Review by danreturns2100

"A very enjoyable game"

I will have to admit it. I have never played a single Phantasy Star Online game in my 11 years of gaming. Never touched one, and only saw the Dreamcast games. When I first read about PSO way back in 2000, in GamePro, it seemed it would be a good game. At the time, I had just got my Dreamcast back in Christmas 99, and never once used the web browser disc. Sadly, I wasn't interested in the game, seeing as Online play wasn't very special to me, and never picked it up when it was released.
Now, current day, sadly, Sonic Team has closed the official PSO servers, almost ending my whole way to play this game online ( I don't own a X-Box or Gamecube ). But, an un-official server still runs, and luckily, there is a PC version. If given the right link, you can download PSO for your PC and play it. I did this, got it running, and ta da. I have finally been able to play PSO. After playing for a month now, I guess it's time to explain my feelings for this almost lost game.

Story:

Your home planet is dying. In need of another planet, a space ship called the Pioneer as journied into space to find a new home. When they do, they send message of it, and another ship takes off, the Pioneer 2. But, when they arrive, they have no contact with Pioneer one. The game begins here. You create your own character, and the Principal sends you off through a teleport down on the new planet to find the missing members.

Although this has a good way of leading up to a good story, sadly, the only way to keep with the story is to either read the various messages laid across the planet, which come from a hunter named Rico ( who just happends to be the Principal's daughter, or something like that). You'll be too busy killing monsters to get rapped up in the story. But of course, this is a MMORPG, right?

6/10

It showed some promise with the lead up, but in the execution, it failed to open a new world to people.

Gameplay

PSO is a MMORPG where you log online, buy an account ( called hunters license) and create a character from three differect classes ( Hunter, Ranger, Force) across 3 races ( Humans, Androids, and Newmans), then join a party, and go on quests for items or hunts for EXP.

NOTE: When using Schthacks server, you do not need to buy an account. It's free.

Humans are your basic humans. they're all around average to use. Androids are, of course, Androids. But with personality, of course. When life has been breathed into them, they play almost like the humans, but lack Technique skills. Newmans are, well, almost like humans, but they rely on Techniques.

Hunters are fighters. They can use a bundle of weapons, and learn techniques. Rangers are long-range fighters, and Force are people who use Techniques and such. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, which brings a great deal of replay value in making characters over and over again.

In online mode, as I have said before, you log into a lobby, and join a party. There are 4 modes of difficulty, and 2 modes of additional play ( Challenge and Battle). The level cap is 200, so you'll be spending alot of time with your character.

Of course, there is a offline mode also. this is pretty basic, and only shows half of the game. You play by yourself, and journey around, killing monsters. This mode has been edited, so it is in a sense, easier, but then again, boring.

Combat in this game, though, is possibly the best I have ever seen in a MMORPG. When traveling across the 4 dungeons, you fight using special combos. you have a heavy attack, and a fast attack. Press them at the right time, and they become pretty devastating hits. The only problem is the controls, which target things like items and boxes when your fighting. The camera doesn't help either.

As you can see, this game is pretty long. The only flaws in this, is that it lacks the depth that other MMORPGS have. But it does carry the trade mark addiciton most of them have.

9/10

Graphics

This game, when running on my computer, is choppy, and has millions of laggies. Textures are pretty bad, and some animations ( like rain) are none-existent. But I do know the graphics in the DC version of the game are bright, but sadly, I have yet to experince this myself

NA/10

Sound

Sadly, the PC version lacks BGM unless you find the right files. The sounds, however, are present. They range from monsters roaring, some monsters squealing, and others screaming. The weapons make pretty cool sounds also, but when I use a normal sword, why does it make that cool lightsaber noise?

7/10

OVERALL : 9/10

PROS: It has great combat for the type of game it is, and the replay value can last forever.

CONS: Weak control and camera are troubles, and the story needs a little spice.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/29/04


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