Star Ocean: First Departure is an enhanced remake of the original Star Ocean. First Departure uses a slightly altered version of the engine used for Star Ocean: The Second Story with similar features, including prerendered backgrounds, 3D battle fields and hand drawn facial animations. Production I.G provided new artwork and animated cutscenes for the game.
New playable characters were added as well. New voice actors and extensive amounts of new, fully voiced dialogue were included, with even some non-player characters being voiced over as well.
An HD remaster of the PlayStation Portable version titled Star Ocean: First Departure R for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 was released on December 5th, 2019. The new release features re-balanced game difficulty and increased world map movement speed as well as the option to toggle between character portraits from the PSP version or re-drawn designs based on the Super Famicom version.
The English release allows the player to choose between English voices or Japanese audio from either the PSP version or re-recorded dialogue from the original Super Famicom voice actors.