Game Review: Phantasy Star Portable PSP

phantasy-starRole Playing Game on the go? I am personally a big fan of the long drawn out games requiring the building of a character, the exploration of a world, and the grind required to build your attributes up until you can take on anything the game has to throw at you.  This could be dangerous if your lunches and breaks are limited and your boss is in fact paying attention to you.

To find out what I think of Phantasy Star Portable, click on over to the other side…

First you must create your character which is something I’ve not experienced in a hand held before. From this point on in the game the text dialog directed at your character has your characters name inserted in it and face it, it’s always a little cool when your game seems to know who you are. After your character is created however, it will be a while before you actually have a choice of any kind in the game. For a while there I really was beginning to wonder if there would ever be a real choice for me to make regarding anything other than dialog. I am still not overwhelmed with choices to make which gives this game a very linear feeling. (Do this to open that, then do this to get here, then kill them to get that, then…etc)

I am not overly impressed with the dialog of this game. I felt like the characters were rude and belligerent and when I had a dialog choice the character I was interacting with didn’t respond well to either choice I made. Your thrown into the game and the characters you interact with are talking about the training that you have completed and acting like you should know what it is your suppose to be doing. I don’t usually find myself easily offended but this game bordered on offensive in the manner the other characters talk to you. The insinuation of the dirty old man character (Nav) lurking around headquarters is just a little bit disturbing.  Thankfully you don’t have to sit and listen to all of the dialog, the faster you read the faster you can hit the x button and move to the next piece of dialog.

This game is menu based so you are on a map until you accept a mission and move into an area. All of the other places you go (your room, headquarters, stores) are still a map style interaction. You select from the map someone to interact with and you get a static view of the person and thier dialog. Your room on the Guardians Colony is where you can store extra items, change your clothing, use the vision phone, check out your game achievements, and alter your partner machinery.  The vision phone can be used to view information about available missions, or to view the help menu which includes an activity log, glossary, and game guide. The game guide and glossary were somewhat helpful when trying to figure out just what everything does. My character is currently a level 15 ranger and I still feel lost about some aspects of this game.

Once you have “chosen” a mission and are in an area the play is pretty smooth. As mentioned above the graphics are good and the scenery is pretty. You are in a 3D environment as far as the movement of your character is concerned but you are still in a map for world environment. You can’t openly explore. You have a task to complete in an area before you move to the next area. The controls are really easy to learn and function really well. I am not fond of the camera function. If you are moving in a wide arc the camera can track in front of you well enough to see but if you turn sharply at all you must use the L button to pull the camera view so you can see the direction you are facing. This gets a little frustrating when you are battling because as soon as you reset the camera your movement controls adjust to the new orientation so if you aren’t careful your suddenly moving in the wrong direction. The cut scenes are absolutely beautiful. Wish there were more of them.

I have not played the other Phantasy Star games and so I have no comparison to the predecessors. It is my understanding that the story is in fact sequel to previous games. Maybe it would have helped if I had that background but personally the best sequel as far as I am concerned is one that “a fan” can really get into because of all they know and a “novice” could really get into because it could stand alone.

I think I’ll stick to the consoles and my PC for my RPG’s thanks. For me this game isn’t worth the $30, but if you are a hardcore Phantasy Star fan and you must have this game you can get it by clicking on the link.

Phantasy Star Portable

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