Square Enix announced that Star Ocean: First Departure R, the remaster of the PSP original, will launch this winter on December 5th. First Departure R is actually a remaster of a remake, as Star Ocean: First Departure was a PSP-only version of the first Star Ocean. PS4 preorders will come with a unique theme and some selections from the Star Ocean "Live 2019 Concert." Preorders are live for fans on Sony's platform, revealing that Star Ocean First Departure R will run 20.99 USD.
Though 22 years separate the original version and the release coming in December, Square Enix is making it worth the wait. The improvements coming in Last Departure R are:
- Full voiceover support, where players can choose from either the Japanese or English voices from the PSP release, or the Japanese voices from the Super Famicom original, re-recorded for the new release
- Players can choose from the original illustrations, or new ones created by Katsumi Enami, artist for Star Ocean The Last Hope
- Turbo mode to improve battle speeds
- Improved difficulty
Set in an age where some of mankind has achieved spaceflight, the first Star Ocean tells the story of Roddick, a young swordsman, and his companions. Living in an age of primitive technology, Roddick and his friends guard their local village from bandits and monsters. When an unknown disease strikes a neighboring village, he ventures forth in search of a cure, and what he finds will send him on a journey he could have never imagined.
Envisioned as a sci-fi competitor to the Tales of series, Star Ocean is much less prolific, and is known for featuring many different casts of characters set in the same universe, but different time periods. Little has been heard from the series since the lackluster Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness in the way of new games, but Square Enix has been hard at work porting The Last Hope to PC in 4K, as well as updating Till the End of Time for PS4 hardware.
It seems as though PC fans will, unfortunately, be left out once again in this latest round of releases. Still, at least Western fans will get a chance to play The First Departure R, more than can be said of Second Evolution. You'll have your chance to check out Star Ocean First Departure R when it releases worldwide on the Switch and PS4 on December 5th.