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Old 12-05-2009, 04:05 AM   #1
Quasar
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Post Quasar's Reviews - Phantasy Star ุ



Here is my attempt at writing reviews for games I think deserve them. I am not a professional so don't expect something amazing but I hope you enjoy what I wrote. Feel free to comment however you see fit. It's my opinion and if you disagree then okay.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Nintendo DS:

Phantasy Star ุ
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:06 AM   #2
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Phantasy Star ุ

Phantasy Star ุ




Amazon.com Product Description
Phantasy Star™ ุ takes place on an alternate Earth 200 years after the “Great Blank,” a massive war that has reduced the once-prosperous civilization to almost nothing. The sole surviving Humans have worked hard to exist peacefully and have built thriving Cities. The Humans that adventure past the outskirts of these Cities, called Hunters, explore the vast wilderness and hunt dangerous monsters to keep Cities safe. Players will take up the role of Hunters and select from three types of races and different classes, as well as gender for a total of 14 customizable character types. Each character type will play very differently and give players access to a great range of items, armor and weapons. Featuring over 350 unique weapons, gamers will venture out on “Earth”, combat dangerous monsters to gain experience and meet new major characters. As players explore further, they will unravel the mystery of the “Great Blank” and discover a dangerous new force that must be stopped.


REVIEW:

Phantasy Star ุ is a return to form. Taking on the traits of previous games in the franchise but mostly using the formula from PSOnline. To me that was a great choice. Of course I never played PSU nor PSP so I have no reference to that BUT from the bickering I here between the different camps I didn't miss much. This review is not about comparisons though so let's move on into the game.

STORY



Like Amazon's description above, the game takes place on another "earth" many many years in the future. I don't want to say much on the story itself because I don't want to spoil it.

I have only one bad thing to say about this story. It is SHORT! I was done before I knew I was even playing. Haha. Well not that fast but it could have been longer. The amount of story missions was minimal. But looking back, I believe there is a good reason for that.

One feature I really loved about the story was you could play it from three different perspectives. One for each race in the game. Which would explain why it is so short. They may not have had enough time to go too complex with the story since they had to make three versions of it.

The score reflects how I felt about the content of the story not how I reviewed the features of the story above.

SCORE: 6/10

GRAPHICS



This game uses full 3D with a linear sorta open world. For the DS the graphics are superb. Luckily with the fasted paced nature of the game you don't notice the strange details like being able to tell where the edge of the 3D "world" ends. Sometimes I felt like my character could touch the sky if they could reach out. The game uses a "room" system with each next room loading when you exit the previous which works well in it's favor. The DS is not the strongest system so having it load on the fly might present some unwanted lag.

The character models are vibrant and move fluidly. The textures are not bad. They still suffer from the systems low resolution but they work well for what they are.

As far as 3D on the DS goes, this is one of the best examples in my opinion.

For the story they used static images of the speaking characters which was a bummer BUT for certain important sections of the game they used full anime cut-scenes which really shined in this game. Wish there was more but I am happy with the amount that were there!

Click for full size


SCORE: 8/10

CONTROLS



The game translates well to the DS's controls although there are some shortcomings because of it. Movement feels a little constrained using the Dpad and the camera is near impossible to control well. Especially when you are busy trying to fight off a hostile.

They did a great job utilizing the touch screen for extra screen space. Using the whole lower screen to show stats and attack/tech buttons. Menus were easy to scroll through although I wish I could have done so with the stylus if need be.

That's where I don't like what they did with the touch screen. They almost skipped using it altogether. The only options that use "touch" were the map and chatting. Which is great but I think they could have maybe thrown in the ability to choose weapons or use techs directly through touching the screen. Might have been a nice shortcut for some things.

SCORE: 7/10

MUSIC



The music in this version of the game returned to the PSOnline formula slightly. It went back to music that stayed in your mind after hearing it but went a more JPop route instead of a ethereal techno sound. Don't get me wrong. Some of the music is like PSO but it is definitely a shift. And in this game I think it fits the more steampunk, rural world style of the game very well. Almost folky in a way. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

SCORE: 8/10

GAMEPLAY - Single Player

Gameplay returns completely to the PSOnline formula. The only few difference being that it is a room to room format. It felt like I was playing PSO again and reminded me of it very much. The only faults I found with the gameplay was in not having good shortcuts.

