Phantasy Star Universe - Reviewed

The Phantasy Star series has long been a defining force in the world of RPGs. Ever since its humble beginnings on the Sega Master System in 1987, Phantasy Star has built up an incredible fan base, spanning more than ten games, on numerous platforms. The release of Phantasy Star Online in 2000 on the Dreamcast signalled a drastic change in direction for the series, as it not only made the leap into 3D, but it also became an MMO, an unprecedented move at a time where broadband was rare, and the only gamers who played online were using a PC. Some may say that Phantasy Star Online was responsible for popularising online gaming across consoles, and whether they are right or wrong, the original PSO certainly was certainly a front line soldier in the online revolution. However, as revolutionary as Phantasy Star Online was, by focussing on the online side of things, the game lost a few of the features that had made it so popular in the first place. For one, it made the change from turn-based battles, to MMO friendly real time encounters, and secondly, it became almost completely devoid of a decent story mode.
And so, this brings us nicely to Phantasy Star Universe, the latest title in the long running RPG series. When the game was originally announced, Sega promised fans that PSU would bring with it a return to the single player glory days of old, whilst simultaneously building on the MMO game that had been such a success on the Dreamcast. And, initially, it seems as though Sega may have succeeded...

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