Sunday, March 8, 2009

Phantasy Star Portable

Hi! Remember me?

Anyway I've been busy doing actual PhD work, so I haven't had much time to play games! But recently I found Phantasy Star Portable and figured I must have it (I'm a great fan of the PS series) so I played it most of yesterday when I really ought to have been doing something else ^^;

Anyway I wanted to review it, so here goes!

Things I like about Phantasy Star Portable:

1) the graphics are quite good, with gameplay smooth and quite impressive for the console. I was quite surprised to see such good quality graphics and such!
2) It reminds me of PSU! It has much nostalgia factor because it basically has the same maps and bosses and such as PSU. A couple of differences here and there but certainly it is basically PSU again in a singleplayer hand-held console form.
3) It has good upgrading and such for weapons. Only one type of grinder, which makes upgrading much simpler, seems to be a fairly standard upgrade per grinder too, so if you're into the nerdy details you can probably work things out a lot more than my "gut instinct" eyeballing. :)
4) Has partner machines! They don't craft or anything but you can bring 'em along with you. I've found I don't really need it, but I might if I go and do a B level dungeon without grinding a bit first. I like the challenge of doing it without a PM :)
5) Achievement rewards! These are cool, they're rares and whatnot for completing various achievements. I got a double-bladed axe-sword thing with the blades in the shape of love hearts that whoosh love hearts around when I swing it. LOL. It also deals a good deal of area damage so I love whooshing through large groups with it, haha. Feel the love!!
6) Music's good too. Same music as PSU pretty much, but it suits it all.
7) No stupid hackers. Hated this about PSU.
8) Controls aren't too bad. They were a bit fiddly to start with but now I've got the hang of them they're okay. Not as good as keyboard controls though, haha.

Things I don't like about PSP:
1) The story. BORING. Seriously.
2) The story cutscenes. Cardboard cut-outs with various stances do not a cutscene make.
3) Full voice acting. While I appreciate the effort of full voice acting, the voices annoy the fuck out of me. Why do they find such fricken whiny-sounding women to do the female voices, seriously?!
4) It's much the same as PSU. De Ragan, RELICS, etc., all the same maps, all the same grinds. Though it's nostalgic, it'll probably wear pretty thin after a while.
5) NO PURPLE CARPET ROOM OMG. Why do you have most the same maps/etc. and not have Grove of Fanatics at Neudaiz? You'd better unlock it for me later or there will be hell to pay! (My favourite PSU level.)
6) "Random encounters": I call them this because after you finish a general grind mission (not story) you will probably have a random encounter back in the city with some character or other. Cut to 5 mins of boring cardboard cut out cutscenes with whiny voices. Just let me go kill shit!
7) No purple carpet room *hmpf*
8) The shops and cities are basically just maps with clickables. No running around cities like in PSU. Fair enough, and good for cutting down on time, but yeah.
9) No online play. WTF? Local area multiplayer only is teh suck.

So yeah, in all an entertaining distraction for the day; I'm lvl 27 and haven't really hit too much of a challenge yet, though that could be because I know most of the boss weaknesses ^^; I actually miss being my PSU CAST ranger; shooting the crap out of things makes taking down flying bosses a lot easier than my Beast hunter... though being able to do massive area dmg is good fun too. I think things were a lot more challenging on my CAST in PSU, I might make a CAST to compare!

Anyway I'd recommend it for PS series tragics like myself ^^; But if you were bored with PSU you probably wouldn't enjoy it since it's much the same but on a smaller scale.


Count Elmdor said...

The lack of real Internet multiplayer is going to be the stake in this game's heart in the US (and anywhere outside of Japan, I'd imagine). It's a shame, because everyone loves a good hack & loot game.

I take it you were a fan of PSU? The vibe I got was that it made PSO fans unanimously [synonym for butt-hurt]. I've never actually played any Phantasy Star games, myself, but I've heard that II, IV, and PSO are the best.

Catherine said...

Yeah. It's pretty addictive but no online play is going to limit its replayability :(