Phantasy Star Online
Phantasy Star Online (OT: Japanese フ ァ ン タ シ ー ス タ ー オ ン ラ イ ン , Fantashī Sutā Onrain ) ( PSO for short ) is a computer role-playing game based on the first game, Phantasy Star , a computer game series of the same name . and first appeared on Sega's Dreamcast . Later ports to Microsoft Windows , Nintendo GameCube , and Xbox followed . It was the first online role-playing game for a game console . It was released on December 21, 2000 in Japan and on February 23, 2001 in Europe . Over the years a worldwide fan base has developed, some of which are also organized in clans.
The inhabitants of the almost destroyed planet Ragol set up the Pioneer Project to find a new home. They send the spaceship Pioneer 1 to the only possible planet called Ragol to research it and prepare for colonization . After the preparations have been completed, a second spaceship named Pioneer 2 sets out for Ragol to bring the residents of Coral to their new home. On arrival, however, the passengers of the Pioneer 2 observe an explosion on Ragol and radio contact with the surface is lost. The management of Pioneer 2 decides to commission the hunters of the mercenary guild Hunter's Guild to investigate the background of the explosion and to uncover the fate of Pioneer 1. You are also asked to find the daughter of the Prime Minister. This applies to episode 1.
In episode 2, the research facility of Pioneer 2 instructs you to visit the buildings of the Pioneer 1 project, for example an underwater research station.
The main focus of the game is on the online game . The player first creates his character . There are three character classes, each with four different characters, which differ visually and playfully. Face, clothing, physique, skin and hair color can also be determined by the player. You can then choose between different servers sorted by location . The rules of the game are the same on all servers.
The servers are also divided into blocks. Here, players can now meet other players in lobbies and chat. As soon as you have agreed on the type of game, up to four players join a team and the game continues in an exit area. The exit area consists of a trading sector, the bank, the hospital , a teleporter to the principal and the Hunter's Guild . Here you can buy items, heal later injuries and accept new missions for the Hunter's Guild.
Via a teleporter , the players reach the surface of the planet Ragol or the individual play areas, the structure of which is generated at random. The aim is to get to the boss of the area and defeat it. Along the way, numerous opponents have to be defeated by using weapons and spells, as is usual for games of the hack and slay genre . For this, the players also receive experience points , which increase the level and thus the playing strength of a character. Alternatively, players can do missions for the Hunter's Guild . Through them, players will learn more details about the backstory and residents of Pioneer 2 . The mission objectives differ from mission to mission, but finding certain items in dungeons often plays a role.
Other game modes
- Challenge Mode: Players have to reach the mission goal in the shortest possible time with predetermined levels and equipment. The mission fails as soon as a member of the team dies.
- Battle Mode: Deathmatch mode, in which you can play against each other according to selectable rules and players can attack each other.
Players can chat with one another online . It is possible to purchase a keyboard for the Dreamcast and GameCube . This speeds up the process of writing, which is only possible with the controller without a DC / GC keyboard . In addition, every player has a guild card which can be given to other players as often as they want. By having a guild card of a player you can send him messages called Simple Mail and check his online status (similar to instant messaging ).
Using a feature called Word Select , a complete statement can be created in the chat by selecting and combining hundreds of available words and phrases, which is then automatically translated into the national language of other players. With Symbol Chat , smileys can be composed by using different symbols and displayed as a graphic in the chat .
Use of a headset is limited to the Xbox version. A voice changer can be used to change the speaker's voice so that it resembles an android , for example , in order to give the appearance more authenticity .
In addition to the original version for Dreamcast , other versions and successors have appeared since 2000:
- PSO Ver. 2 ( Sega Dreamcast , extended levels, items and new game modes)
- PSO ( Microsoft Windows , corresponds to Dreamcast version PSO Ver.2)
- PSO Episode 1 & 2 ( Nintendo GameCube and Xbox )
- PSO Episode 1 & 2 Ver 1.1 ( Nintendo GameCube , only released in Japan)
- PSO Episode 1 & 2 Plus ( Nintendo GameCube , only released in Japan and the USA)
- PSO Episode 3 CARD Revolution ( Nintendo GameCube )
- PSO Blue Burst ( Windows PC, contains Episodes 1 and 2, as well as the completely new Episode 4 with three new areas and many new items)
On August 31, 2006, the PSO successor Phantasy Star Universe was released for the PlayStation 2 , Xbox 360 and PC in Japan . In addition to the online game , a 40-hour offline single player mode should be included. On November 24, 2006 the game was also released in German stores.
In December 2006 Sega announced that it would shut down the servers for the following parts of the game on April 1st, 2007:
- PSO, Dreamcast
- PSO vers. 2, Dreamcast
- PSO Episode 1 & 2, GameCube
- PSO Episode 1 & 2 Plus, GameCube
- PSO Episode 3 CARD Revolution, GameCube
In April 2008 the official servers of Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst for North America and the USA were switched off; the Japanese version was switched off on December 27, 2010. To mark the 10th birthday of Phantasy Star Online, SEGA recently announced the release of PSO 2 for 2011. So far, only an implementation for PC has been announced, but a console version should not be ruled out.
PSO and PSO Ver.2 were playable online for free at Dreamcast in Europe until April 1, 2007. Since 2006 this also works with the Japanese version. Then the servers of the GameCube and Dreamcast version were shut down. In the USA, fees of around 6 euros were incurred for 3 months in order to be able to play PSO online in multiplayer at Dreamcast.
Although the console versions of the game usually required the purchase of special cheat software such as an action replay , many players used this opportunity to get items that are rare or even no longer available in normal game operations (e.g. because certain items are only available for a limited time Events were available). Many crackers also exploited this weak point in the game to harass other players, for example "kicking" them from the server or killing them in non-PvP areas.
- In episodes 1 & 2 for Nintendo GameCube there is a bug that makes it possible to smuggle in your own code by connecting the broadband adapter to a PC. Using a disc server on the PC you can even play disc images from commercial GameCube games.
- The game has been expanded several times online. That means, if you are connected to the internet, new quests and partly new dungeons are available.
- The official servers have been shut down. In the meantime, however, fans have set up several private servers, in particular the servers SCHTHACK and Sylverant.
- Official website
- Dreamcast forum
- PSO2 on TOKYO GAME SHOW 2010 on YouTube
- PSO Blue Burst Japan Shutdown Video on YouTube