Review by Numan_lord

"For a new age Phantasy Star, it has some nice Highlights!"

I've been a huge fan of the Phantasy Star games for a while now especially the original turn-based series released on the MegaDrive and Master System. I never really took to Phantasy Star Universe however I was also told it shared a lot of its elements with Phantasy Star Online. Because I only ever liked the classic series at the time I never worried about getting PSO when it was out, but I did hear some good things about it as well. When I heard PS0 was coming out and it was more similar to PSO rather than PSU I decided to buy it, besides my DS needed a new game.

Graphics: 8 / 10
For a DS game I was very impressed. Sega showed that they could make their own 3D look so good on this portable console. The graphics at times can be a bit jagged around the edges, but overall it's quite impressive. The environments you explore too are set out quite well, they range from things like snow fields and wet lands to military bases located on the moon. Just to sweeten the graphics department a little further. PS0 also contains full motion animated cut-scenes complete with voice acting. So not only are you playing a game but every now and then you'll be shown an anime style cut scene, the only downfall is they usually aren't very long. Overall I was quite impressed with the graphics anyway.

Sound / Music: 7 / 10
I've heard better but PS0 does a nice job. The sounds and music set the mood for the locations and events in the game. The voice acting is a little harder to comment on because each character has only one or two spoken lines during the animated scenes. Overall though the music and sound quality is above average for a DS game.

Storyline: 7.5 / 10
If you want the best storyline a Phantasy Star game can offer go play Phantasy Star IV on the MegaDrive or something. Otherwise the storyline on this game wasn't to bad, but it would have been nicer to go into even more detail I think, personally seven story chapters seemed quite short in my opinion. Without revealing to much your character meets up with a Newman girl by the name of Sarisa who seems very reluctant to reveal a lot of crucial information about herself and the fate of the earth, but she is very friendly. The two of you then become hunters and begin clearing out hostiles (they used to be called Biomonsters in the original games). Eventually everything comes together.

Characters: 7 / 10
Besides Sarisa I never grew attached to any of the other characters you meet in this game. I must say it was her that gets your avatar character involved in the story and out of everyone she asks you the most questions and your given lots of answers to choose from. Each one results in a different reaction from her or another character even I thought this was quite clever. Speaking of characters this game requires you to create your own character or “avatar”. You have the option of choosing from three races, being Human, CAST and Newman. You'll set up your character to your liking not that you have many options available to you and then that character will go through story mode. The same character can also go online as well. You can create three characters per DS cartridge.

Gameplay: 8 / 10
Quite addicting, but many people seem to play this game as a button masher or technique spammer. But know that you can rock up some very nice and graceful looking combos if you time your attacks right. You gain levels by collecting EXP, which is rewarded from killing hostiles and bosses. Also when you clear an area of hostiles you'll get a treasure chest this contains rewards such as messeta, weapons, armour or materials used to make your things stronger. You can buy most things from the shop in the town you'll need such as monomates. Also during combat the right back button on the DS changes the palette over so you can have other options set up here such as healing but when you release the button the palette flicks back over to your attacks and dodges which is quite cool and things can be done fast during combat. At the end of most story mission's you'll have to fight a boss. And the bosses are no slouches in PS0 which good because the one's in PSU couldn't fight themselves out of a wet paper bag. Eventually after you complete an area you unlock free missions that require you trek through the same environments but for different objectives.

Replay Value: 8 / 10
Well because there are three races to choose from and three characters can be made you'll find that each race has different character interactions and some levels unfold in different ways. So it's nice to go back and replay the game through a different set of eyes. Not to mention there are so many weapons worth getting your hands on it's not funny.

Overall: 8 / 10
I do recommend this game for RPG fans that like Hack 'n Slash games it definitely fits the bill. But for you original turn-based fans like myself the best Phantasy Star experience you could ever get is with the classics. Overall PS0 has its highlight's and is a DS title worthy in anyone's collection.

Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/10

Game Release: Phantasy Star Zero (AU, 02/11/10)

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