Hello! Going to review a very fun MMO I started playing recently called Phantasy Star Online 2 from the Japanese side of the realm. PSO2 just has me hooked just as much as Minecraft did in the past year with the amount of content I’m being exposed to.
(Link – MySite)
(All images taken from PSO2 JP version using the Prinscreen function. Simple as that!)
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a Japanese MMO made by Sega. It is a action-arcade type of game where you go from one mission to the next slaying enemies and achieving quests on different planets. The game as you rally at an Ark ship (lobby), prepare on a Campship (party lobby) hovering over your quest zone while you do all your quests and mission on various maps.
There are three races and classes to choose from – Humans, Newman, and Cast along with Hunter, Ranger, and Force. Hunters are melee, Rangers are ranged, and Force are your healers.
*Note: Only played PSOP Demo and PSO2; Not a PSO expert.
– Related Articles and Sites:
– Japanese Homepage:
– English Homepage:
– PSO2 Blog & Guides:
– Spreadsheet “wiki”:
Why am I highly addicted and interested in this game? The whole atmosphere, vibe, the maps, combat, and the attention to detail everywhere is impressive. I’ve played many MMO’s, yet this one has more in one spot and proves itself to be worthy of your attention. There are even monthly updates which keeps this game fresh *hint hint* to other MMOs.
Also tried to create my blog mascot – Varkitsu/Varakitsu – in PSO2 and I think it came out nicely. Close enough.
Note: Game took about 3 hours to download and 6+ hours to patch. Have fun!
– Character Creator:
(Link – MySite) – Varakitsu my blog mascot in PSO2 form.
Impressive! This is why I rate Japanese games higher than the American character creations. PSO2 has a highly detailed character creation system that should make even Skyrim feel jealous of detailing while holding its own with Guild Wars (2). You could literally spend hours upon hours trying to design your perfect character with the selections within this editor.
Don’t like what you placed? Feel free to edit once ingame! Just make sure you chose the right hair color! You can’t edit that unless you pay AC points.Â I knew what I wanted – a fox spirit lady – allowing me to swiftly hop into the game.
Look for the Salon in the shopping district area on the second floor. You’ll see it to your left as soon as you appear in the shopping area. You can’t miss it. The majority of changes are free of charge.
– Ark Ship:
(Link – MySite) – Seats on the upper-lobby area.
(Link – MySite) – Second floor looking towards Campship gate and questing.
(Link – MySite) – A scenic shopping district area with 2 VIP rooms on either side.
The Ark ship is the heart and hub of the whole PSO2 world.Â Not just one, but many Ark Ships – Thus “Ship 1-10” server listings. Each ship is then sectioned off to different blocks as channels or mini-servers of their own.
The lobby itself is the dull black-looking area containing all the quests, people, and class changes while the shopping district is just what it means. The shopping district contains your costume (armor), armor attachments, discs, weapons, and grinding shopkeepers. Though, I’m a bit disappointed with the selection in some of the shops.
I’m highly disappointed with the costume shopkeeper for the lack of things to wear on your character. They’re lucky that its quality over quantity though.
If shopping and questing ain’t your thing then feel free to use the Visiphone (purple icon) to sell stuff, find stuff, and even browse through people’s shops.
Note: Someone sell me Fox Ears! Any! I’ll make sure I’ll give you the proper amount of money in the end!
– Map Lay-out:
(Link – MySite) – Volcanic map.
(Link – MySite) – Note the Pokemon joke & the rain.
Similar to Hellgate: London, PSO2 seems to be borrowing such a level mechanic for their PSO2 map layouts. Each map builds itself in a certain way, yet different from one another, meaning no two maps layouts are exactly identical. Each portion is a a block connected to one another similar to a jig-saw puzzle, or for those that play Minecraft – Minecraft terrain chunks. The way maps are connected are the same, yet how they are pieced together varies all so slightly to all so greatly.
