Sega's pre-launch Phantasy Star Online party, held last Saturday, December 16, did exactly what it was intended to do -- build up excitement for the impending release of the game in Japan. Held in Naniwa-ku, Osaka, the party featured a guest appearance from Sonic Team, including an address by its president, Yuji Naka.
A question and answer session with Mr. Naka revealed the basic concept of the game, cooperation. He intends for players to team up when they face an enemy too difficult to deal with alone. This concept proved its existence with the trial versions of the game, where hardcore players would actually give tips to the developers on how to defeat particularly difficult enemies. The party's demonstration movies did much to increase the anticipation for Phantasy Star Online, showing off some rarely seen parts of the game. Phantasy Star Online will be released on in Japan December 21.