Phantasy Star Universe Review

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Posted 6:54pm on Sat 6 January 2007
VG_Staff
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Phantasy Star Universe Review
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Phantasy Star Universe suffers from a few wayward aspects, but remains more than the sum of its parts.

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Posted 6:54pm on Sat 6 January 2007
Caleb
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    Phantasy Star Universe suffers from a few wayward aspects, but remains more than the sum of its parts.

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    How do i get my first free week on PSU for the PC
    Posted 6:51pm on Thu 18 January 2007
    mannik
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      Phantasy Star Universe suffers from a few wayward aspects, but remains more than the sum of its parts.

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      can you play two players split screen? on the PS2 version. like you could like with PSO on the gamecube?
      Posted 12:42am on Sat 27 January 2007
      Faroe
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        Phantasy Star Universe suffers from a few wayward aspects, but remains more than the sum of its parts.

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        How many Photon Arts are there and which are the best?
        Posted 3:06pm on Sat 9 February 2008
        FantasyMeister
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        Phantasy Star Universe suffers from a few wayward aspects, but remains more than the sum of its parts.

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        Over a year after this review was published there have been some marked improvements to the game, so I felt it fair to update this from the 360 perspective.

        Having recently downloaded the Ambition of the Illuminous expansion (1600 Microsoft Points) and reactivated an old character that retired when he hit the previous level 70 cap, I was delighted to find a wealth of new Photon Arts to collect and skill up with, I'd guess there are about 100 now and all are still pretty much situational so there's no real 'best' option. Having said that being able to pump out 30,000-40,000 damage with an Axe is quite appealing if you're into the melee aspect of combat. There's a ton of content that had been released over the previous months to investigate, a host of new missions, several new bosses, new regular events and so on.

        Melee combat in particular has now been tweaked from the previous 'just whack 3 buttons to produce a combo' to 'time your button presses carefully to ensure your next hit has a chance of criticality', which makes the combat a little more cerebral.

        There are two new Types to develop, AcroTecher and AcroFighter, new weapons (Slicers, Whips and Combat Support Machines), new ways to develop your Partner Machines and a host of new My Room decoration options, including an Ikea's worth of new furnishings.

        Probably the biggest change is in weapon grinding to upgrade your weapons, previously if an upgrade failed you lost your weapon completely, now you don't lose your weapon at all, but if you fail 10 times you're left with an ungrounded weapon in the same condition you first found it. On the plus side you now get 10 chances to upgrade your weapon to a '+10' version.

        The second biggest change is the addition of the Casino where you can spend all day playing Roulette and Slots with tokens (you're issued 100 tokens per day) which can be traded for a variety of rare items like music discs for your My Room Jukebox, S-rank weaponry, new outfits etc.

        Other life-sapping extras include the current 120 level cap, new caps on both Types (raised from 10 to 15) and Photon Arts (30-40 for your main Arts, 10-20 for most of your secondary Arts), a current total of 45 Missions (it was only 18 missions a year or so ago) and the ability to shop till you drop because of the Makeover options (you can change your characters appearance from when you first created it) and the incredible number of clothing options, so you're unlikely to meet your double again.

        The storyline can now be completed online up to the end of Episode 2 (the 12 offline Chapters are Episode 1) and, with the expansion, you can get cracking on Episode 3 of which the first two chapters are available. The storyline is very interesting, tackling race and holocaust issues. Episode 2 ends on a rather dark note whereas Episode 3 has a more 'renewed hope' feel about it so I'm looking forward to future Chapters being added.

        Population-wise the game still seems comparable to a year ago, Server 1 is invariably full with the overflow populating Server 2, although there appears to be a marked drop in the Server 16 population which was traditionally used by the Japanese, maybe they've found something else to do with their time.

        The demo for Phantasy Star Universe is still up there on LIVE if you want to try before you buy, but note that because of the updates in the main game there's a drastic difference in variety, the demo is very very limited in comparison to the full version. It's still basically all about hunting for phat-loot, so if that appeals I highly recommend PSU (£14.99 at GAME) and the AotI expansion (1600 MS Points from Marketplace) and a £6.99 monthly subscription (via Credit Card on Marketplace).


        Overall, after my revisit I'm hooked again. If the original reviewer Mark Scott is still playing, I think he might agree with me that the game is now worthy of a pretty solid 8/10. Then again scores can be highly subjective...
        Posted 3:23am on Sat 12 July 2008
        hey
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          So can i pay for my gaurdian pass using microsoft points and not a credit card? I live in the US.
          Posted 5:05pm on Fri 19 September 2008
          Mark_S
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          FantasyMesister - very interesting!

          I've not actually played in over a year now. Are there any sites with user experience feature articles on PSU that you know of?
          Posted 6:17pm on Fri 19 September 2008
          FantasyMeister
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          FantasyMesister - very interesting!

          I've not actually played in over a year now. Are there any sites with user experience feature articles on PSU that you know of?

          » Go to Mark_S's original post
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Mark_S
          FantasyMesister - very interesting!

          I've not actually played in over a year now. Are there any sites with user experience feature articles on PSU that you know of?

          Best I can offer is going to the main press review sites and scanning through the user reviews on there. There are a few fan-specific sites like pso-world.com and the official forums over at phantasystaruniverse.com which you can use to try and get a 'feel' for how the game is doing but nothing specific on user experience feature articles.

          When I wrote that review update above back in February I'd just switched back to World of Warcraft, since then PSU has had a lot more added, SEGA seem to be doing a great job supporting it, they're up to Episode 3, Chapter 5 and the player level cap increased to 140 back in July.

          If I had more time on my hands I'd be very tempted to revive my old character and get grinding again, but October 24th has a huge amount of great console games hitting on the same day so I'm holding back. (For now).
          Posted 1:42pm on Thu 2 October 2008
          Mark_S
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          Phantasy Star Universe suffers from a few wayward aspects, but remains more than the sum of its parts.

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          Good stuff, cheers for that. :)

          Although it's not exactly inspiring that you'd just switched back to WoW when you wrote that - especially since they're the two titles I'm currently deciding between!
          Posted 1:51pm on Thu 2 October 2008
          FantasyMeister
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          Good stuff, cheers for that. :)

          Although it's not exactly inspiring that you'd just switched back to WoW when you wrote that - especially since they're the two titles I'm currently deciding between!

          » Go to Mark_S's original post
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Mark_S
          Good stuff, cheers for that. Smile

          Although it's not exactly inspiring that you'd just switched back to WoW when you wrote that - especially since they're the two titles I'm currently deciding between!

          I play both Smile Currently I've got WoW on ice until the next expansion and am working my way from level 122 to 140 in PSU.

          Check out Warhammer Online also, a lot of ex-WoW players seem to like it, including Wes.

          If I had to shoot one of my babies? I'd stay with WoW and put a bullet in PSU on the basis that I doubt I'll ever finish everything WoW has to offer. PSU is £2 a month cheaper though...
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