B Gata H Kei - 04 - Large 09

   I’m back! I’ve been gone for a week or so due to school/graduation, but I’m back and ready to write! This time I’m looking at a Japanese MMORPG known as Phantasy Star Online 2, but keeping it short and sweet.

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   Sega’s vast MMORPG Phantasy Star Online 2 is  now on Vita. The original game for Microsoft Windows features a sci-fi environment and is renown for it’s heavily detailed character customization system. When logging in,  players are prompted with  3 races, Human, Newman, and Cast. Humans are your average people, nothing quite special about them. Newmen resembles humans with the exception of pointy ears. Male Casts resemble gundams or robots, while females resemble androids. In addition to race selection, there are three starting  jobs available for each race. Regarding customization, players are given free reign over their character, ranging from hair, eye, height, body shape, and more.

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Female Cast

The game itself is pretty well made. The unique ID system allows players to name characters without any restrictions., finally solving the problem of the bothersome “this name is already in use.”  The combat is well done. Locking onto enemies is done with the press of a button, so no more missing moving targets. If the keyboard and mouse controls don’t suit you, there’s always the controller option.

Music isn’t really all that memorable, the only song I vaguely remember is the lobby theme. (Then again I haven’t played enough to hear it all.)  The graphics are nice, although on lower settings characters look odd. For example, I designed a character on the highest graphic setting. Everything looked perfect until I turned the setting down. Suddenly, the hair color looked off, body parts looked too big, etc.

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Example of the lowest graphic setting.

Unfortunately, there is no English release for the game, as the server has been delayed. However, that shouldn’t stop anyone as the game is still available to those outside of Japan. Can’t read Japanese? You’re in luck. The English speaking community has banded together on this website, supplying players with an English patch.

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As you can see, the patch doesn’t translate everything.

So what does the Vita port have to offer? An obvious addition is the option to play on the go. If you have a 3G PS Vita model, you’re good. Even if you don’t, playing over Wi-Fi still works the same you’re just limited to a smaller area. The Vita also offers a redone interface, for ease of use.

Overall the game is very good. It combines the fun part of gaming while taking out the bad. The story isn’t that great, and it may not keep up with other MMOs in terms of popularity, there are more pros than cons. While Japanese  may turn the average gamer off,  the game is one of the better MMOs. If you don’t mind a slight grind, but love customization this game is for you!

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