If you’re the type of gamer who fondly remembers the golden age of RPGs but demands modern day improvements, Sea of Stars by Sabotage Studio promises to be the perfect blend of nostalgia and innovation. But does it deliver on that promise? Let’s dive into the heart of this game to find out.

Sea of Stars attempts to revitalize the classic turn-based RPG formula by integrating modern mechanics and conveniences. The first thing to note is the seamless combat experience—there are no jarring switches to separate battle screens. You engage enemies directly within the beautifully crafted environments, which helps maintain immersion. However, while the absence of random encounters can be a breath of fresh air, it somewhat diminishes the unpredictable excitement that hardcore fans might crave.

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The combat system introduces features like timed hits, multi-character combo attacks, and a “locks” system for disrupting enemy spells. These mechanics add layers of strategic depth, making for a more engaging and thoughtful combat experience. Still, the synchronicity required for timed attacks can feel more like a gimmick than a valuable addition, especially when compared to the split-second reactions needed in eSports.

One of the game’s standout features is its navigation system. Borrowing elements from platformers, Sea of Stars allows you to swim, climb, vault, and leap in ways that break free from the grid-based movement of old-school RPGs. It’s a welcome update that adds fluidity to exploration, though at times it feels almost too easy. For those who delight in challenging traversal puzzles, this might feel like a bit of hand-holding.

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With a custom-made render pipeline, the 2D pixel-art visuals in Sea of Stars are nothing short of breathtaking. The environments are lush with detail, making every screen worth lingering on. The animation work is generally top-notch, though a few repetitive enemy designs do slightly diminish the overall artistic impact.

The narrative in Sea of Stars shines as a modern take on classic RPG storytelling. The game offers a mixture of epic adventures, emotional arcs, and lighthearted moments, all driven by a diverse cast of original characters. While some storylines may feel a bit clichéd, the unexpected twists and attention to character development generally keep you invested.

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Sea of Stars is a commendable effort to blend classic RPG elements with modern-day innovations. While it doesn’t fully hit the mark in terms of the high-octane challenges some hardcore gamers might seek, it provides a richly detailed world, a captivating storyline, and a combat system with enough depth to keep you engaged.

If you’re nostalgic for old-school RPGs but appreciate modern sensibilities, Sea of Stars is worth your time. However, if you’re someone who thrives on intense, competitive gameplay, this might not scratch that itch fully.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Want to check it out yourself? Click here to see it on Steam.