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Maou
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"Phantasy Star II" , posted Wed 17 Jan 06:11post reply

I always sort of regretted not playing the Phantasy Star series, especially II, which I've heard described in glowing terms as having a story years ahead of its time. Any fans or detractors for the series who can say whether it's worth my time going through them?

I'm tempted to play the Sega Ages version of II more than anything else (I heard that the Sega Ages PS I ruined the atmosphere, but that II was okay), since my first RPG's were Lunar 2 and Final Fantasy VI and I have a mildly hard time playing more primitive graphics than that. Am I missing out if I don't grind through the old Mega Drive version? Actually, am I missing out on a good story, period?





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Nate
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"Re(1):Phantasy Star II" , posted Wed 17 Jan 06:29post reply

quote:
I always sort of regretted not playing the Phantasy Star series, especially II, which I've heard described in glowing terms as having a story years ahead of its time. Any fans or detractors for the series who can say whether it's worth my time going through them?

I'm tempted to play the Sega Ages version of II more than anything else (I heard that the Sega Ages PS I ruined the atmosphere, but that II was okay), since my first RPG's were Lunar 2 and Final Fantasy VI and I have a mildly hard time playing more primitive graphics than that. Am I missing out if I don't grind through the old Mega Drive version? Actually, am I missing out on a good story, period?



The story's quite good and I assume you're fluent enough in Japanese that you don't need to play the English version, which had well...typical translation for the time. It's awkward.

It's really interesting to see the contrast between the bright, cheerful future graphics and the storyline as it unfolds.

I'd say go with the Playstation 2 version if only because all the characters are useful or at least can be made useful. I also think Shir/Shilka doesn't make you backtrack as much to put her back in your party if she steals things on another planet (I only mention this because she's my favorite and it was annoying in the original). I'm not sure. I'm not sure if all the changes made to Phantasy Star 1 were done to this one, but probably.





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Phoenix
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"Re(1):Phantasy Star II" , posted Wed 17 Jan 17:52:post reply

The only Phantasy Star I played was part IV which I thought was quite excellent. I think I bought the thing brand new at like close to 60 bucks... Anyhow I hear that part 2 is the best, so you probably wouldn't regret giving it a shot. Just don't play it on the gba or something...and remember that it has a very old school, repetitive, dungeon crawler type gameplay.





[this message was edited by Phoenix on Wed 17 Jan 19:09]

Gojira
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"Re(2):Phantasy Star II" , posted Wed 17 Jan 21:12post reply

quote:
The only Phantasy Star I played was part IV which I thought was quite excellent. I think I bought the thing brand new at like close to 60 bucks... Anyhow I hear that part 2 is the best, so you probably wouldn't regret giving it a shot. Just don't play it on the gba or something...and remember that it has a very old school, repetitive, dungeon crawler type gameplay.



I recall PSIV being much much more expensive when it was brand new, like nearly $90, since it was supposedly a large cartridge for its time. Did I only imagine it?

Anyway I too played PSIV and it was very nice. Very colorful game. Can't remember any details of the story any more, though.

As for PSII, I'd heard legends, but like many RPGs back then it just tosses you in with no setup so I couldn't get into it.





Phoenix
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"Re(3):Phantasy Star II" , posted Wed 17 Jan 21:53:post reply

quote:

I recall PSIV being much much more expensive when it was brand new, like nearly $90, since it was supposedly a large cartridge for its time. Did I only imagine it?

Anyway I too played PSIV and it was very nice. Very colorful game. Can't remember any details of the story any more, though.

As for PSII, I'd heard legends, but like many RPGs back then it just tosses you in with no setup so I couldn't get into it.



I don't remember how much PS IV was...I just remember that it was pretty expensive- so you might be right. I actually still remember a few details from the story. Beware of Zio...he's cool...and I remember some of the music. And I remember thinking the comic book style story telling was so cool back then...not to mention the uber hip intro sequence kekeke.





[this message was edited by Phoenix on Wed 17 Jan 21:55]

crazymike
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"Re(4):Phantasy Star II" , posted Thu 18 Jan 02:32post reply

PSIV was indeed around 90 bucks, but I got it for "free" (15 bucks a month) on sega channel and beat it on there. Ah memories.





Maou
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"Re(5):Phantasy Star II" , posted Thu 18 Jan 03:55post reply

Thanks for the thoughts.

Yeah, I do remember PH IV and Shining Force II costing at least 90 bucks and literally not being able to understand what was going on. There was a serious disadvantage to carts back then...

As long as there are very good stories or systems, I'll play old RPG's happily. So I suppose if I gave the remade PS II (Playstation 2) version a spin, and then tackled the old Mega Drive PS IV, I'd have a good time of it? I hear III was the weak link, and the PS I remake is supposed to be oddly plastic visually, so I thought I'd skip those unless I'll miss something huge.





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crazymike
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"Re(6):Phantasy Star II" , posted Fri 19 Jan 06:19post reply

quote:
I hear III was the weak link, and the PS I remake is supposed to be oddly plastic visually, so I thought I'd skip those unless I'll miss something huge.



I never really got far in PSIII because of its difficulty, but I would say it is one of the more "weirder" RPG's in that it spans many generations. Seemed to kind of have a dark tone beneath the medieval fairytale-like setting too.





