North American and European Nintendo DS owners can look forward to their Phantasy Star fix later this year. Sega recently announced that Phantasy Star Zero is planned for release in both regions. The game will feature online play and an interesting Visual Chat system.
Visual Chat looks similar to Pictochat, but can be used in-game. Players create their own chat and picture commands which appear in bubbles over their characters' heads. This should allow for a more fun chat system, and hopefully won't be used for sinister purposes.
Phantasy Star Zero takes place on a post-apocalypic alternate Earth where civilization has been decimated. Humankind has been able to build new cities, which players, called Hunters, protect by fighting monsters in the surrounding areas. Player choice of race, class, and gender will allow for 14 customizable Hunter types. Phantasy Star Zero has a huge amount of items, including over 350 unique weapons. Throughout the game, players will uncover the mysteries behind the Great Blank, the war which reduced the world to rubble, and perhaps encounter a threatening new force as well.
Phantasty Star Zero can be played online with both a local wireless mode and over Wi-Fi. Players will team-up to kill monsters and collect loot sometime this Fall.