It's just too bad that North American gamers have to wait until September to play Phantasy Star Online Version 2, especially when Sonic Team keeps spoiling Japanese gamers with new addition after new addition. The latest such add-ons come in the form of two new battle modes and four new quests, available to Japanese gamers and importers after an August 13th server maintenance.
The two new battle modes feature one team-based and one melee-oriented quest. The former pits two teams in a mad scramble for meseta, emphasizing strategy and haggling with other PSO players, while the latter serves as a chance for players to take part in pure combat within a small, confined space. As if these are not enough, two offline and two online quests have also been added to the game's Ultimate mode. All that is currently known about these quests are their titles. The online quests are "The Stolen Soul Blade" and "The Stolen Ice Spinner" while the downloadable quests are "Soul of a Craftsman" and "Hermit Hunter," which will take up 73 and 30 VMU blocks, respectively. These updates will be available to North American gamers when Phantasy Star Online Version 2 is released this fall.
In related news, according to Japanese publication Nihon Keizai Shinbun, Nintendo made a pre-SpaceWorld announcement concerning the Gamecube's network plans. Nintendo will release two modems for use with the system early next year, one being a 56k-compatible V.90 modem for dial-up connections, the other a broadband adapter for both DSL and cable-modem connections.
The first title to utilize the network will be none other than a Gamecube version of Phantasy Star Online, to be shown in playable form at the upcoming SpaceWorld show. The Gamecube version of PSO V.2 is expected to feature two new character classes to be shown publicly at the big event next week. If all goes according to plan, the title will be released in March 2002 with other online games to follow. "We plan to release our own software once we can confirm profitability in network games," stated Nintendo Executive Hiroshi Imanishi concerning the announcement. Good news all around for fans of Sonic Team's hit series.
Check back with RPGamer as SpaceWorld commences for more news on this and other Gamecube titles.