Phantasy Star Online Episodes 1 and 2 - Review  

A new type of Phantasy.
by kupomogli

Moderate - Very Hard
35 - 100 hours


Rating definitions 

   For some reason, the Dreamcast never sold well, and alot of people didn't like it. While the system actually had some good games on it, no one ever bought it. Sega's Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 which was released on the Dreamcast was one of its better games, which caused Sega to make a second Episode and release both as a single game.

   The storylines on each episode are different, and don't really seem to connect, where the first you're mission is to find out why life on Ragol was destroyed and what happened, as well as find out what happened to the principals daughter, Red Ring Rico. The second however, isn't even half of what the first one is, and all they do is train you then send you to these places to explore for what seems like no apparent reason. The game offers quests on the first and second episodes , but the second episode quests have to be downloaded online before they can be done, as well as some extra first episode quests. These quests offer a little bit of backstory to some NPC's, but they're really only there to get you extra money and level up.

At the beach with a big gun. At the beach with a big gun.

   When teleported to an area, your only objective throughout the game is to defeat enemies to get through each room. When in battle, the game is just like an action/adventure game, although it's very slow paced, and attacks can be done three times, using powerful attacks and knocking the enemy back, special attacks which will let you damage with an element, cause stat effects, drain HP, etc. Using magic or guns, you have to get a lock on of the enemy, and then use the spell or attack, hitting the enemies from long range. Battling enemies though, is done mainly depending on what character you are, but because of how the character classes stats and abilities are set up, other characters have huge advantages over how hard it will be compared to other characters. Some characters are excellent with magic attack, while others can use weapons only, some of them experts with guns. But some classes are proficient with both magic and attack, getting both a very high attack and defense, as well as a pretty decent amount of intelligence, so because of that, the difficulty for each character is very flawed.

   You usually come back to town to sell your stuff, see if they have any equipment or spells you might want to buy, restock your items, or get a weapon identified. This is also where you go on quests to get more money, heal yourself, or talk to the principal once you've completed a mission. The first and second episode have the exact same places to stop at, but the second one has everything you really need to go to when teleporting back in one small area, without having to run from one side of the ship to the other.

Episode two played online. Episode two played online.

   The graphics are greatly detailed, and for anyone who has played Xenosaga, the environments graphics are just about exactly alike, slightly better , and a lot more detailed. The character graphics aren't really as good, but they are detailed in giving you multiple choices to choose from in creating a character, but not really such a huge option. There being only eight different areas in the game, most of the music in the game gets boring and repetitive, even the good ones though there aren't that many. The games control is very slow paced and stiff, not something very enjoyable in an action/adventure I'd think, usually not doing what you want if you want to make a quick decision, and forces your characters to a walk if you are close to enemies, instead of having an option for it or not.

   Not having much of a storyline, this game has really no problems in the area of having errors, but the poor control system or the huge disadvantages against using most of the characters in the game over other certain characters may really disappoint people greatly. The game is really addictive if you ever get into it, only due to the reason of wanting to find a more rare weapon or piece of equipment than you've had before. Most people probably won't like this title much, especially when games like the newer Zelda titles or the Evergrace series has gameplay that's pretty much alike, yet doesn't hinder the players due to the extremely slow pace of it.

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