|–||–PUBLISHER: Sega | DEVELOPER: Sega | GENRE: MMORPG
–THEME: Anime, Fantasy | PLATFORM: Download | STATUS: Upcoming
Phantasy Star Online 2 is the much anticipated new chapter in the popular Sega franchise and one that will surely please fans of action-based combat and sci-fi fantasy, all drenched in very appealing anime-styled visuals. This is a free-to-play MMORPG that was first released to wide acclaim in Japan and while Sega announced North American and European versions, many players just couldn’t wait and decided to try the Japanese version – some gamers even created an English patch that made all the text comprehensible to English speaking players.
The different races (so far there’s the bold Humans, the biologically engineered Newmans, the robotic CAST and the swift Dewman, which was added with the Episode 2) provide very distinct approaches to gameplay, with the selection of weapons offering varied results. For example, the Dewman may use a bow for long ranged combat or a katana for melee, with a satisfying feel for both weapons, as well as the option to use magic combat. Combos can be devastating and it’s common to see the screen filled with special effects, result of our fast-paced movement.
Character creation is one of the best seen so far in an MMORPG. It’s easy to create a really unique character with the amazing anime look that Sega’s artists have adopted for this game. It even includes decals and a six-pack slider. You can stretch some parameters to the point of creating a weird, deformed character, but that’s just one step to make a unique avatar.
The different, instanced worlds are interesting arenas to explore, but one of the strengths of Phantasy Star Online 2 is also one of its downfalls – the randomized maps make for a motivation to explore the areas over and over again, but the level design is a bit shallow and ends up in repetitive maps that may end up boring the players after a while. Phantasy Star Online 2 also includes player housing, so you can create your dream sci-fi house (or try) and invite other players to visit.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a great example of a good free MMORPG. Visuals are of high quality, the action combat is exciting and fast-paced and gameplay is fun and addictive. Definitely play it if you can… or when Sega decides to bring it to North America and Europe.
Phantasy Star Online 2,