Review: Phantasy Star Universe

26 07 2011

Those of you who had a Gamecube or even, dare I say it, a Dreamcast, may remember the game series that was Phantasy Star Online. PSO was an interesting MMO style game that was party based and could be played 1 player offline or multiplayer online via the internet. It was an interesting concept that spawned a number of sequals, so it was only natural a PS game be made for a next gen console, right?

Enter Phantasy Star Universe.

Taking place in the same universe as PSO, PSU is a much more robust game, with better graphics, an actual 1 player story mode, and an online mode with fully customizable character creation. Since the game was released at the start of the current generation of consoles, it only made it onto the Xbox 360, as well as the Playstation 2.

Graphics: 6/10
Passable, but not amazing. You can tell that the developers really didn’t know how to get the full use out of the X360’s graphics as the game looks like a PS2 game on both consoles. While the graphics ARE noticably better on the X360, this just highlights how BAD they are on the PS2.

Gameplay: 8/10
This is where the game really shines in my opinion. The story mode has fully character voices in many scenes and is decently long. Its divided into episodes with an opening theme at the begining of each one, giving the player the feeling that they’re really playing a space anime. Its a really cool concept that I really think paid off for Sega.

The gameplay is standard action RPG fare. Light attack button, heavy attack button and then 4 buttons you can assign to various items or skills. Attacks can be chained together into sets of 3, allowing heavy attacks to be pulled off much easier at the end of a chain.

One of my favorite portions of the game is all the different weapon options. Don’t like the lightsaber ripoff? No problem, you can use a laser spear! Polearms not your thing? Grab an assault rifle! The many different weapon options really let you play to your own style and are a refreshing touch.
Story: 6/10
Nothing really special. Bad guy wants to take over world, heroes must stop him. Standard anime story. Its not done BAD persay, its just nothing new.

Music: 7.5/10
Nostalgic for most of us who played PSO as a lot of music from that game is remixed in PSU. I gave it an extra .5 because DAMN IT THAT THEME SONG IS CATCHY!

Overall: 8/10
This is a solid game if you don’t mind anime-styled action RPGs. There aren’t a lot of good futuristic space RPGs out there (I don’t count games like Mass Effect as the same as these ones), so I would definately reccomend this one. The X360 online servers are still running as well, so the online mode adds lots of replayability too. Try this one out.

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