Phantasy Star Online 2 Game Review

  • Gameplay
  • Combat
  • Graphics
  • PvP/PvE
  • Story

Phantasy Star Online 2 Information

Although it will never reach the Western market, Phantasy Star Online 2 is an Anime inspired, scifi-themed free to play Action MMORPG published by SEGA. It is one of the most populated Japanese MMORPG online, housing hundreds of different channels and millions of players. Featuring amazing graphics, music, and fast, engaging combat, it’s no wonder it’s so popular in Japan.

Video Review - Is Phantasy Star Online 2 Worth Playing?

Is Phantasy Star Online 2 Worth Playing in 2018?

Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of the largest free to play MMORPGs in Japan.
Every popular MMO Youtuber has at one time or another played through this game, both Wiggy and I having done quite a few videos on it ourselves.
Outside of maybe Soul Worker Online, Phantasy Star Online 2 has one of the most complete Anime feels in an MMORPG.

Unfortunately for us Westerners though, PSO2 was never released in English.
Sega never graced us with an official English release, and likely never will.
It’s been too many years, and there are too many cosmetic items from various games that even if they were to release it internationally, they would run into so many licensing issues it wouldn’t be worth it to them.

Nevertheless, there is an incredibly large English patch for the game maintained by fans that, admittedly, translates more than any fan translation I’ve ever seen for a game.
And it’s fairly understandable, to boot!
That is why I’m doing this review of the game.
I want to go over whether or not the English translated version of Phantasy Star Online 2 is worth playing currently in 2018, and further going into 2019.

Character Customization

For an Anime inspired MMORPG, Phantasy Star Online 2 offers some of the best character creation currently available to an Anime title.
The game offers 4 unique races to choose from, the Humans, Newman, Cast, and Dewman. Each race looks drastically different from the other, but at their core – they are all humanoid.
Again, for an Anime MMORPG, you’re given a lot of customization options. You are able to customize a large amount of your characters face including eye patterns, colors, eyelashes, makeup, along with the overall facial structure.
You’re given quite a sizeable variance of hairstyles to choose from, and like all MMOs – you’re given the option to edit the hair color as well.
Then you’re given skin color, and the ability to further reshape your characters body. You can have your character looking like a little loli, or a large she-hulk.
The possibilities are almost endless, honestly. I cannot stress how good the character creation in PSO2 really is.

Gameplay

Gameplay is very fast, like, ridiculously fast. Some of the battles we’ve come across during our level 20s are some of the most insane looking fights we’ve ever witnessed.
The battles you happen across – or at least the larger battles you happen across are huge in scale and filled with enough special effects to give people seizures if they’re epileptic. Probably even if they’re not.
Character movement is very fluid – granted, the characters don’t move as well as they do in Soul Worker, but PSO2 is a little dated, coming out when Wiggy was still in school.
Nevertheless, the game still moves and plays better than pretty much any other Anime MMO out at this point.

Combat

Combat in PSO2 is one of the most fun things about it.
You’re given the ability to equip three separate weapon types – each with their own specialization. Such as close-range melee fighter, long range gunfighter, etc.
You’re able to swap between weapon types on the fly – at any time by simply scrolling between which weapon you have equipped, making for some sweet combinations with friends.
It employs an action combat system as opposed to a tab-target combat system although the combat in question can be a little slow at low levels.
This is the case for most games though, so I wouldn’t hold it against it.

Class Diversity

PSO2 has 6 unique classes as of 2018. The Hunter, Braver, Ranger, Bouncer.. Force.. yes, just.. Force. I’m not kidding you. And finally, Summoner.
I would like to point out that like most Eastern MMOs, PSO2 is no stranger to awkwardly translated class names.
Battle Bow.. Whipper.. Force. I.. I just.. I don’t even.
Thankfully though, each class is varied enough from one another to not leave you feeling like you’re playing through the same shit with a different icing.
You mix that up with the multiple weapon types available and you have some incredible class opportunities.

