Desert-like area battle
One of the several games I got to play today was Sega's first PS2 Phantasy Star game, Phantasy Star Universe. The E3 floor demo puts the player into the shoes of Ethan Waber, the game's young hero, and three other characters who decided to help him out on his little adventure at E3.
Gamers familiar with Phantasy Star Online won't be strangers to the gameplay of Phantasy Star Universe. The battles are of an action RPG flavor, with all characters bearing either melee blades or firearms. The three remaining party members are controlled, though rather poorly, by the AI. Attacking an enemy repeatedly causes the main character to launch into a combo of up to three hits, indentically to PSO. Sega was also sure to include gigantic bosses to fight, the likes of which are were seen quite often in PSO. Graphically, Phantasy Star Universe is so-so, and is once again very comparable to PSO. In fact, the only differences I noticed between this game and its online-based predecessor are that you don't create your own character and your party members aren't actually other people playing somewhere else in the world. Even the music sounded like it used tracks from PSO. Although this game is reported to have an online mode by the time it is completed, there wasn't one available on the demo.
Basically, if you are a fan of Phantasy Star Online, you'll love this game as it's essentially a PS2 port with a thicker storyline. If you'd rather eat rusty nails soaked in ebola than play PSO, you'd be better off looking in the opposite direction of Phantasy Star Universe.