RPGamer > Impression - Phantasy Star Universe

Phantasy Star Universe - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Phantasy Star Universe
Developer: Sonic Team
Release Date: 12.2005 (Japan)
This ain't a Super Soaker

Love what you've done with the place!

Holy crap, a dragon!

On fire

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Here's a series that's been around the realm of console gaming for almost the entire history of the genre. Phantasy Star was the choice RPG for the Sega Master and Genesis systems, and it was one of the earliest console efforts to make the jump to the online realm for the Dreamcast. After that console's untimely demise, the series went into semi-hibernation aside from a few re-releases, and Sega itself went out of the console-making business altogether. Now, we have Phantasy Star Universe for the PlayStation 2 and PC, and from the first few glimpses, it looks impressive.

"...from the first few glimpses, it looks impressive."

While playing a demo online title on a convention floor is hardly indicative of real-world conditions, what I did sample of Phantasy Star Universe had two major things going for it: it looked good and it ran fast. Battles are of a fairly simple hack-and-slash variety, although RPGamers will enjoy the smorgasbord of weapons available, as one of the playable characters had three different types of weapons to cycle through during battle. These ranged from melee weapons to heavy mortar-type bazookas, capable of inflicting some impressive damage.

Also impressive was the mapping interface, which made going through the various dungeons (all that was available for the 10-minute demo) fairly easy. If the design of the particular dungeons on display are any indication, at least this game should be ready for some massive party adventuring, and developer Sonic Team made the smart choice of not requiring a hard drive for this title, so it should be available for a wide audience.

Monthly fees and contract stipulations haven't been set yet, but what is known about Phantasy Star Universe's future is that it is slated for a December release in Japan and a North American release next February, so this is a title that will be coming up shortly. A lot of the appeal to this title might depend on whether you were a fan of the original Phantasy Star Online. It's worth a look if console online titles are your thing.

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