What this game may lack in other categories, it makes up for in pure fun.
Don't let the name fool you, this game stands on its own, meaning you won't have to have played the first one to understand what is going on (which is convenient, since the first one wasn't released outside of Japan, as far as I know). Star Ocean has a customizable battle mode where you can choose if you want to fight in more of a classic RPG style, or a style which involved a lot more free movement and decision making. You can create various items such as armors, weapons, accessories, and items from raw materials you find using skills you gain on your journey. The story itself develops in different ways depending on the decisions you make (the most important of which being what which main character you will choose to control, Claude or Rena), and what mini-events you choose to participate in.