Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. 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.
  2. AceGamez
    Second Evolution is a far cry from the whole new experience that Square Enix teased its loyal base of gamers with but there's enough new about it that some new issues have cropped up.
  3. Quite formidable among other PSP offerings. Unless you hated First Departure, this one is definitely worth a try.
  4. Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a solid RPG remake with some nice new tweaks. It's just a shame it's not better tailored to the PSP.
  5. The original Star Ocean: The Second Evolution was, somewhere in the past, a very good game. The beautiful surroundings, lengthy gameplay, extended skill system and a decent story will satisfy most of the RPG-gamers. Nevertheless, Star Ocean isn't the same game as it was a couple of years ago.
  6. I’m still willing to give the other games in the series a try, but my patience for this franchise as a whole is wearing thin.
  7. The neat but dated graphics let us overlook the stupid dialogues.
  8. 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 t anyone's PSP collection.
  9. 88
    Star Ocean: Second Evolution is, undoubtedly, a better title than its predecessor from a technical standpoint and also in its gameplay and story. It is an excellent role-playing title, suitable both for newcomers who want to know the series as for classic fans of the series that, although many years have passed since the original's release, won't disappoint Square Enix classic RPGs followers.
  10. An admirable port, even by the excellent standards of Square Enix. Should you count yourself among the honourable ranks of RPG-Fans, do not miss out on Star Ocean: Second Evolution.
  11. 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.
  12. Even though Second Evolution plays pretty much the same as First Departure, don’t let the similar conventions fool you—Second Evolution is a much better game.
  13. 80
    Star Ocean: Second Evolution is clearly a better game than First Departure, despite suffering from some of the same issues.
  14. 80
    Most RPG fans will be relatively happy with Star Ocean: Second Evolution as a purchase, especially if they are fans of tri-Ace titles.
  15. 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.
  16. Star Ocean: The Second Story is an entertaining RPG that has withstood the test of time. Although the graphics do look a little outdated, the storyline has enough to offer and leveling your characters is still as addicting as always.
  17. 78
    It’s painfully slow for a PSP title at points, but it’s as old-school an RPG as you could wish for. The pseudo real-time combat makes things a little more interesting than your usual random battles, though.
  18. Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a good remake. This Square Enix RPG joint offers original new ideas, a nice combat system and two main characters. On the other side, the pace is slow, difficulty level is too high and casual encounters are way too many. If you love RPGs, and you're looking for something new on the combat side, you should try it.
  19. 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.
  20. Second Evolution is an engaging action role-playing game that's just as enjoyable as its PlayStation forebear.
  21. Second Evolution feels like an anonymous and formalic RPG most of the time, but extraordinary moments occasionally rise to the surface. [Feb 2009, p.87]
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 80
    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.
  25. 60
    The biggest fault of Star Ocean: The Second Evolution is that there's almost no conflict. Everybody in the game is polite.
  26. The excellent qualities of Second Evolution are always at war with its meandering, trifling aspects.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 75
    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.
  30. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    One of the strongest JRPGs on PSP. [Apr 2009, p.107]
  31. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    If you're into old-school RPGs, then its dose of sci-fi fantasy is good enough to bring a smile to a Klingon's face. [May 2009, p.69]
  32. Not an evolution with big innovations, but a correct remake. This is the best definition for Star Ocean: Second Evolution, a very suitable game for RPG fans if they hadn't still played one of the best and most innovative titles for PlayStation.
  33. While there are a few issues here and there, Second Evolution is a solid update of a compelling RPG from the past.
  34. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Under no circumstances will RPG aficionados feel short-changed here. [Mar 2009, p.74]
  35. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    It still looks a lot like it did on PSOne 10 years ago. [Jan 2009, p.84]
  36. 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.
  37. GamePro
    Square Enix has done an admirable job of updating classic titles from its library and Second Evolution is just the latest example of their commitment to its loyal fanbase. [Feb 2009, p.70]

Awards & Rankings

#37 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2009
#22 Most Shared PSP Game of 2009
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. Nov 19, 2011
    In just less than 6 months apart, Squareenix remakes the Star Ocean 2 game for the PSP. Fans who loved the original will love this new remakeIn just less than 6 months apart, Squareenix remakes the Star Ocean 2 game for the PSP. Fans who loved the original will love this new remake as it includes a few new changes, new graphic interface and more fluid animation than its PS1 version. Other than that nothing much noting other than the new remixed Original sound track and a few new additions such as remade Cutscenes. Full Review »
  2. Aug 11, 2017
    a very good remake of a hidden gem on the ps 1 during the end of its life cycle. a mix of fantasy and sci fi this game was really somethinga very good remake of a hidden gem on the ps 1 during the end of its life cycle. a mix of fantasy and sci fi this game was really something special in a time where not many rpgs made unique sci fi settings . i would compare it to xenogears in that respect. the game play is also very satisfying seeing the battle take place in real time was really cool to look out. Full Review »
  3. Jul 16, 2012
    This remake of Tri-Ace's Star Ocean the Second Story is very well done. It like the original game is filled with a great story and greatThis remake of Tri-Ace's Star Ocean the Second Story is very well done. It like the original game is filled with a great story and great characters. Like in the original story there are many optional characters to choose from and this makes the game fun to play over again. Also this game is an improvement on the original title with the addition of playable characters and the addition of cutscenes. If you are a fan of the original game or a fan of the Star Ocean series you will enjoy this game. If not the battle system enough should be enough to make anyone enjoy this game. Full Review »