The tale of No Man’s Sky is, well, a tragic one. Unveiled in 2013 to widespread acclaim based solely on the trailer, it quickly escalated to the top of the PS4’s “most anticipated” list. It appeared to be a game that took elements from the survival genre and expanded them into an enormous, vibrant universe where anything was possible. Exploration looked pure and exciting, boasting hundreds, if not thousands, of intriguing creatures and anomalies at every turn. Unfortunately, come release day 2016, gamers quickly found that its limitless potential was, in fact, quite limited.
When I was a kid, I saved my allowance to get my hands on a pre-owned copy of Star Ocean: The Second Story. I had no clue why it was the “second story,” as I had never seen its predecessor anywhere, but I knew I had to have it. The PSX dream combo of sprites and 3D backgrounds brought to life a unique space-opera-at-the-corner-of-high-fantasy setting that fascinated my young mind. Swirl together the charming anime artwork with a battle system that felt somewhere between Tales and Grandia and I knew I had to have it.