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Shin Force ~Phantasy Star~
Phantasy Star
Shinobi
Reviewed
01.10.2007
Publisher
Sega
Developer
Yugi Naka's Team
Format
4 Megabit Cart
Origin
Import /Domestic
Available
12.20.1987 (Japan)
1988 (USA)
Exclusive
Yes
Difficulty
Hard
Dimensions
2D
View
Top /1st P
Genre
RPG
Player(s)
1
Options
Battery Backup (5 saves)
Control Pad
Control Stick
Requires
n/a
Importable
25%
Intro
     > Back in the 80's, when "gaming began with the NES", Sega created what could arguably be called the best 8-bit RPG, Phantasy Star.  It was surely the best game on the Sega Master System.  Almost twenty years and numerous sequels later, Sonic Team unleashed Phantasy Star Universe for Xbox 360, PS2 and PC this past fall.  The Phantasy Star Series began on the SMS, and here's my take on this classic 8-bit gem.

     > Phantasy Star occurs in Space Century 342 and takes place in the three planet Algol Star System.  Your journey begins in the city of Camineet on Palma.  Eventually, you'll travel through space to reach Motavia and Dezoris.  King Lassic has turned into an evil tyrant and unleashed monsters throughout the system.  Like his father before him, Nero was killed while trying to learn Lassic's evil secrets.  You play the part of Alis, Nero's sister, taking on his quest with only a short sword and the name of a brave hunter, Odin, who is sympathetic to your quest...

Graphics
     > Considering Phantasy Star is an 8-bit game from the late 80's, the graphics are amazing.  It was the first RPG to do 3D dungeons (pseudo-3D) that actually looked good -- albeit monotonous after first few levels.  Unlike every other RPG from the same era, the overworld was colorful and exceptionally detailed with environmental animation.  The enemies are even animated, which definitely offered a unique novelty for the time.
Control
     > Phantasy Star helped define "traditional RPG".  Walk around towns, talk to people, buy things, and go battle endless monsters.  It's a long and sometimes difficult mission to acquire your 3 comrades: Myau, Odin, and Noah.  Oh, don't forget to bring along a pencil and paper to map out the confusing labyrinths within, otherwise known as dungeons.  The battle system is turn-based, complete with physical and magic attacks, and the sometimes handy "Run" option.
Sound
     > Phantasy Star has classic Z-80 melodies that actually have lasting power, as Sega implemented some of these tunes in the ever awesome Phantasy Star Online Original Soundtrack.

     > The sound effects are basic, if not standard fare for the day.  What else do you want from Sega's first American console?  At any rate, I have fond memories of Phantasy Star's music and effects.

Fun
     > From the very moment I powered up Phantasy Star on my fledgeling Master System, I knew it would be an awesome experience.  I was blown away upon arriving at the space station, and was able to travel to new planets.  The storyline is decent enough, although grasping your next destination was occasionally confusing.  At any rate, I played this game for many, many hours.  In 1988, Phantasy Star officially turned me into an RPG gamer forever.
Bottom Line
     > If you want to play the definitive traditional RPG, then look no further than Phantasy Star.  It may be long and tedious by today's standards, but it was state-of-the-art in 1988.  It has great graphics, pseudo-3D dungeons, a decent storyline, and endless turn-based battles on three worlds.  Phantasy Star is at the cornerstone of my Sega Fan's foundation.
Ratings
Overall: 9.1 | Graphics: 10 | Control: 9.0 | Sound: 8.2 | Fun: 9.2
~ Shinobi ~
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