Phantasy Star Online 2
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a Japanese MMO published by Sega, released in 2012. It the long awaited followup to the cult classic Phantasy Star Online. A closed beta for the American Xbox One version was announced for February 7, 2020, with the final version being opened two months later.
Following the ending of Episode 6, an sequel titled New Genesis was announced for a 2021 release, and finally released in June 2021.
Why It Rocks
- Sega took all of the best gameplay aspects of Online 1 and the Universe sub-series and improved upon it, such as a faster gameplay to make it feel up to date. Oh, they also included jumping for the first time!
- There are plenty of special physical attacks called photon arts, allowing for a variety of ways to combo.
- Four Races to choose from: The baseline Humans, the magically inclined elf-like Newmans, the physical powerhouse Casts, or the glass cannon Deumans
- Plenty of classes to choose from, all filling their own niche:
- The Hunter is the arch-typical beefy swordmaster class meant to tank everything while dealing damage in large burst numbers.
- The Fighter is the swift glass cannon class trading defense for speed.
- The Ranger is the arch-typical long-ranged class armed with a rifle for single target damage and a rocket launcher for mobs.
- The Gunner is a dual twin machine gun class meant to mow everything with consecutive bullets.
- The Force is the arch-typical squishy wizard class specializing in Fire/Lightning/Ice Trio damage.
- The Techer is a combat medic meant to support other players while occasionally smacking enemies with a hammer-like wand.
- The Braver is a hybrid class that can either slash with a katana or shoot with a bow.
- The Bouncer is a hybrid class using either twin sabers or "jet-boots" that are a quasi-magic weapon that can still work like a melee one.
- The Summoner is the beastmaster, having a pet fight from afar while the summoner aids said pet with support skills.
- The Hero, Phantom, Etoile, and Luster are '"successor" classes with a unique weapon setup than can fill any role thanks to their weapon selection: Hero better in close range while Phantom in far range. Etoile is more of an overall tank class, while the Luster is a special class that utilizes the gunslash uniquely.
- One of the best character creation systems ever made:
- A plethora of original outfits, either as a full set or as "layers" (Outer, Base, and Inner).
- Voice tickets from various well-known seiyuus, such as Rie Tanaka, Ai Kayano, Takahiro Sakurai, Takehito Koyasu, Yuki Kaji, Ami Koshimizu, and Yukari Tamura. This means you can knowingly have your characters voiced by your favorite seiyuus. Even better, there are commonly many variants to choose from. This is a JPN feature only though, sadly.
- It even allows you a lot of options, such as height, weight, facial appearances, etc.
- There are also "weapon camos" that change what your weapon looks like in case you don't like how one weapon that's strong, but unappealing visually looks.
- While it takes a while to get everything and a lot of money, there are a lot of things to chose from, and still expanding thanks to Sega updating the game.
- Reasonable microtransactions. Many of the things bought with real money aren't actually needed to progress further.
- You're gives weekly opportunities to rack up money, which also hands out materials for building or trading.
- Farming tickets can be obtained ingame to boost rare item drops.
- Lots of crossover events with outfits from other series. "Wanted to cosplay as 2B? Done. How about Purple Heart? Gotchu, fam. Saber? Say No More." Those are just a few examples.
- Plenty of awesome bosses to fight, either solo or with a group of 11 other players. Most in higher difficulties provide a solid challenge as well.
- A fun little casino to waste time reminiscent of real life gambling, albeit one that isn't part of the core gameplay.
- Large variety of maps for various quests.
- Lots of great music both within PSO2 and crossovers, some of which can be bought as discs for your room.
- When the PS4 version was released, the graphics were given an updated option to match the clean appearance of the PS4.
- The SEA servers were not so great. The main issues regarding these servers were increased monetization and translation issues.
- Making a Sega account is a pain due to the Captcha being in Japanese.
- Scratch Cards are more or less the equivalent of loot boxes in other games. Fortunately, the items that you can get can be traded to other players and can be bought with in-game money, although it does require a lot of grinding.
- Affixing your weapons to readjust to your character is a fairly complicated process.
- Although you can get a lot of crossover outfits, there may not be a matching voice ticket. For example, both 2B and Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan) can be made, but their seiyuu, Yui Ishikawa, has yet to be an option.
- It was never officially released outside of Japan until 2020.
- While the Vita port was still very playable, it understandably performed worse due to being a weaker system than most PCs and a PS4.
- The North American localization appears to have been rushed, as there are instances of spelling errors, "Engrish", some nonsensical phrases, and moments where voice acting is in Japanese.
- The North American Windows 10 version had an atrocious launch.
- The New Genesis update no longer allows lower end machines to run the game properly along with being no proper custom graphical settings on PC.
When the Closed beta opened on 02/07/2020, many players were lagging heavily and being disconnected prematurely due to demand overload, being shut down early for an emergency maintenance. Said beta was extended as compensation
The PlayStation Vita port was announced for closure in August 19th, 2020, due to the lack of support from Sony. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused Sega to delay the closing to September.
Download Link and Captcha help
For those interested in playing on the up-to-date Japanese servers, the game requires a fan-made translation to play. Download link
When making a Sega JPN account, you may need to not only have the website translated on google chrome, these tools are suggested when asked to get past the captcha:
- https://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/katakana.htm (lets you pick the katakana chacacter)
- https://translate.google.com/ (hit the pencil symbol for handwriting to try to make the character)