Review by Abraham SATO
"PSO: The addiction, that has endless craving."
What is Phantasy Star online EP:I & II?
Phantasy Star Online or "PSO" was the fruit of an excellent RPG based idea. Originally, this game was released for Dreamcast, which was actually a big hit in the US and Japan. This game involves significant game play and endless forms of entertainment. Lots of new features have been added to this master piece, such as; Another episode, multi player additions, new costumes not featured on Dreamcast, and numerous glitch fixes. Enjoy this sweet, tart and utterly fantastic game.
What is the goal of the game?
The game has actually no goal. In fact, it's almost formulated as an "Animal Crossing" remake, with violence of course. You begin as a Hunter summoned to Ragol to investigate a mysterious explosion, and secretly find answers to the disappearance of Rico, the most curious Principal's daughter. In order to journey across these rural areas, you acquire multiple forms of weapons, armor, and Mags [little robotic creatures that increase statistics...]
Although not fulfilling in story, it doesn't affect much of the gameplay. Most players don't even pay mind to this. The story can be acquired in many ways. You'll be handed fragments of the story throughout Quests, via the Hunter's guild, or by slaying enemies, and listening to Red Ring Ricos's message pods, upon the arrival of yourself on Ragol.
Phantasy Star Online of course evidently supports Dial-up/Broadband connection, meaning online play hence the 'Online part'
The game doesn't actually revolve around online play, seeing as Offline play is fulfilling enough to most people. this offline and online difference should be well explained:The game, requires a broadband or modem adapter to play online, offline, however doesn't require any add-ons.
Phantasy Star Online has an endless variety of game play as long as you have a bit of imagination. At the beginning of the game, you are able to choose between a Force [Caster], Hunter [Fighter], or a Ranger [Guns-man]. After having made this choice, you embark upon your journey on Ragol. Phantasy Star online revolves upon Four sets of areas. But, that's not all! Notice the game states; "I & II" meaning they're is another episode! Journey with buddies or solo in these vast tropical/rural environments.
If casual game play is not enough, still there's multi player. Multi player revolves around Cooperative, Battle, and Challenge. Cooperative is self explanatory, journey with up to four people in a quest to find the lurking evil ahead. Battle is also-indeed, self explanatory. Select a scenario and pound your buddies with photon [PSO material used to craft weapons/armors.] Challenge mode, however is not as it seems. Online, it's quite a fad;With four of your buddies, go through all the areas in that episode, in divided stages. Your level is reset for that time you play, a timer appears, and you have a craving to kill. After completing Challenge mode .. you get a prize, yes a prize. Round up some of your buddies, and start pounding photon into those scum bag monsters!
Keep in mind, this game was released about two years ago. Not much to expect from graphics. The game does allow you to journey through elaborate environments, such as the first area; The forest. Upon your first observation, you'll notice these cheerful environments with mediocre effects, these graphics won't affect game play that much, so pay no mind. This game, although being released 2 years ago, features spectacular water effects-worth seeing.
Sound/music value 9/10
This is actually a matter of opinion, seeing as how the sounds can irritate you. The music does describe a sense of danger nether less, giving a spectral beauty upon the game. The sounds/music don't affect game play, unless you're picky.
Confused? Why did I give it a 10/10? The controls are entirely customizable! Dreamcast players might remember this.The game's controls rely on 6' keys. A, B, X, R-A, R-B, R-X. Don't panic. Remember, they're entirely customizable!
Replay Value 8/10
Yes, the replay value isn't as hearty as assumed, the game relies upon 'The first play' Don't understand? By just playing PSO, you'll most likely be playing for hours-months...years.. After having acquired everything imaginable, there's no actual reason to play again so to speak, other than start a new character, and begin a new.
A last Glimpse
After giving countless details as to buy the game, I'd like to give some downfalls. Although completely addicting, they're things that seem to corrupt it. Many glitches that corrupted the Dreamcast version are still floating around. It seems that buying it maybe fulfilling to some, and a waste to others, I highly suggest to rent this game.
To buy or not to buy?
This game should be quite strange in a way, but after mastering it, you'll be addicted. This game should be hearty for old time Veterans, and quite a hoot for newer players, PSO should be rented before trying, or if you have an extra fifty dollars, and a craving to kill, get it. Renting is most wise though, seeing as how some people like it, and some people don't, simple as that.
Final Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/28/04
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