Sea of Stars Preview Shows What is Possible With Imagination

| March 1, 2022
Sea of Stars Preview Shows What is Possible With Imagination

The Messenger demonstrated how a retro concept can bring more than nostalgia. It is a visual language that can help the player get lost in the many aspects your game works to deliver. Building on the classic expectations of what games of our youth can do, Sabotage Studio painted a complex picture that won players over, even if they never played games that inspired it. Now, the team at Sabotage Studio is at it again, bringing their unique story telling vision to a new genre, this time the JRPG with Sea of Stars, and from the looks of things, it is shaping up nicely.

An RPG inspired by the classic games of the 90s, Sea of Stars once again brings players back to the universe we know and love from The Messenger. Set before the events of that game, it tells the story of two children who will combine the powers of the sun and moon to perform Eclipse Magic. The game brings the classic charm to a modern audience, with new takes on classic systems, while still giving enough to let the hit of nostalgia crash against you like a wave.

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In the hands off preview, Sea of Stars was already looking exciting, with plenty of depth at play in each of the systems the game has on offer. The RPG style of old has been modernized, making the combat feel refreshing while familiar. With enough new to the mix, it will let you experiment and push what is possible in this sort of experience. With multi-character combo attacks, different damage types and the removal of random encounters, transitions to separate battlefields, and grinding, this feels like the RPG I always dreamed was possible as I sat and played the SNES back in the 90s.

I even loved how travel feels revamped from the games of old. While we all know how SNES-era RPGs could feel limited when you want to get around. You can not go anywhere, and are directed though the tiles on the map, pushing players into a defined path. Sea of Stars has done away with this, giving a much more free-roaming feel to the world. Swim, climb, vault, jump off ledges, If you can see it, there will be a way to explore it.

Sea of Stars looks to be something truly special.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love how 90s console RPGs were made. They brought massive worlds to life and pushed the systems as far as they could go. We no longer have these limitations, giving us much more freedom creatively and negatively, so I love to see how Sabotage Studio is taking this and running with it, bringing systems that we all know to the modern era. And let’s face it, while we all love RPG’s, how many of us love following a pre-defined path to get somewhere when the option is there to experiment.

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Thankfully, the core of the RPG formula is still here, and Sea of Stars is filled to the brim with story, characters and depth as you venture on your journey. The tone feels very inline with Sabotage Studio’s past game, giving enough gravity and classic RPG feel, while knowing how to make it fun, rewarding and fresh.

Even beyond the core story, Sabotage Studio has packed Sea of Stars with options and fun to do as they waste time in the vibrant world. From sailing, cooking, fishing, or playing the game of “Wheels”, the game looks like it will lead to plenty of sleepless nights filled with excitement and exploration. The fact it wears the clothing of classic experiences makes losing hours of your life in the game seem oddly fitting.

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Sabotage Studio have also pushed the limits on 2D art, giving lighting, shadow and a sense of life to the pixel art world. It is amazing to see a studio push what is possible in the art form. Taking what we all know, and iterating on it in new and exciting ways without stripping away the core that makes it so iconic. I can not say enough about how stunning Sea of Stars looks, and considering the countless JRPGs that have come out to date, that is saying something.

Sea of Stars looks to be something truly special. Blending the old and new in a wholly unique take on the genre. The Messenger felt like lighting in a bottle, a game that iterated on the past to build something magical. Now with Sea of Stars, the studio looks to recapture that special sauce, and if the preview is anything to go by, they may have just done it.

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