In case you were unaware, there is a sequel to the classic Dreamcast game Phantasy Star Online in the works. I certainly had no idea, but after watching some beta footage (found here on Droid Gamers), my curiosity is definitely kicking into gear.
Once upon a time, I was a boy with a Dreamcast. I loved and cherished my Dreamcast dearly. I still do, in fact. Around a year ago, I lifted it out of its cage (a lovely dresser drawer at my parent’s place) and bought a whole slew of accessories.
I am talking new VMUs, new new controllers, and yes new extension cables for those controllers. I even took the liberty of obtaining not-exactly-legal copies of nearly every game on the system that I had previously owned (and some that would have been prohibitively expensive to obtain). It was a real blast to resurrect the damn thing and play it again.
However, one particular title that I loved so dear and near when I first owned the system, Phantasy Star Online, I have never revisited. I never saw a point given the lack of Sega.Net, and somehow I have managed to skip every iteration of the series since.
With all of this in mind, I am very interested to see how this new game pans out. The beta footage looked surprisingly polished and fun. The free-to-play nature and the fact that it is coming to PC both help. After all, I am not sure I would revisit the series if I had to go through Xbox Live to do so.
Interestingly enough, an Android (and iOS) launch of the game has me both horrified and intrigued. I don’t mind mobile gaming, but something as action-packed as Phantasy Star Online seems like a poor fit. On the other hand, any mobile MMO that doesn’t have Legends as the second word in the title is instantly welcome. I will probably give it a shot on all platforms.
Of course, if you one of those troubled gamers who never had a chance to play Phantasy Star Online, let me tell you why it was awesome:
- It was more of an action-rpg. Imagine it sort of like Diablo but with controls that work incredibly well on a controller.
- Its setting had a lot of that sci-fi/fantasy, Japanese mash-up charm. Sure, it was a little bit of everything, but shooting dragons with laser rifles is a kind of everything I can get behind.
- It was a flippin’ online game with four-player co-op, sprawling dungeons, tons of character customization, great action combat, all played on a flippin’ 56k modem via Sega.net. And it worked. Quite well, in fact. As with the Dreamcast itself, the first Phantasy Star Online was a game way before its time (at least as far as consoles go).
All in all, I am curious, but not much else. I did love the original and I do hope this game lives up to it, at least as a solid free-to-play time waster. If I could mod my Dreamcast controller to work on my PC it would be a day one download … memories and nostalgia being what they are.