Phantasy Star Online 2 2020 First Impressions
Alright, I know a lotta you guys have been waiting patiently for this.. Phantasy Star Online 2 just held their very first Closed Beta test.
Like the vast majority of beta tests – there were issues, but issues that anyone that has played a closed beta would be familiar with.
The general consensus for the beta was that while there was lag, disconnects and downtime, the game is about as exciting as everyone was anticipating. I’ve played the official Japanese version of the game quite extensively, so I know what to expect before the beta test took place but a lot of players didn’t.
And that was where a lot of the fun originated from: A lack of knowledge, people having no idea what was going on, lots of questions being asked and players generally having to learn how to play the game.
From what I witnessed, the beta went more or less as I had expected.
I saw people complaining that the PSO2 team should’ve been aware how many players had signed up for the test period, and thus should’ve taken the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth closed beta. But the goal of a closed beta isn’t to ensure it’s smooth.
See, while yes they probably had the exact number of players that were going to be participating in the beta test, it’s highly likely they didn’t expect the server load to be nearly as high as it was.
This is the case in many MMO launches: You really don’t know the strain of holding that many players, and thus can’t really prepare for it more than what you initially anticipate.
The closed beta test period was extended, and the instances of downtime, lag and disconnects were pretty much resolved. Which is promising news for their upcoming open beta – which yes, is confirmed to be happening. When approximately is unknown, at least as of this video, but it’s unlikely it’ll take place immediately after the closed beta finishes.
Something I noticed, which was kind of a reoccurring theme over on both Reddit and Twitter was that the game seemed a little easy. Fights required little effort and overall provided not much in the way of difficulty – but this is due to the balance changes that were made to classes since that content was originally released.
As you continue through the game things will increase quite rapidly in difficulty, providing much more of a challenge for players.
Also worth noting are certain changes made to the game – changes that were not present in the Japanese version. And I feel like this specifically is something I know a lot of you were waiting for.. the dreaded “censorship.”
So far there are 2 reported instances of alterations to the game. On the one hand, we have the reduced.. I’m just gonna go ahead and refer to it as “jiggle physics.”
There was someone who showed the difference between the bounce on female characters between the Japanese version and the localized English version, however, it’s also been reported that that is a glitch, as opposed to an actual change made to the game.
While I can’t confirm it myself, I would like to let people know that the majority of players on Reddit have been stating it’s a bug. I’m unsure of their source, but I hope that’s the case. The one confirmed alteration to the game has been in the way of height sliders.
They’ve increased the minimum height requirement for characters, essentially making it impossible to make smaller loli characters.
I know this has upset some people as they had intentions of making tiny little loli characters – honestly I wasn’t even aware you could go that small, but this is likely due to the fact that Western audiences, devs and publishers find loli’s highly distasteful.
That’s it though, at least currently. There may be additional changes made to outfits, scenes or other areas of the game but right now it seems like the majority of what’s available in the first batch of levels remained intact.
Overall, I feel like the closed beta was pretty much as successful as it could’ve been. There were a lot of players playing, and a lot of events went on.
When the urgent quests began, everyone would rush to the quest desk to participate – seeing so many players actively playing, actively moving around and actually doing.. stuff, just.. stuff.
Chatting, dancing, even watching the Sonic trailer, or the live concert… it was all very, very cool. Something that I’d forgotten happened in MMOs. While I know this won’t remain, as the novelty of the game will likely wear off, it’s still refreshing to see.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that while yes, initially there was lag, the combat felt as good as I remembered. Fast and very responsive. And the character creator.. seeing so many absurd looking characters was actually pleasant to laugh at.
Overall I feel like when PSO2 finally launches outta beta testing, and further launches onto PC and PS4, it’s really going to shake up the Western MMO market. While yeah, we got Blue Protocol coming, it’s fun to play something that is not only fun and beautiful like PSO2, but also a little silly and just… Iunno, fun? I guess.