Date: 09-15-2010 05:56
Reviewer: Heartbreak

Type: PSP
Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Alfa System

Phantasy Star. Those 2 words probably mean a lot to you if you're a fan of the classics, or even tried out the still awesome, Phantasy Star Online. A action RPG that has gone long ways since the first game, this game is also a huge hit in Japan, just like Monster Hunter! I will say this, you can import you character from the original Phantasy Star Portable or the trial version of Phantasy Star Portable 2 which is available on the North American PSN.

The plot is... well, confusing. Especially if you haven't really got into the series a while back. Basically, you're in a private mercenary group known as "Little Wing" on a space colony resort called Clad 6. Yeah, nothing too exciting here, but the plot does hold exciting moments. Very exciting. It's the usual, "A bad person has done bad things, now we gotta prevent it!" Since you're in a Mercenary group, you have a partner to go through all those story missions. A girl, that gets pretty annoying with all her babbling but she does watch your back. In some missions, NPCs (Non-player characters) will be added to your 4-player party to fight those baddies. You will also be able to receive their business cards, so you can invite any one of them to your party when you feel like tackling some of the open missions by yourself.

Played the first Phantasy Star Portable? You'll understand when I say it's the same, but improved on a big scale. Trying out for the first time on the trial version of the game, the game's gameplay is nice simple. It's a little more complicated than just hacking and slashing your way through the game, because you get a incredible arsenal put in front of you and you can choose whether to fight in the front with a trusty sword, saber, etc. or at the back with a gun, crossbow, etc. I mean there's so many weapons in the game, it makes me feel all warm inside! I'm sure you'll get the same feeling! Who wouldn't want a grenade launcher that shoots out rabbits or something absurd like that

Controls are simple, so simple that I instantly loved this game. You move around with the analog stick of course, change camera with the directional buttons and manage your action palette (which holds all your healing potions, weapons, armor) with a simple hold of a button. You shoot, and slash with the button. It's easy, trust me. The lock-on with the L button makes it even easier especially with ranged weapons such as handguns or rifles.

With so much content crammed in, I thought this game would have to take off some visual work, but apparently, that's not the case! This game looks fantastic, though some enemy textures could have been sharpened up. The levels and backgrounds look great as well, and I'm probably going to say that this game is a great looking game.

But before you can experience all this, you have to create your character! Which is insanely detailed and awesome! You can choose your hairstyle, race (which is not your typical types of race you're thinking about), eye color, ears, height, and so much more! I probably put in 15-20 min just making my character look cool. Think Monster Hunter character customization (2nd reference to MH, I've noticed), but 5x deeper. After customizing your character, you're ready to grind your way all the way to level 200! Gave away some ideas of a lifespan of this game right there. Customization is a big deal, even after the beginning customization bit. You'll be able to buy room decorations, music for your jukebox in your room, etc. I already spent many minutes trying to make my room look as snazzy as some of the ones I seen online! It's fun, and it's irresistible.

There a great amount of missions, which are divided into separate categories. Open missions are the most numerous, tactical missions will have you do some other objective than killing a boss, urgent missions will allow you to collect more weapons/money/armor, since the drop rate rises to 200%. There are also challenge missions which drop you to level 1 again (just for the duration of the mission) and you will have to face tougher enemies. Like I said, there's a lot of content here, and you won't be achieving 100% anytime soon.

Multiplayer (Ad-hoc & Online through PSN)
When I first heard about this game coming out in Japan a few years ago, I thought the idea of a 4 player online co-op game on a PSP impossible. I had a feeling that they wouldn't hold true to this feature, but they did! Now through the secure servers of the Playstation Network, you can play online with 4 of your buddies or strangers! Form your party, or find a party, that's how easy it is. You even get a partner card (think business cards, you'll understand) for other players to see your accomplishments and your play style. The online is so great, and you would know what I'm talking about if you had the time to check out the free demo of the game. I had great times online, whether it was slaying dragons, grinding levels, or simply sitting in the cafe and chatting with the in-game keyboard! If you have an internet connection, you will be guaranteed a fun time online on this game. It feels like a social hub to me, I find myself chatting to strangers or decorating rooms with them, then actually going through the missions with them.

Last few words
To sum this game up in one word? Awesome. Pure awesome. You're still probably just kind of thinking I'm some kind of maniac, but I'm not. This game is awesome, and deserves some, if not all of your time in your free time. If you're a fan of RPGs or even simplistic games, you'll love this. Go buy it or download it right now. I am imploring you. Go on! Load up 40 bucks, and be prepared for a thrill that all PSP owners should enjoy.

Presentation: 9
Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9
Lifespan: 10
Overall: 9.1
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