I find it nice how lava in the volcano map can roast you alive when you’re not careful.
You keep having to press “N” to and to focus on your mini-map to see where you have to go to reach your objective. This is actually quite nice gimmick actually.
There are character interaction pillars scattered semi-randomly throughout the map which will have you interact with mostly different characters found on the Ark ship. It is your choice if you want to interact with them or not.
If you’re in a multi-party zone you may or may not be joined by other players. Both of you may decide if you want to party up or ignore one another within the multi-party zone. There is also a singleplayer zone where you won’t be disturbed.
(Link – MySite) – Note the sunny weather.
(Link – MySite) – Now note the rainy weather on the same forest map.
One thing that caught me off was the whole weather portion of the maps. In the forest map it would either be sunny, rainy, or thundering with actual thunder hitting the ground. It changed the atmosphere and the mood greatly. One moment it would be sunny, next it would slide into a thundering fit with you having to dodge the incoming lightning.
Having played on the forest map for a long time now I also noticed fog roll in to both obscure and to bring out the silhouette of mobs. It helped make the map feel all so real and one of the many reasons why I enjoy playing PSO2. Its the little things like these that keep bringing me back.
I give Sega high grades on this because game studios keep shrugging weather off in a phobic way.
– Quests & Missions:
(Link – MySite)
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(Link – MySite) – Emergency! Report to the quest counter!
The game as you picking up quests at the quest counter on the Ark. It’s placed neatly next to a Campship gate which would take you to your quest of choice. Can’t miss it! Just pick a quest, go through the campship gate, prepare yourself and then hop into a portal which will take you to the surface. Now let loose!
From what I noticed you have the main quests at the Ark lobby, side-quests given by NPC followers within the Ark, and various other NPCs scattered throughout the Ark so happy hunting!
– Timed Quests: These quests need to be completed within a certain amount of time to either be victorious or to unlock other quests. You have 15-35 minutes to complete that quest! No room for failure!
– Private Quests: Echo has you escort her through a map to Darker Spiders and must not be disturbed by other players joining. This is a date so don’t interrupt this special bonding moment.
– Gathering: Some quests have you gather yellow/golden pyramid objects from certain mobs forcing you to retry the quest until you get the amount needed. Slaughter those bosses good!
– Emergency (Event): Not to be mistaken with the “Your Majesty” events, these ones are randomly timed daily events featuring certain bosses or even Darker themselves. You and other fellow players would party up to take on such bosses or beasts.
– Emergency Code – Your Majesty!
(Link – MySite) – Attack spiders, spinners, and bosses.
(Link – MySite) – Destroying a nest.
(Link – MySite) – Trying to rescue myself.
Your Majesty! Attack! During your quest you will be commanded to do certain things at random and by map scripting. Think of it like side-quests for your main-quest. They’re 50/50 triggering both at random and for the boss attacks.
There is a nice variety to each and every Emergency code keeping things both fresh and entertaining. You may end up attacking, rescuing, defending, or even collecting stuff.
– Attack: Your task is to simply attack and wipe out the threat. Just attack!
– Arrest: Defeat enemies without allowing them to flee. They’re mostly on normal Rappys.
– Duel: Attack a boss and slay it!
– Defend: Defend the stranded pilot or person from incoming foes. Keep that person alive at all cost! You may see a pilot struggle to fix their dropship.
– Rescue:Â A black Darker netting surrounds a player spawning Darker spiders to harass both the hostage and the one trying to free the trapped player. Destroy that dome web!
– Collect:Â This one has you collect keys, fossiles, and other objects to complete your objective.
– Elimination: Defeat the enemies to proceed further. You’ll see lots of these in the volcano map with the Darker spiders.
– Avoid: Avoid enemy attacks; Three hits and you fail!
Amongst others I have yet to come across.
– Followers – Friend & NPCS:
(Link – MySite) – Doing Echo errands to befriend her.
(Link – MySite) – Yunamon’s Tama-chan character as an NPC.
