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Phantasy Star Online

aka: PSO

Critic Reviews 87% add missing review

Game industry News (GiN) ( )

There is so much I can tell about this game, but unfortunately, I can't, as I'm still looking myself. PSO is an experience worth enjoying while the Dreamcast still has some life left in it. Even Sega backing out of the Dreamcast doesn't prevent me from giving this game a 5 Gem rating. If anyone ever wants to locate me, just look for me as Jericho-Q3J. I'm usually located on the Oberon servers.

2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) ( )

As a single player game, PSO is very good. As an online experience, it's jaw-dropping. The level of character interaction, and the ways in which your hero grows and learns new skills as you play gives PSO a huge amount of longevity. Our only concern is that players may be put off by the call charges you'll rack up when playing online - though eve without the online quests, the adventure still shines. Buy a Dreamcast while you can, get PSO, go online, and become part of videogame history.

Mar 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Gameplay RPG (99 out of 100)

Le meilleur RPG en réseau, le meilleur jeu de la Dreamcast, le meilleur jeu de Sega.

Feb 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Gaming Target (9.8 out of 10)

I’d buy this game just for the free Sonic Adventure 2 demo. Seriously though, every Dreamcast owner should buy this game, but with PSO version 2 around the corner, you may wanna wait. As PSO2 will contain all of the above, a versus mode, soccer in the lobbies, hundreds of new weapons, two new areas, and tons of other surprises. Can a game get any better? For now, I'll see you online with this version of PSO!

May 15th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

SegaFan.com (9.8 out of 10)

PSO es el comienzo de una nueva era en el entretenimiento casero, un ejemplo a seguir, y todo un sĂ­mbolo para nuestra consola que una vez mĂĄs demuestra estar varios pasos por delante de sus competidores.

Dec 13th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Da Gameboyz (9.57 out of 10)

Sega has again broken new ground by taking another of its superb franchises and adding new life to it by utilizing the online capabilities of the Dreamcast. As a single player game there is room for improvement but overall the stellar graphics, excellent sound and added touch of the online multiplayer ability make PSO a must have for any Dreamcast owner. The Joystick is way up for Phantasy Star Online and PSO earns Da Gameboyz' Player's Choice award. For those looking for some online play I go by the name Outcast or Outcast2000 and can be found most times in Titania - block 12 or 14.

Jul 8th, 2004 · Dreamcast · read review

Sega Collectors Guild (95 out of 100)

Some fans of the classic Phantasy Star games might despise this game simply because other than the basic concepts and names, it's nothing like the classic Phantasy Star games. The story is almost non-existent. But I've never been more addicted to anything in my life. I've never logged in so many hours into one game. PSO is the perfect example of what the Dreamcast could be. It brought online gaming into a whole new era, and although the online servers have been officially shut down, I'll never forget the enjoyment I experienced playing it online with my friends.

Apr 1st, 2004 · Dreamcast · read review

AllRPG (9.5 out of 10)

Playing on a regular modem actually isn't that bad, but playing with the broadband adapter is a dream! Besides a few camera issues, this game is great! No matter what, every dreamcast owner out there must play Phantasy Star Online (online)...and if your still reading this review. Do three things. Stop reading, buy game, play game...it's that simple!

Jul 13th, 2002 · Dreamcast · read review

Planet Dreamcast (9.5 out of 10)

As a single-player experience, Phantasy Star Online is fun, but it lacks life. Online play is the heart of the game, as the title suggests. Reviewing the single-player game, I'd probably give a score of seven or eight. However, playing online radically transforms the experience, and any of the small problems you might experience simply vanish as you become immersed in the gameplay. I'd be inclined to go with a ten if it weren't for those few little drawbacks mentioned above. The final score is based on a heavily-biased average of the two, but the bottom line is that you must have this game. Even though it has a light story, even though it doesn't have much to offer solo players, Phantasy Star Online is a brilliant game--and what's more, it's a promise of amazing things to come in the Dreamcast's final days and in Sega's new future. Thanks to Laz, BenT, "*wheat*," and Mr. Domino for various roles in my online experiences for this review.

Feb 10th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

SegaFan.com (9.4 out of 10)

Si tienes la posibilidad de jugar on line, estamos hablando de una compra obligada, ya que PSO marcarå un antes y un después en la historia de los videojuegos. Si por el contrario no vas a poder jugar on line, no merece la pena su compra, ya que la verdadera magia de este juego reside en la posibilidad de jugar con otros usuarios.

