaisir un systĂšme efficace aux nombreuses possibilitĂ©s. Mais cet Ă©pisode ne propose aucune innovation par rapport au prĂ©cĂ©dent opus et reprend les mĂȘmes mĂ©caniques, les mĂȘmes musiques, les mĂȘmes sorts aux mĂȘmes effets. Star Ocean : Second Evolution n'en reste pas moins un bon jeu trĂšs addictif Ă  la durĂ©e de vie trĂšs raisonnable.
Games Aktuell (Mar 21, 2009)
Die schöne, wenn auch etwas altmodische Grafik und der riesige Umfang lassen uns gerne ĂŒber die dĂŒmmlichen Gegner hinwegsehen. Ein schönes Japano-Rollenspiel, fĂŒr das ihr jedoch gute Englischkenntnisse mitbringen solltet.
Gamer.nl (Feb 16, 2009)
De mooie omgevingen zullen net als de lange speelduur, het uitgebreide vaardighedensysteem en het redelijk meeslepende verhaal veel RPG-liefhebbers kunnen bekoren. Toch is Star Ocean: The Second Evolution niet meer de topper die het origineel was toen dat hier in 2000 op de PlayStation uitkwam. De kleine minpuntjes maken de game een beetje stroef en zorgen net als het verhaal, de wereld en de kerkers af en toe voor een beetje een been there done that-gevoel.
Pocket Gamer UK (Feb 03, 2009)
So for RPG fans who haven't yet experienced Star Ocean, Second Evolution, if you've got the time, it’s worth getting into. It twinkles brightly with its beautiful anime cutscenes and deep role-playing, even if its antiquated adventuring isn't properly suited for the portable life. It's harder to recommend for those who have already had the experience however, as the decision not to add significant new gameplay content limits it to the status of a by-the-books remake.
GamesRadar (Jan 16, 2009)
The battle system may be a bit too simplistic for some, but Second Evolution has a lot of things going for it to make up for its button mashing, like a great fantasy/sci-fi story and an addicting skill system. If you’ve played First Departure, we can best describe this as a very similar experience (with all the same flaws and strong points), but with way more content to explore – this game is huge. Like any respectable RPG, not only are there plenty of sidequests in addition to the main story, but there are a ton of nooks and crannies to explore with hidden gems meant only for the hardcore. All of this, along with two distinct storylines to play through, and Star Ocean: Second Evolution is quite formidable among other PSP offerings. Unless you hated First Departure, this one is definitely worth a try.
RPGamer (Jan 17, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution plays almost identically to Star Ocean: First Departure, and this is in no way a bad thing. However, Second Evolution is an enhanced port and little more. It is clear that less effort was put into updating it for 2009 than First Departure, and sadly this drags the game down. Fans of First Departure and Second Story will easily find thirty hours of enjoyment in Second Evolution, and it is unquestionably a terrific game. Unfortunately, Claude C. Kenny is stuck in his father's shadow.
Jeuxvideo.com (Feb 16, 2009)
En 2000, Star Ocean 2 était un excellent RPG, salué comme il se doit par les critiques de l'époque et plébiscité par plus d'un million de fans. Neuf ans plus tard, le charme agit encore mais l'enthousiasme retombe vite, notamment en raison de la lourdeur du scénario et de la banalité des dialogues. Gageons toutefois que les nostalgiques et les amateurs du genre se laisseront tenter une fois de plus. Ne serait-ce que pour ressentir l'atmosphÚre si particuliÚre de la série ou pour se replonger dans son systÚme de compétences si fascinant.
GamingTrend (Mar, 2009)
SO: SE will appeal to some RPG fans, but I’m certainly not one of them. I need at least a somewhat interesting story and/or characters to keep me engaged in a game, and these aspects were completely missing. I found most of SO: SE to be completely and utterly forgettable – the very definition of ‘meh’. While it was a decent game when it was first released a decade ago, this straight-up port brings nothing new to the party. Anyone who liked the original and wants a portable version will love this. Everyone else probably shouldn't bother.
Computer Bild Spiele (Jan 27, 2009)
Der Kampf gegen das Böse und das Erforschen einer fremden Macht versprechen kein sehr einfallsreiches Abenteuer. Doch ĂŒber 120 verschiedene Monsterarten, die in actionreichen KĂ€mpfen mit verschiedenen Techniken besiegt werden wollen, bringen Abwechslung. Die unspektakulĂ€re Optik ist allerdings nur Mittelmaß – so auch der Gesamteindruck: „befriedigend“.
Legendra (Feb 15, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution porte bien son nom. Il reprend exactement le mĂȘme systĂšme que First Departure en y ajoutant une histoire plus travaillĂ©e, une durĂ©e de vie plus consĂ©quente, des musiques meilleures et des personnages plus intĂ©ressants. Dommage que le rythme soit assez lent au dĂ©but et que le systĂšme de recrutement soit si contraignant. On regrette aussi que la galaxie soit si petite. Les amoureux du premier tomberont sous le charme de ce second Ă©pisode tandis que ceux n'ayant pas accrochĂ© Ă  First Departure seront encore une fois déçus du voyage.
Gamekult (Feb 12, 2009)
Nous ne sommes pas tous Ă©gaux face Ă  l'Ăąge, et malgrĂ© les pommades anti-rides de-ci de-lĂ , Star Ocean Second Evolution a du mal Ă  dissimuler son anciennetĂ©. ScĂ©nario mou du genou et dĂ©jĂ  vu, systĂšme de combat dynamique mais largement amĂ©liorĂ© par la suite dans la sĂ©rie : seule la rĂ©alisation vient nous rappeler sans mal qu'il s'agit Ă  l'origine d'un fer de lance du RPG PSone. MalgrĂ© tout, que cela n'empĂȘche pas les fans du genre de s'intĂ©resser Ă  ce jeu sympathique, qui a peut-ĂȘtre dĂ©passĂ© la date de pĂ©remption, mais qui se savoure nĂ©anmoins sans dĂ©plaisir. Une sorte de Gervita fraise Melba qui aurait trop longtemps squattĂ© le frigo, en somme.
TotalPlayStation (Mar 05, 2009)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is not a game that has aged well. Plenty of old-school classics have held up far better, and while there's still fun to be had, the rest of the game's painful pacing and conversations hurt more than the good parts help.
D+PAD Magazine (Feb 16, 2009)
What it lacks, however, is consistency. There are times when it feels schizophrenic. The excellent qualities of the game are always at war with its meandering, trifling aspects. It’s too long and too overwhelming a game to play in occasional short bursts, instead demanding that you devote yourself solely to it over the course of a couple of weeks. For that kind of investment, you won’t be getting particularly good returns. But when Star Ocean: Second Evolution works, it’s fantastic.

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