Sea of Stars looks beyond pretty. The artstyle is pretty awesome. However, the real kicker here is the execution of this pixel art artstyle. Everything has an amazing amount of detail, without being convoluted. Same goes for the animation. Hit detection looks great, too: you can feel there is a certain weight behind attacks, and the enemies react to your actions with nice little animations, too.
Seriously, this game's artstyle execution is an evolution of Chrono Trigger's pixel art. In fact, It's an absolute love letter to it. It's mind blowing how pretty this game is!
In an alternate video game industry timeline, this is how JRPG's would look like on an "SNES Pro" in the best case scenario.
Fuck "HD 2D" that so many upcoming pixel JRPGs use as their pseudo-evolution of 2D pixel art. EVERY "next-gen" 2D JRPG franchise should look like Sea of Stars. Heck, Chrono Trigger 2 should look like that! A new Breath of Fire should look like that. A new Final Fantasy Tactics should looks like that. A new Dragon Quest should look like that. A new Tactics Ogre should look like that. Secret of Mana 4 should look like that. Secre of Evermore 2 should look like that. Eiyuden Chronicle should looks like that. Final Fantasy 16 should look like that.
If you think about it, Sea of Stars artstyle is doing something extraordinary, because I think a lot of pixel art potential went missing during the transition from the 16 bit era to the 32 bit era, or better the infamous transition from 2D to 3D. I always felt that this transition happend too fast and that inbetween this transition, a lot of potential for beautiful 2D pixel art that both feels like an organic evolution of the 16 bit era and yet is not too far of a deviation of that era, remained untapped.
However, Sea of Stars feels like it is doing JUST THAT! To me this is a true evolution of the timeless 2D pixel art artstyles of the golden age SNES era, not "2D HD". I swear, when I saw the trailer for Sea of Stars, I was mesmerized. THIS is how I always dreamed something like a "Chrono Trigger 2" would look like...
I REALLY hope this becomes a new trend (hopefully some AAA JRPG developers start following, too)
What do you think?