(Link – MySite) – Two players an NPCs.
Like with any other MMO you have the ability to hire followers to assist you with your quests and events. There are two types of followers you can invite to your party – friends and NPCs.Â To hire any follower as an NPC followers get a quest, go to your campship and invite any of your choice. They will be at the same level as those that invite them. Don’t have any?
-> For players: Go to the visiphone on the Ark Ship – Lobby & shopping district. They would also have to be on your friend’s list if you want to recruit them for yourself.
-> For NPCs: Just do Client Orders for the NPCs out in the lobby and you’ll be able to use them during your quests.
Lost in inviting? In the campship look for the “!” orange icon on the window side and then choose which one you want to join you. Simple as that!
– Controls and Inventory:
(Link – MySite) Press “ESC” or “F1” to go through menu.
(Link – MySite) – Customization is both easy and tedious at the same time.
Controls for the game are those of any other FPS or modern MMO using the W,A,S,D keys. Double tap either W,A,S,D to dodge or jump away in any desired direction. Your left mouse button is the main attack while the right is any of the specials you attached to said weapons (I.e Resta or any photon art). “E” is to interact with objects such as character monoliths or messages scattered throughout the maps.Â Want to jump? Press and hold the space bar to do so, longer to jump higher.
A nice little feature that was added was the auto-run and follow partner command by pressing “V” once to run and twice to follow. Want to sort your inventory? Double-tap V! VICTORY!
The whole menu accessing is simple but for some reason its very tedious. I’m used to pressing I and sorting it out once while with PSO2 its just a pain in the ass. I sometimes make mistakes causing me to typo or do awkward motions within game, sometimes opening up other windows instead. To equip Photon Arts (spells) you have to do two or three things to do what would be one in another MMO, same goes for double confirming friend and party invites. I think the words I’m looking for is clunky and tedious after all.
In short: Its easy to navigate but its done in a tedious and clunky manner which doesn’t help when you’re mufti-tasking in game (i.e fighting + healing or Feeding your Mag).
(Link – MySite) – See that Pokeball to the left of the image? That is a baby Mag.
(Link – MySite) – Mag food & Stats. I don’t know what I’m doing :P.
A Mag is your little robotic evolving partner that assists you in little ways similar to a follower or friend. They can attack, heal, revive, and consume your lootage. I’m unsure how helpful they are exactly but mine did save me from danger a few times by healing me enough to regroup.
Treat them with respect and they’ll treat you back with respect as well. What I mean by that is by feeding them appropriate things to level up desired stats and to keep their energy as full as possible for them to be of any use to you.
Even though I just started I grasped the basic yet if anybody wants to correct me on anything about Mags you’re free to point me in the right direction. Depending on how things goes I may try to birth a Sato Mag.
– Seasonal & special Occasion Events:
(Link – MySite) – Reaction P1.
(Link – MySite) – Reaction P2.
(Link – MySite) – Summer Rappys! You get a Tuna Sword from them.
(Link – MySite) – Summer Rappy in a Volcano map. How’s the swim?
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(Link – MySite) – Obtained a Tuna-sword from a Summer Rappy.
(Link – MySite) – Miku Live Concert for her birthday!
(Link – MySite) – Pokeball earrings?
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PSO2 seems to enjoy events and festivities as much as the players do. I keep hearing about various kind of events even before I joined and seeing more after I have registered to play the game. This game loves to be festive and enjoys giving out various kind of events for the players to enjoy.
– Summer Rappy: These birdies wearing swimwear seem to appear on all types of maps, regardless of conditions. Been told that they give out tuna swords and even managed to acquire one when we were hunting down Rappys.
– Miku Hatsune Video: Miku Hatsune’s birthday is on the August 31st having Sega show a specially made music video on PSO2. The music video was displayed on every screen within the Ark and looped over and over again. It is now looped with the opening cinematic. Also found it amusing how it played during an Emergency Quest giving that whole Macross vibe of war & music – (Click me for a link to music video!)
