Phantasy Star
Earlier installments:
· Phantasy Star
· Phantasy Star II
· Phantasy Star III
· Phantasy Star IV
Last seen in: 1994
Publisher: Sega

Phantasy Star

Phantasy Star

So sayeth Mike Moehnke... Remember the Sega Master System? Remember when a certain RPG for that system was a whole 4 Mb (HUGE!), and cost $100 new? A lot of people would say that $100 was money well-spent, and most would say that game's sequel for the Sega Genesis was just as good, if not better. Phantasy Star III at least gets points for being very innovative, and Phantasy Star IV would claim the prize from many people for the best RPG on the Sega Genesis.

So what happened? The series went dormant for awhile, and then resurfaced as Phantasy Star Online, which is enjoyed by many, but quelled no one's desire for a true Phantasy Star V. Should Phantasy Star V ever come to be, it will feature an entertaining story that references and honors its predecessors, battles that move quickly, intriguing sci-fi environments, and be a strong single-player experience above all else. Some of those qualities describe Phantasy Star Online and its sequels, but the single-player experience being the core of the game does not. Playing with friends was not the reason to experience the original series, and that is why Online is in no way a substitute for a proper Phantasy Star V.

In the words of Sam Marchello... I never owned the Phantasy Star games as a child, but I do have fond memories of hours spent at a friend's cottage playing the original game on the Sega Master System. I never made much progress considering the game's difficulty, but I always loved that the game starred Alis Landale, one of the first female protagonists to appear in an RPG. It wasn't until ten or so years later that I got my hands on the other three Phantasy Star games, but only managed to complete IV. This series holds a lot of love for those who grew up with a Sega console, as unlike Final Fantasy the games focused on space-opera, with each new game connecting bits and pieces from the previous ones, making you feel like there was always more to the story. Considering the way Phantasy Star IV ended, there was no reason not to create a Phantasy Star V. What went wrong?

Truthfully, nothing went wrong. Sega wanted to take the series in a completely new direction, and thus Phantasy Star Online was born... but it was not what I wanted as a gamer. I have nothing against online games, and PSO was an impressive feat for its time, but having grown up along aside Alis, Chaz, Nei and Rika, I found it difficult to get excited by the idea of playing a childhood favourite online. Instead I turned to the many ports of the games, trying to relive childhood nostalgia, and sadly found myself disappointed by the fact that the main series was no longer going to receive a new installment. Even now I find myself unable to get excited over the new Phantasy Star games, because all I desire is the story driven experience of the first four games. Those who preferred the original Phantasy Star games have long given up hope to see a return to form, and have instead accepted what the series has now become.

Can a new game happen?

Series Highlights

Online yes, original-style no

Phantasy Star IV

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