Retro Game Friday: Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 & 2 [Gamecube Review and Offline Mode review only]


This week I’m going over the first MMO game I ever played, Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 and 2, although since I played it on the Gamecube and could never find the network component I never got to play online. I still had lots of fun although looking back the gameplay sucks.

Plot Synopsis: In response to destruction of the home world, the “Pioneer Project” is begun in order to search for a new planet to settle. Unmanned probes locate a suitable location, and the ship “Pioneer 1” is sent to investigate. After confirming the suitability of the discovered planet, Ragol, construction is begun on the surface, including the Central Dome. Seven years later, “Pioneer 2” arrives at Ragol with the majority of refugees aboard. However, as Pioneer 2 establishes a communications link with the Central Dome, a massive explosion shakes the planet’s surface, and no sign remains of the people of Pioneer 1 on the planet.

Plot: It was okay, although it was mostly discovered in quests in the online only mode, which made understanding the story rather difficult for me.

Gameplay: I played as a Newman Hunter, essentially a battle-mage, that focused on healing myself while mowing down any and all mobs that came close to me with my swords. I even found a pair of twin swords which I loved. My best friend, Eric, played a Newman Hunter as well while he was focused on healing the rest of us he could and would wade into battle and wreck absolute havoc. My younger brother would play as a Cast Hunter, a straight up warrior with no magic capabilities, and he would wade into battle using his greatsword to mow down enemies. We thoroughly enjoyed playing through the story mode and while we completed all the quests, it was annoying as hell not to be able to play online.

Music: I really enjoyed the opening themes for this game, as they were very sci-fi and uplifting that contrasted heavily with the plotlines. The actual music in game I have little memory of, because our TV we used to play the game was in my mother’s office and we couldn’t use the music.

Art: For it’s day it was pretty amazing.

Overall: If you can find a copy of it and want to try it, it’s worth the play through in offline mode. If you don’t mind the grind so you can solo things.

For those who like: MMO’s, Hack and Slash games, Sci-Fi, Phantasy Star games.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.