Phantasy Star Online - Review

A breath of fresh air to us hermits!!!

By: Paddy

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 9
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 10
   Plot 10
   Localization 10
   Replay Value 10
   Visuals 10
   Difficulty Medium to Difficult
   Time to Complete

60 hours


Title Screen

   Okay,so this was the first Phantasy Star title, I have ever played but Phantasy Star Online sure appealed to me even with no knowledge of the other titles.

   First of all the battle system is absolutely marvelous. You roam around 3D enviroment and when you see an enemy your character locks on and you can use a various number of attacks. All in real time. No turn based fighting here. Your attacks are assigned to the buttons of the dreamcast controller to make such tasks as curing your ally a lot easier. This is amazing online as it shows no sign of slow down or lag. Also each character has a thing called a mag floating around it. This mag gives you special abilities as long as you keep it fed and happy. It works almost like a tamagotchi, but if you feed it enough it reproduces and you can have a shield of little mag's.


   The interface is great,nice little menu's although a little devoid of pastelles, they're mostly blues and greys. Unfortunately online you can't pause the game,as when you do the game continues in a small boxout. While not a major issue this can be frustrating,if say, you have to use the loo. But in the end not a major thing.

   The Music is one of the main parts of Phantasy Star Online which I can't give gratitude for. While the music is your standard RPG fare,that's all it is. Nothing stands out. The like Melodies of life in FFIX,Celes theme in FF6 and Dias's theme in Star Ocean are outstanding pieces of composing,but nothing in Phantasy Star Online comes close to the grade. It's all right but it's not legendary. As for the sound effects,very good,crisp and clear unlike its Playstation rivals. The sounds of metal on metal and the like bring a tear to my RPG-battle hardened eyes.

   As for originality,this game is probably as original as you're going to get. Make your own characters,make your own game,play with people around the world,innovative battle system,great graphics,Completely original plot, a million and one plots for you to cook up. Nothing more to say really.

   Now the plot is something I particulary like. Many will say that PSO is lacking in story but I completely disagree. The story is wonderful. It centres around the destruction of a colony on the planet of Ragol. You as one of the inhabitants of Pioneer 2,its sister craft are sent down to investigate. There you find a tale of intrigue and espionage.The plot is enhanced through the optional side quests which is great as it offers you replay value, you know "maybe if i had chosen that mission I would've seen a differant cutscene" Type stuff. But what I like most is going online and talking to people to act out our own little RPG's.

Quick, get in from the rain!  
Paddy:I know you,from Carinol,my home planet you were there when it was destroyed!!!Just who are you!!!
Serena:I am your bethroved,Princess Serena of the nine nations!
Paddy:Then my memories are correct I am of royal blood.
Serena:Yes let us advance!!Evil is abound!

Now its things like this which really bring this games million and one storys to life. Its your choice you decide,what happens that is if the people online are willing to co-operate but if you find one who is it can be so much fun!!!!

   The localisation of this game is tremendous. There are very few incomprenhisble lines and nearly no spelling mistakes. The use of smily faces and language symbols make it easy to play online with people from other countries,something rarely seen in an online game!!!

   This game is just so replayable in both story mode and online. In story,even though I'm at level 76, I keep thinking,did I miss that chest? And I just have to go back and find out and as said earlier the non-linear missions add even more replayabilty as do trying out all the character types(Although you'll need a lot of memory cards), but this games sheer replayability comes from the online game!!! You just have to go on again and meet more people,start new adventures and storys and advance the plot together. Oh yes Dreamcast is finally giving us what we wanted. Online gaming together!!!

boo, bad pun
Get together online to...'party'!  

   As for the graphics. Stunning. The character design is wonderful and backgrounds rival even the greatest dreamcast games and wipes out anything I've yet seen on the PS2. Vibrant colours,amazing looking enemies. Oh yes this is Sonic Team alright!! And as said before even with such wonderful graphics and the speed of the game. No LAG!!!!!!

   In conclusion i would say that PSO is my favorite RPG of all time,even passing my old favorite FF7.I only really liked that for Sephiroth anyway.But thats okay ive made sephiroth in PSO anyway and he's much more kick ass.If you own a dreamcast buy this now!!

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