Plot

The story in PSO2 is very expansive, and covers both the “virtual world” of Phantasy Star Online, and the “real world” that people playing PSO inhabit.
The story progresses through “missions” that you tackle completely solo, introducing you to new areas, new characters that are integral to the overall story being told, and allowing you to take on additional missions unlocked through furthering the story.
PSO2’s story is split between chapters, with each chapter arc being centered around different characters and each having their own unique plot to follow.
As such, it’s difficult summarizing the plot – but suffice it to say if you like science fiction in your games, then PSO2’s story will absoutely blow you away.
As long as you have the translation enabled, I mean.

Graphics

Graphically, PSO2 is probably one of the best looking Anime MMORPGs out there. It doesn’t look as “new” and polished as Soul Worker, but the amount of detail they put into their game and its environments is fantastic.
Admittedly, the environments.. although seemingly a little reminiscent of a PS3 JRPG, really stand out. There are so many varied ares to explore, and going between futuristic scifi landscapes to destroyed ruins and forests.. is a sight you won’t soon forget.
The character models themselves are a step above the graphics of the actual game though, having Anime inspired characters that are possibly the best animated in a released MMORPG currently.
You can craft such beautiful, such adorable looking characters – you have such control over how your character looks, that even if the game wasn’t as good as it is, the character creation alone would have me download the game if just to try.
The only thing that looks better coming out is Peria Chronicles, and that’s a wayyyyys off.

Population

PSO2’s population numbers, although mostly Japanese, are absolutely huge.
Most Japanese MMO players have an account on PSO2 and the fact that they have, what? 12 different servers total, along with hundreds of different channels that house hundreds of players on each – at a minimum – is, to say.. a testament to how good the game is.
Outside of Final Fantasy XIV and Dragon Quest Online, I’m not sure what MMOs have a higher population than PSO2 in Japan.
Then we have 2 ships in specific, that each have a large percentage of English speaking players.
Trust me, the game is absolutely packed with life.

The World

PSO2’s world is completely instanced.
Now, that isn’t to say that it’s solo, nor is it to say that you won’t meet other players.
There is a large space station as your main “hub”, where you take quests, continue with the main scenario, flirt with the other players. Wait, what? That’s just me? Oh.
Each “map” you go to is inhabited by different monsters, houses different environments, and is doable solo or with a team.
You also come across random strangers joining your instances if you set the instance to “public”, which is actually a fun little way of meeting new people doing the same thing you are.

PvE

PvE in PSO2 is handled differently to most MMORPGs.
When not out in the field, you’re inside the lobby, which is the main quest hub for the game.
From there, you accept various forms of missions from different NPCs – in essence – quests.
From the higher level of the lobby, you can take missions to further the main scenario in the game.
Outside in the field, where you go about completing your missions, you can group up with 3 other players for group missions, essentially functioning like a more open dungeon.
Then you’re able to group together with 2 other groups, forming a larger 12 man party to combat large boss monsters with, functioning more or less like raids.
Finally, you’re given the ability to participate in large “world boss” fights with up to 11 other players.

PvP

Unfortunately for people interested in PvP, there is none in Phantasy Star Online 2.
Which is unfortunate. With the fun action combat, the ability to swap between various weapon types and customize your character to such an extent, PvP would’ve been an absolute blast.

Overall - Is Phantasy Star Online 2 Worth Playing?

Phantasy Star Online 2 isn’t released in the West.
It has no official English release, at all.
It never will have an English release because of licensing issues, and the fact that Sega is lazy.
But that doesn’t mean the game isn’t playable with the English translation patch.
The game is very much worth playing, and the English patch that you can apply is very much worth investing your time into because although not perfect, it makes the game completely playable.
And trust me – as an Anime fan – as a scifi fan – you’re not going to want to miss out on this beauty.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Minimum System Requirements

Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz or Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+
Video Card: GeForce 7800 GT or Radeon HD 3600 Series
RAM: 1.5 GB
Hard Disk Space: 8 GB

Phantasy Star Online 2 Recommended System Requirements

Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit
CPU: Core 2 Duo E7600 3.06GHz or Athlon II X2 270
Video Card: GeForce GTS 250 or Radeon HD 6670
RAM: 3 GB
Hard Disk Space: 8 GB

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    Jul 28, 2018 @ 16:25 pm

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