Dec 13th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Gamezilla (94 out of 100)

Although slightly weak on story, Phantasy Star Online presents an incredibly immersive, detailed multiplayer experience, one worth playing over and over again. Seemingly mimicking the same gameplay ideals that made games like Diablo so popular for online play, PSO is going to carve its way into being one of the best Dreamcast games ever made. Although its ideas are a distilled version of many games that have come before, it does its job better than any other console game I've ever played.

Feb 21st, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

IGN (9.3 out of 10)

So, if you plan to buy Phantasy Star Online but you're not planning to go online, you're not playing the game. Whether it's just chatting online getting to know other Dreamcast players, helping out newbies on their first grand day out, or beating the final boss on very hard difficulty (gah), Dreamcast players must play Phantasy Star Online online... and that means everyone.

Jan 31st, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

4Players.de (92 out of 100)

Der Spaßfaktor liegt eindeutig im Online-Game: Unbeschwertes Quatschen, Abenteuer erleben, Teamplay, sich an frĂŒhere Abenteuer erinnern und die Geschichte von Ragol immer weiter erforschen. Gerade weil keine Monate fĂŒr den Aufbau der eigenen Figur nötig sind, wird PSO bei Einsteigern und Powerhuntern fĂŒr den gleichen Spaß-Effekt sorgen. Sie werden sich einfach nur in unterschiedlichen Gruppen zusammenfinden. Phantasy Star Online ist als Multi-Player Online-Rollenspiel ein Novum in der Konsolen-Geschichte und definitiv ein Meilenstein fĂŒr Sega und Dreamcast. Es hat sich seinen Multiplayer-Award bei 4Players redlich verdient.

Jan 25th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Gaming Age (A-)

It's doubtful that you'll notice the flaws, though. Like the original Diablo, the game offers an insidiously addictive style that you'll be hard pressed to pull yourself away from. It's by no means a perfect game, nor is it outstanding in any one real aspect (save player communication). However, like so many things in life, PSO is far greater than the sum of its parts. It's a superb, well-produced game that really shows off how much fun it is to work on a team, and you won't complain about it not having a single hero-in fact, in the end, you'll be thanking it for not having just one person to save the world.

Feb 8th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Game Informer Magazine (9 out of 10)

If you’ve never experienced online gaming, prepare to have your world rocked and your social life stripped away. Phantasy Star Online is dangerous, addictive, and the most engrossing RPG the Dreamcast has to offer.

Mar 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (18 out of 20)

PSO laisse augurer du meilleur en ce qui concerne l'avenir du jeu online sur console. Sans atteindre la perfection, ce titre vous procurera des heures de pur bonheur, aussi bien en solo qu'en multijoueur. Une expĂ©rience Ă  ne pas rater si vous ĂȘtes prĂȘt Ă  lui sacrifier quelques nuits blanches.

Feb 5th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Defunct Games (90 out of 100)

It's the arcade aspect of this game that makes it work for me. Sure it's the same levels over and over and over ... but when you are with people you know, it doesn't matter. My friends and I have played Ryu vs. Ken so many times I can't even spell that high ... and for all the same reasons we keep playing that, we keep playing this. A masterpiece that comes close to being perfect ... but also leaves a lot of room for improvement!

Aug 14th, 2004 · Dreamcast · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (9 out of 10)

Ultimately, PSO is a masterpiece. There's just so much to it. I haven't even had a chance to get stuck into the game's sprawling locations, control system and all the fun you can get up to with fellow players. Needless to say, it's all just pretty much perfect. Get some mates involved and you will need no fixative to help keep you glued to the seat. Growing MAGs and building up your character becomes religion, and although you can play offline, you really won't want to.

Mar 20th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

GamersMark (9 out of 10)

PSO is the killer-app for your Dreamcast’s modem, and this game will keep you playing for 100 hours easily. Though boring as hell offline, it gives you one of the most interesting gaming expiriences you will ever have online.

Dec 19th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Netjak (9 out of 10)

I can only really recommend this title to PSO freaks or people who collect Phantasy Star games. If your just a casual player then your much better off going with the original PSO as you most likely won't see or notice many of the new additions anyway. This was a tough one to rate as on 1 hand they perfected the original, but on the other it was practically marketing the same game twice with the exception of now paying to play. Still I've decided to give the game 5 stars. PSO nuts will love this game and all the new additions. Great job Sega.

Jun 18th, 2002 · Dreamcast · read review

Game Vortex (9 out of 10)

While Phantasy Star Online has its issues, and ties in very little with the Phantasy Star mythos, it is nonetheless a massive time-waster. Chances are good that you'll eschew the single-player campaign as much as possible, opting to jump into multiplayer action. And that is where PSO really shines. Problems aside, Sega and Sonic Team once again show that they can do it better than pretty much everyone else -- not to mention before the rest as well. If you've ever been interested in online RPGs, you should pick up PSO.

