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Devyn

Phantasy Star RULES

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Good God. I downloaded Phantasy Star IV three weeks ago. I have never before played a Phantasy Star game. I was a Nintendo fan back in the day, and I played all the popular, and great, RPGs available on Nintendo consoles - Earthbound, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Super Mario RPG, etc.. My little brother had a Genesis, and I was able to play Sonic, Streets of Rage, Ristar, Altered Beast, and a lot of Sega classics, but it would be another fifteen years or so until I tried a Phantasy Star game.

I was kinda disappointed that virtual console has been so lackluster lately, so I went into the back-catalogue and finally made the eight dollar plunge - I'm poor as hell right now so eight dollars don't come easy - and I have to say "Wow." What a great game. Everything is so well designed and I really think that this is an under-rated series. What really got me was that the game continued to surprise me over and over again. The first time you get into the Land Rover, the first time your travel to another planet.

This is the definitive space RPG. I kinda feel guilty for neglecting this series for all these years. Anyway, it's just a really unique spin on the RPG genre and I think it's really unfair how the JRPG gets pinned down and disprected so much. I think that's because modern JRPGs are kinda just milking a bygone era and not injecting true passion - Regardless, I was just wondering if there are any fans of the series on here - there are remixes, so there has to be.

What can you tell me about the series and do you recommend that I play every game in the original series? I've heard that IV is the best, and some say II is the best. Many say that III kinda sucks. Does anybody else think the music and the cutscenes are awesome? Also, do you agree that Rika is awesome? C'mon? I'm geeking out over this game.

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$8 is pretty cheap considering it was a $110 MSRP game when it came out. It was also my first Phantasy Star game, and actually my first RPG. I bought it for $55 when Virgin Megastore was having a "50% off" closing sale.

The only two JRPGs I've come across that measured up to it were Final Fantasy I and VI. I keep telling people to play Phantasy Star IV, but people won't listen to me :)

Through the years, I've played through all the other Phantasy Star games (excluding the ones within the past 5 years), and I'd have to say Phantasy Star I was the second best one. II and III didn't do it for me -- dungeons and combat in II dragged forever, and the environment in III was uninspired. Granted, they all had their great qualities at times. Like modern Sonic series, Phantasy Star Online was nothing like the originals.

As for me, I've burnt out on JRPGs and I've recently sworn off them in favor of western-style ones. Your analysis is insightful -- It's probably just that I've been playing derivative crap for so many years, that I don't get involved or emotionally moved by any of them anymore. I'm looking at you, Skies of Arcadia.

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Yeah, PS4 is definitely an excellent game. I have the GBA Phantasy Star Collection (I-III) which has some crashing problems, but they're all basically an evolution or two behind 4, which perfected the formula. However, if you like old-school, challenging RPG gameplay, you might check them out.

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PS is one of the absolute best games of the 8-bit generation, and in my opinion the best Phantasy Star game aside from part IV. Part 2 was a good game as well, but it just didn't have the cool graphics of part 1.

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I bought 2 thinking it was going to be one of the best games ever...

And what I got was a mess. The very first dungeon is nigh-unconquerable, and the game has this wonderful habit of never telling you what you can and cannot equip, and whether those weapons are even better than the ones you already possess.

It's frustrating to the extreme. I might try picking it up again later, but I've never finished the game.

It's surprised me that I couldn't best it considering I've beaten FF1 and FF3 (the former many times), and yet not this. Again I blame this on game design.

I'm not saying don't buy it, but you're in for one hell of a clunky ride unless you have a guide (I didn't). I am just recommending against it. The music is pretty darn good, too. People say the plot in 2 is pretty good, but I never got far enough to see for myself.

You did do the right thing, though. Of the Sega PS games, PS IV is in my eyes the best of them. I never played PS 1, but I'd suspect it has some of the same pitfalls that II had that I described. You might write it off as what RPGS were like back in the day, but it doesn't make it any more playable.

And hey, Skies of Arcadia may be in ways derivative, but it was a hell of a lot of fun, and unlike a lot of RPGs of last generation, it was actually fun to play and explore in.

And the ship battles rocked.

The reason that a lot of RPGs these days aren't all that great is because they've really either gone the Square Enix Final Fantasy route and forgot why RPGs are fun to begin with, go the Atlus route and make the games impossibly niche (oh Etrian Odyssey... one day you will be loved too), or have gone the third route and never learned from the 8- and 16-bit games at all (most modern RPGs and especially Nostalgia DS and Glory of Heracles, I'm looking at YOU).

RPGs are all about the joys of incremental improvement, dungeon-crawling, and exploring. For some people (I'm one of them), it's FUN to go around grinding your stats and money, get better weapons and skills, and then going to town on the poor bastard monsters standing in your way. You top it off with boss fights that require some more finesse and strategy, and you've got a fundamentally fun game (take Final Fantasy 1 for example). A good plot is icing on the cake, but as we all know, cake without icing is pretty damned gay.

I mean, it's probably because a lot of companies try to totally deviate from the RPG formula or add useless things to it (take FF XI- onward and games like Sakura Wars), and the alternatives they are adding are just not fun.

Heck they are remaking Lufia 2 for the DS, not as a stellar remake of a classic RPG, but as a stupid action game (this furthers my suspicion that SE is now incapable of making a good RPG).

Another good Sega RPG (though more strategy than JRPG) is Shining Force 2.

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I never played PS 1, but I'd suspect it has some of the same pitfalls that II had that I described.

The first game is better. Every single battle in Phantasy Star 2 without exception takes place on a blue grid while in Phantasy Star 1 the battle graphics changed depending on where you were and they were richly detailed and animated. They definitely took a step backwards in the gameplay department from the original game as well. For one, each character has their own inventory so you must cycle through tons of different screens instead of just one giant inventory collection to get to an item.

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