Maou
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"Re(7):Phantasy Star II" , posted Fri 19 Jan 08:14post reply

It does get a bad rap among fans, I hear, though the multi-generation thing definitely sounds exciting. Multiple games have done it, but they all seem to incidentally be less than successful: PS III, Venus and Braves, SaGa Frontier II.... That said, I just grabbed the remake of PS II and I'm excited to play it...after Tales of the Abyss, anyway.





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Black_Hayato
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"Re(7):Phantasy Star II" , posted Fri 19 Jan 08:16post reply

I kind of hated playing PSII. The learning curve was kind of high, atleast at the time I played; it was hard. The game just throws you right in it with long monotonous dungeons. But the plot is great and along with IV(my fav rpg ever) tell an awsomely good story. Go for it if you like old school rpgs.


I love Phantasy Star. Bought Universe even though I knew the offline would suck. I just wish Sega could meld modern a turnbased phantasy star with the old's classic 80's anime look, and 80's music. To me its the ultimate scifi rpg series. And still today nothing comes close, not Xenogear/saga, Star Ocean, Chrono, etc.





Variable Savior
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"Re(8):Phantasy Star II" , posted Fri 19 Jan 09:00post reply

I don't remember being particularly impressed with PSII's plot - maybe I missed something.

The game itself was alright but lordy I had trouble with the end boss. After losing a hundred times I finally beat it with one guy left alive in my party (and at 1 HP none the less). I was totally out of magic and made a normal attack as a gesture of defiance - to my surprise the thing died. I don't know if this story serves to illustrate that the end boss was a pain or that I was severely underleveled...

PSIII wasn't bad but it was boring. And if it was boring in 1990 I can't imagine how dull it'd be today.

As far as PSI goes I played my cousin's SMS copy but he sold his system and I never finished it - I've always wanted to go back and 'wrap things up'. What exactly is wrong with the PS2 port?





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Pollyanna
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"Re(8):Phantasy Star II" , posted Fri 19 Jan 09:22post reply

quote:

I love Phantasy Star. Bought Universe even though I knew the offline would suck. I just wish Sega could meld modern a turnbased phantasy star with the old's classic 80's anime look, and 80's music. To me its the ultimate scifi rpg series. And still today nothing comes close, not Xenogear/saga, Star Ocean, Chrono, etc.



It's not just the art and music. The new PS games are absolutely nothing like the old ones. There's an intangible quality they're missing...an overall style and theme in everything about them. It's a really "strange" sort of feeling. PS3 had tons of it, even though it was lacking many other important elements. Ah, I wish I could put it into words...

But I don't think the art needs to look like the in game stuff. "80's" doesn't mean anything to me. What does "80's" say other than "tacky and outdated?" I think recreating the spirit and theme of the sci-fi novel-looking detailed illustrations is the more important thing. If you use the in-game designs, then you'll have a blindingly bright world with simplistic designs. I mean, it would look like an anime, but I don't think that's the most important aspect. How did you like the art on the PS2 Generations title screen?

I totally agree on the music, though. It's not that it has to sound the same, but it needs to portray the same feel.

As for PS2...I enjoyed it, and it's a great game, but I don't know if I recommend it. I haven't played it in so long that I fear many of its conventions will be dated by today's standards. If you aren't especially warm to playing old games, you might not enjoy it as much as someone who has nostalgia for the title. I imagine you could get the AGES one for fairly cheap, though...so it may be worth looking into all the same. If I had any time, I'd do the same myself, but Blue Dragon is eating away what little game time I have these days.





Maou
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"Re(9):Phantasy Star II" , posted Fri 19 Jan 10:30post reply

quote:
What exactly is wrong with the PS2 port?

What I've heard is that unlike the more faithful port of II, the PS2 version of the original Phantasy Star damaged the atmosphere a bit...not having played it, I can't say, but I read about an absence of bums in tattered clothes and a general plasticy, over-colorful world and sappiness to the music that made things a bit too happy. Given that what's always made me want to play PS II was its grim, serious world and story, that sort of put me off playing the remake of 1 for now. Was the original 1 as dark an experience for you as I'm describing?





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black_hayato
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"Re(9):Phantasy Star II" , posted Sun 21 Jan 12:17post reply

quote:

I totally agree on the music, though. It's not that it has to sound the same, but it needs to portray the same feel.



Thats what I'm looking for. Even though I happen to like alot of 70s/80s things; I understand it wouldn't work today. It just would be nice if modern PS had some sort of connection or heritage. Being in the same setting doesn't cut it. Off the top of my head an example of different but same feel 70/80s inspired music would be Ladytron or The Strokes. While something like the Bravery or Killers would be manufactured, derivative or embarassing even.





Variable Savior
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"Re(10):Phantasy Star II" , posted Mon 22 Jan 07:47:post reply

Honestly I don't recall the story or feel of PS1 being terribly dark. PSI was the first console RPG I'd ever played and I was totally in love with it (so much so that I instantly bought the IMO inferior Final Fantasy for my NES when it came out) - I guess that feeling still continues. Rose colored glasses and whatnot.

quote:

Thats what I'm looking for. Even though I happen to like alot of 70s/80s things; I understand it wouldn't work today. It just would be nice if modern PS had some sort of connection or heritage. Being in the same setting doesn't cut it. Off the top of my head an example of different but same feel 70/80s inspired music would be Ladytron or The Strokes.



Ladytron? Are you talking pre or post Witching Hour??





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[this message was edited by Variable Savior on Mon 22 Jan 07:48]