> Phantasy Star Online
(PSO) has ushered in a new era of online console gameplay. "They"
said it couldn't be done. "They" said it wouldn't happen. "They"
were wrong! Once again, Sega has led the way into new gaming realms.
But all is not perfect in Ver.1, as cheating has become rampant.
Aside from various visual and level improvements, Phantasy Star Online
Ver.2 (PSOv.2) hopes to end, or vastly curtail cheating...
> I have a few comments about GameShark (GS) users. Personally, I
see nothing wrong with using GS for yourself and very sparingly for friends.
Handing out a SPREAD NEEDLE to everyone you meet is just unnecessary.
Replenishing your inventory after getting BSOD'ed (Black Screen Of Death)
is a life saver. Some of the game's items are so rare that you may
never find one legitimately. I think that's ridiculous. I don't
know too many people who are willing to play a game for 500+ hours with
the failed hope of finding a 10 star Perfect/Resist! GS has extended
the life of this game tremendously. Finally, PK'ers (People Kill)
are simply immature LOSERS! Anyway, on to the preview.
> First off, I'll tell you some of the things that are still the same.
The intro movie remains identical. All four original areas are unchanged
while playing in Normal~V-hard modes. All the characters and costumes
are the same, but there is a "Dressing Room" option which allows you to
change a character's hair and costume in exchange for 100,000 Meseta.
All the music in the original locales is the same. Next, I'll explain
some differences PSOv.2 has over the original.
> The "Ultimate"
difficulty mode is available offline once you've finished all the original
modes (I assume you need Level 100 to attain this mode online). This
is the mode that contains the additions which warrant the Ver.2 title.
To begin with, Pioneer 2 is set in daylight, instead of night. Many
rare weapons and armor (from Hard~V-hard) are readily available in the
shops. For instance, I was offered a 4 slot Guardian Armor, which
I've never seen in the store before. Monogrinders, Scape Dolls, and
Star Atomizers are for sale more frequently as well.
> As you can see
below, the battle areas have been redone. Many enemies are new as
well. The first boss is no longer a Fire Dragon, he's an Ice Dragon!
All enemies are a lot stronger and harder to hit accurately. While
playing the Forest with a Level 101 character, it's like playing the Ruins
on V-hard with a Level 40 character.
> Original rares
can be found everywhere, and they're already tekked. I've even found
many non-rare armor units which I've never seen in PSO. Higher level
disks (Lv.16+) abound as well, but it seems that only Force characters
can utilize them (very cool, especially if you're a Force). At this
time, the only new rare weapon I've found is a "Red Handgun", which has
a lightning special attack. The last main difference I'm able to
report, at this time, is the ability to advance to Level 200, which means
ATP can go well over 1800!! All other stats have similar new limits.
> By the way, don't bother importing this game, unless you don't mind playing
offline. Playing the import version online is quite difficult.
However, the Japanese version has an option to select various languages,
including English!! That's the reason for the 50% importability (online=hard
to set up; offline=playable). If you want to read up on connecting
with the Japanese version, I suggest you visit gamefaqs.com. Don't
worry though, the American release is expected in early July 2001...