SCORE: 9/10

GAMEPLAY - Online Mode

This is definitely where the meat of the game is as well. You could hop online and play with someone even from Japan, and soon to be Europe. Running around doing missions with a team of strangers or friends was fun and easy. Online was smooth and had no lag at all. At least not when I was playing online.



Chatting was fun and easy with the game as well. People who you "knew" would open the feature of Visual Chat where you could write in your message into a little thought bubble. Making it easy to tell your teammates what you needed. You could save your favorite drawn messages into the quick use section to use again as well as what others have said. I wish they would have made a keyboard for this though so you could type something out as well. But oh well. It's not that horrible.

If you were playing with strangers then you had to use pre-made messages which covered just about everything you needed to say from hello to HELP!!!

I have ONE huge thing I DON'T like about the online process with this game and it is not directly friend codes but it is friend code related.

If you played someone in free play mode (strangers) and the game was great and you had fun you could NOT trade codes. Does not even give you the option to do so which SUCKS. I played a hilarious round with someone in free play and was sad when I couldn't play again. It made the happy moment disappear entirely. NINTENDO! No more friend codes!!! PLEASE!?!? Then I wouldn't have to worry about that.

Overall, the Online experience was amazing and fun and worth the price of, did I mention, FREE!

SCORE: 9/10

REPLAY VALUE

This game has huge amounts of replay value. Play the game through in single player three times from different perspectives. Three difficulty settings and playing online is always new and fun. Having Online alone would be enough to keep playing the game over and over again.

Playing the same missions over again might seem dull to some but with a fresh face it is always fun and the gameplay is more important in this arena.

SCORE: 10/10

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you played any of the previous games in the franchise then this is definitely a game to pick up and play. It will bring back memories of the highlights in the series as well as bring some new things to the table. Worth the $35 to get it.

If you are new this game may be a bit difficult to get used to since it has a unique gameplay style but once you are into it, it is addicting and fun. It is again worth the price and you will log enough hours into it to feel like your money was well spent.

SCORE: 57/70

Go get it already! And trade friend codes with me when you do, cause I'll want to meet you online.

Buy it on Amazon
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Last edited by Quasar; 12-10-2009 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:47 AM   #3
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Very nice review. Recommend you change the colour of your grading though. Light green is hard to see. For me at least.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
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Thanks and I agree with you. I'll change it now.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:54 PM   #5
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Much easier to read now.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:31 AM   #6
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Does the youtube stuff show up for you? It's not even loading for me. It's blank space...
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:41 AM   #7
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I wouldn't criticize Phantasy Star Portable without playing it. Lots of people love it, myself included. Over at CAG there's quite an active thread because Toys R Us had the game on sale and tons of people voiced their love for it.

Otherwise a great review (though load times and lag are not the same thing at all).
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastx View Post
I wouldn't criticize Phantasy Star Portable without playing it. Lots of people love it, myself included. Over at CAG there's quite an active thread because Toys R Us had the game on sale and tons of people voiced their love for it.

Otherwise a great review (though load times and lag are not the same thing at all).
Luckily, I didn't criticize it. ;)
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
Phantasy Star ุ is a return to form. Taking on the traits of previous games in the franchise but mostly using the formula from PSOnline. To me that was a great choice. Of course I never played PSU nor PSP so I have no reference to that BUT from the bickering I here between the different camps I didn't miss much.
You're right! I must have been making that up.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastx View Post
You're right! I must have been making that up.
I would think that would be on the fence for being either criticism or not. lol yea it was a bit of a judgment call but I didn't have either systems to play.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:10 PM   #11
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Nice review Quasar!

If you're have problems putting up youtube videos, check out Joe Redifer's tutorial: http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=24228

You did a great job in describing the music.

I totally agree with the friends code thing and it totally sucks that you can't send people friend invites that you play with.

I'm with EastX, Phantasy Star Portable is great and PSP2 looks awesome. If you have a PSP, you should check it out.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtariX View Post
Nice review Quasar!

If you're have problems putting up youtube videos, check out Joe Redifer's tutorial: http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=24228

You did a great job in describing the music.

I totally agree with the friends code thing and it totally sucks that you can't send people friend invites that you play with.

I'm with EastX, Phantasy Star Portable is great and PSP2 looks awesome. If you have a PSP, you should check it out.
Thanks!

I did use his guide for youtube. :-/ So, I don't know what I did wrong...

EDIT: Woot! Fixed!
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