previews\ May 3, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Phantasy Star Universe - 360 - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

The Phantasy Star series of games has been around since SEGA’s glory days with the SEGA Genesis. Recent years have seen the long-running sci-fi RPG series move into the online realm with Phantasy Star Online. The next entry to the Phantasy Star series, Phantasy Star Universe, is poised to continue the series’ legacy in MMO territory, while still containing a compelling single-player experience. Phantasy Star Universe also marks a new beginning, as it’s the series’ first foray onto the PS2, the PC and the next generation of console hardware, with a launch on the Xbox 360. Fans of the series can look forward to the next step in Phantasy Star’s evolution when Phantasy Star Universe hits this October.


While Phantasy Star Universe is being built with online play in mind, SEGA states that the game will have a very deep single-player mode, complete with its own storyline and about 30 to 40 hours of gameplay. The single player game puts you in control of Ethan Weber as you fight through hordes of impressive monsters with your crew of friends. This entry also marks the first entry in the Phantasy Star series to have full voice acting, which will be localized in English for the North American launch.



The combat in Phantasy Star Universe will be real-time, and one of the cool new aspects will be the use of Photon Effects which you can attach to your weapons to give them some really great looking special abilities. You can also dual-wield guns and melee weapons at the same time.


Since the combat in the game is real-time, your support characters will be AI controlled. They’ll act according to the situation, and SEGA stresses that they’ll be pretty intelligent, meaning that they will actually support you instead of having to be babysat.


This is all very compelling, to be sure, but how will Phantasy Star Universe fare online? For the online game, you’ll be able to create your own character with tons of different customization elements, meaning that you can create your avatar however you feel necessary. This time around, you can quest with five other people, as opposed to three in previous entries to the series. You’ll also be able to use emoticons to get your characters point across in terms of expressions and body language, which is a nice touch.


Phantasy Star Universe is shaping up to be a great entry to the series that fans will undoubtedly want to check out.

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