Dec 8th, 2002 · Dreamcast · read review

Power Unlimited (9 out of 10)

Phantasy Star Online zorgt met z'n schitterende sfeer en mooie graphics voor een setting waarin de hele Dreamcast gemeenschap naar hartelust online met elkaar kan spelen.

Mar 2001 · Dreamcast

Digital Press - Classic Video Games (9 out of 10)

I think I can safely say that I’ve surpassed my previous personal “most addictive game of all time”. If you’ve been reading DP for awhile you may recall that a few years ago I was killing myself over hitting 80+ hours in Final Fantasy Tactics. Well I passed 80+ hours on Phantasy Star Online long ago, with my first character, who had 200+ hours. I’ve had three more characters since that time. I lost count, and it’s a good thing because my brain automatically tries to convert these hours into days, which are then converted into “days when I should have been doing something meaningful”, which is then converted into raw depression.

Dec 10th, 2003 · Dreamcast · read review

Super Play (Sweden) (9 out of 10)

Phantasy Star Online innebÀr Äterkomsten för en av de mest klassiska spelserierna nÄgonsin. Samtidigt Àr det det första rollspelet som gÄr att spela online. Det kÀnns onekligen stort. Och nÀr titelskÀrmen har tonat ut och ersatts med en meny dÀr man vÀljer om man vill spela med eller utan Internet-uppkoppling Àr det bar att inse att TV-spelsindustrin just nu befinner sig i ett vÀldigt spÀnnande skede.

Mar 2001 · Dreamcast

Gamestyle (9 out of 10)

The control system could have been much worse but as the chat supports the keyboard I do find it odd that you cannot make use of the keys to select items and suchlike whilst playing the game. Overall these are minor issues and have not stopped me from returning to the game consistent basis. The sheer thrill of the online mode and being part of something worldwide is very special and whether you're onboard Pioneer 2 or down on the planet you feel it. It is really two games in one and I have not covered some aspects that you will enjoy, such is the multitude of options and depth on offer. It remains to be seen how long you can actually play the game online with the future of the machine now in doubt but I suggest that you pick up this game immediately and experience it for yourself before its too late. Superb.

Sep 13th, 2008 · Dreamcast · read review

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( )

While the AI may not be the brightest kid on the block, Phantasy Star Online excels in so many other areas that it represents an astounding achievement in game design. Obviously up to the myriad challenges facing them in their efforts to introduce cooperative online role playing to the console world, Sonic Team has put together an amazing experience that will absorb even the most jaded RPG player with its simple mechanics and complex interactions. The offline mode is fun and interesting, if slightly distracted by a few too many side-quests, but the game’s called Phantasy Star Online for a reason. Once connected to the servers, it’s a simple matter to meet new people, trade “cards” that let you communicate and eventually lead a team onto the surface of a mysterious planet in search for a lost colony. The teamwork dynamics are nearly perfect, and the surprising level of character customization should give every player a chance to live out their Phantasies however they see fit.

Mar 17th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Edge (9 out of 10)

It’s genuinely rare that a game both excels and innovates to this extent while remaining effortlessly simple. Some will curse that simplicity, declare the game as too straightforward or the storyline overly linear. They’re missing the point. Atmospherically, Phantasy Star Online is absolutely without rival, and that’s what it makes it unmissable. Those who prayed for safe passage for Naka-san’s vision can rest easy, because this is a bewitching world fired with stunning creativity. More simply, it’s a dream.

Feb 26th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Gamer's Pulse (89 out of 100)

In stark contrast to most PC online RPG's, Phantasy Star Online is a lush, vibrant, and fluently textured work of art. Sonic Team is one of the few developers out there that really knows how to squeeze every last drop of polygon-pushing power out of the Dreamcast, and the results are astonishing. Everything, from the futuristic skyscrapers and neon signs of the Pioneer spaceship, to the trees, lava pools and corridors of the planet Ragol are smooth, detailed and bursting with color, with not an errant pixel or polygon to be seen. Upon close inspection, the characters themselves display an incredible amount of detail, right down to the On/Off switch on the Hunter's light saber. Best of all, however, are the ingeniously designed bosses; the final one (which should seam VERY familiar to Phantasy Star freaks) has to be seen to be believed.

May 22nd, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

RPGFan (86 out of 100)

Offline, the game will get repetitive, which is a shame. But this is predominately an online game, and it's wonderful at that. Highly recommended.

