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TGS 2012 - Phantasy Star Online 2 iOS Impression
09.21.2012

SAM MARCHELLO
PR ASSISTANT
MICHAEL BAKER
JAPANDEMONIUM COLUMNIST


Phantasy Star Online 2

Walking by the Sega area, I was possessed with the urge to try out Phantasy Star Online 2. I'm not sure why, as it's never interested me before. The line seemed unusually short, so I walked in and found myself faced with an iPhone. As it turns out, I had made a mistake and gotten in the line for the game's iOS version.

It was still impressive, though. This game used the same graphics as the actual game, only with a more limited interface. Progress through an area was automatic; I just chose which path to take whenever there was a fork. Each path had a designated icon that showed what advantage or boost I would get by taking it. One icon promised an immediate battle. Others granted bonuses to item drops or experience. A fourth worked with the game's friend-making function, and helped find allies for the player.

Battle was impressive. The boss of that area was the exact same one that I had seen half an hour before in the promo video for the real game, a massive gorilla-like thing with craggy rocks jutting from its joints. A flick of the finger sent my character, a NuMan Ranger, dodging left, right, or backwards to avoid damage, while tapping the enemy let me shoot it at will. I had three allies linked to buttons at the bottom of the screen, and touching one of those would summon that ally to do major damage.

I talked with an attendant immediately afterwards to get a few more facts down. This game is only available in Japan, though whether this will change in the future remains to be seen. What I found interesting is that it is possible to transfer characters between the iOS and primary versions of the game. I don't know how this is to be done, but the fact that it's possible at all is pretty interesting.



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