– Scratches: Basically like lottery tickets you can purchase to win goods. They update every month it seems to give you new exclusive timed loot.
Because I only started playing recently this is all I can list for now. From the looks of things it shall continue expanding both content and festive wise.
– Other Images:
Just some images I thought I’d share along-side with this review.
(Link – MySite) – Varakitsu walking away from a rambling Jean.
(Link – MySite) – Rockbear Boss attack.
(Link – MySite) – Varakitsu-ception; Anki summoned me as follower.
(Link – MySite) – Naito having fun with a lance move.
(Link – MySite) – Spinning mobs is fun.
(Link – MySite) – Spinning a mob in lava, or simply attacking.
(Link – MySite) – Naito lance-jumping at mob.
(Link – MySite) – First encounter solo-kited and slayed both dragons; Awesome rush!
(Link – MySite) – Double-teaming a Kartargot.
(Link – MySite) – Time to slay a troublesome strong dragon!
(Link – MySite) – Don’t mind me just trying to find a weak spot.
(Link – MySite) – A flying fortress!
(Link – MySite) – Feels like I’m playing a Monster Hunter cross-over.
(Link – MySite) – Took forever but its dead.
(Link – MySite) – Trying out some costumes.
(Link – MySite) – This one kind of reminds me of a Valkyria Chronicles outfit.
– Final Thoughts:
This game is just out-right fun. I have no real complaints with it and it continues to delivery in the fun-zone. The combat is straight-forward and challenging, the music sounds surprisingly awesome, and the amount of detailing placed into the character creator just surprised me. The story, even though I can’t understand it much, is still there and it can be followed. I just can’t review it yet because I can’t understand it language wise.
I love how I changing weapons can be fun when experimenting or just generally combating things. The combat animation for the game is unique enough for each action that fighting mobs isn’t a chore. Its fun spinning the mobs with the wired-claws.
The classes are nicely designed and the races are all enjoyable enough that it doesn’t become a chore trying to decide what to pick. All are enjoyable. You can also change your class at will in the Ark Lobby if you want to switch or got sick of playing in one play style. A lot of care was placed into this MMO.
– Highly detailed character creation option. Has great customization options and even is even positively supported by Sega. It wants you to customize.
– You can go to a salon in the shopping district to re-customize your character.
– Nicely detailed races & classes. Both feel unique, fresh, and enjoyable.
– Music pumps you up regardless of when its played. You just end up wanting to play more, do more, listen more, or to celebrate that victory. The BGM is awesome.
– The “Emergency Code” quests add a nice random element to the game. Sometimes they can be a pain but they always manage to entertain nicely. It makes the map more lively when questing.
– You can “Lock” and item to prevent you from selling, storage, or feeding it to a Mag. It also prevents you from confusing yourself by not losing it.
– Turning your friends into followers was a nice touch. They can join you on your quests.
– PSO2 has an auto-run feature (“V”)Â and a follow-closest comrade command by double tapping “V”.
– Weather system is random and it adds a new element when in combat. Watch out for that lightning!
– Map generator is a bit bland and generic. It keeps reusing chunks to regenerate a new map.
– Clunky & tedious menu options. Having to customize or even accept is twice as tedious as it should be.
– Lacking in selection choice for the shops. Needs more costumes and items to sell along-side with player shops.
– “Your Room” is an AC rent option for 31 days instead of being free. There needs to be more home selections to “free” the apartment-like room. Link it with PS Home?
– Fox ears was a timed item and I missed out on it.
Such a fun game! Well, if you think I missed anything just let me know and I’ll add it in! Hope you enjoyed my review on PSO2 and hope to see more awesome content.
If you missed it can you notify me on Ship 2 – Varakitsu? I’ll make sure to pay you back, to the exact penny of course! You have my word. Offer up the Fox ears and I’ll pay you!
Until next time, peace!