Back in 2000 I spent countless hours grinding away on a fun a beautiful game on my SEGA DREAMCAST known as PHANTASY STAR ONLINE. It was one of the first games I ever ventured online with and I was considered an addict. Later, when it was ported to the NINTENDO GAMECUBE, I spent countless more hours grinding away with a buddy in the games multi-player split-screen mode. While the controls were a bit simple, the unique level designs, fun character customization, memorable music, random weapon drops, and epic boss battles had me coming back time after time. I have been waiting 10 years for a proper sequel and it looks like SEGA is finally making a nerd dream of mine come true!
Details about this sequel are very sparse at the moment and it is only confirmed to be a WINDOWS PC release at the moment. I assume an announcement for an X-BOX 360 version is inevitable due to its amazing online community and the systems overall popularity. It is also unknown if PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2 will force its users to pay extra fees for playing on their server (known as a “Hunter’s License”) or if the service will be free for X-BOX LIVE subscribers. It’s safe to assume there will be fees for the WINDOWS PC version.
Based off this trailer, it looks like the graphics are getting a huge overhaul (it HAS been 10 years) and it appears we will have a classic forest level to explore much like the one in PHANTASY STAR ONLINE. The maps are all said to be randomly generated as well creating unique missions and exploration opportunities every time you play. The gameplay also seems to be taking some serious leaps forward with the addition of a jump feature, a combo system for fighting, customizable actions for your character, much quicker movements, abrupt “cut-in” events to mix up the possible tedium, and hopefully some cool character creation options.
PHANTASTY STAR ONLINE 2 is headed towards a release sometime in 2011. I will post details as they emerge. In the meantime, check out this amazing gameplay trailer to tide you over.