Feb 10th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Game Critics (8.5 out of 10)

It's very easy to look at PSO and complain that it's nothing more than a boring and repetitive take on Diablo, but I think those who do so aren't really taking advantage of the possibilities that PSO offers. To fully enjoy PSO, you need to soak in the visuals to appreciate it's glory. You need to become one with your alter ego. And most importantly, you have to embrace the social elements and make becoming a member of the global community a part of the experience. For the first time in Internet history, the international community is truly united in a meaningful way where time, space, and language have no boundaries. PSO is a shining example of technology bettering mankind, and we should enjoy it while it lasts because who knows when these machines will decide to turn on us.

Mar 16th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Game Revolution (B+)

My time spent on Ragol was enjoyable, though I've had even better assignments in the past. Still, I may just hang out here for a while longer before I head back to GR. The natives are restless and there are plenty of new friends to meet. Brian Gee, signing off.

Feb 1st, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

RPGFan (83 out of 100)

Don't let my words seem too intimidating though. Phantasy Star Online was a load of fun for me, and I'm sure many of you will like it too. But know what you're buying, and note that this game is meant to be played online with others. Alone, you will eventually be bored out of your mind.

Jan 21st, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

GameSpot (8.2 out of 10)

Phantasy Star Online is an extremely ambitious game, and while it may not be tied closely enough to the rest of the series to please its longtime fans right out of the box, the sheer fun of forming a party and playing online more than makes up for this, as well as most of the game's other deficiencies.

Jan 30th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

SegaFan.com (8.1 out of 10)

Pero desde luego, el modo offline no contiene ni tan siquiera la mitad de diversiĂłn que esconde en su interior el modo online, y eso es algo que desde luego notareis.

Dec 13th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

RPGamer (8 out of 10)

Simply put, Phantasy Star Online is a fun, addictive multiplayer game, emphasizing challenge over story. Players looking for this should enjoy the game immensely. Those looking for an RPG by the makers of Phantasy Star featuring a strong story and well developed characters should pass on this and pick up a copy of Skies of Arcadia.

Nov 10th, 2004 · Dreamcast · read review

Christ Centered Gamer / Christ Centered Game Reviews (8 out of 10)

Speaking as a gamer, this game is very good. Speaking as a concerned Christian gamer, this game is still good, but is not without its faults. The violence, magic and addictiveness make this game questionable, so know what you?re getting into. If you can handle the game, you won?t regret the purchase, especially now that EBGames is selling it at a very good price.

Jun 1st, 2005 · Dreamcast · read review

All Game Guide ( )

Remember, play it online. If you buy it expecting the same single-player experience as found in previous titles in the series, you aren't playing the game the way it was intended. Those who take the plunge and support this title online will be getting the experience as it truly should be: a great time that you will find yourself coming back to again and again.

2001 · Dreamcast · read review

HappyPuppy (8 out of 10)

Despite the few shortcomings, PSO behooves Dreamcast users all over the world to unite. The game is solid in most of its facets, and is downright engrossing. You can spend long periods of time in the various lobbies (the network is divided up into various "ships," subdivided up into "blocks," and further subdivided into lobbies) to chat it up with people walking around in character, or long periods of times crushing deadly beasts with them.

Feb 14th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

GamesFirst! ( )

One note to SEGA: don’t wait so long next time to develop another Phantasy Star, oh, and while you’re at it, now that you’re strictly a software development company, why don’t you release a Shining Force sequel(rumored to be in production)? If SEGA continues with the Phantasy Star series, hopefully returning more to its roots, then it could very well become the Final Fantasy killer. Buy this game and let’s wait to see how the next generation of RPGs plays out.

Feb 27th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Gamekult (8 out of 10)

Phantasy Star Online entame, avec brio, le baroud d'honneur de la Dreamcast. A moins que vous ne soyez vraiment rĂ©fractaire au genre "Hack'n Slash", ou que vous n'ayez vraiment aucun moyen d'y jouer en vous connectant Ă  Internet, foncez l'acheter. Sinon, vous risquez de rater ce qui, en plus d'ĂȘtre le premier jeu Ă  vraiment justifier l'utilisation du modem de la Dreamcast en Europe, est une expĂ©rience ludique complĂštement unique.

Mar 12th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Legendra ( )

Bon lĂ , je vous donne mon avis personnel sur le sujet : moi je trouve que ce jeu se termine trop vite. C'est vrai qu'il y a plusieurs modes de difficultĂ© mais bon, le plus dur des modes pour moi c'est le normal car vous avez un perso niveau 1 et des armes pas terrible du tout. Si en plus vous jouez avec un Force (magicien) alors c'est carrĂ©ment l'enfer. Et puis aussi 4 lieux diffĂ©rents c'est peu et en plus le second niveau, la Cave en l'occurrence, est vraiment chiant et sans aucune originalitĂ© : c'est le niveau le moins rĂ©ussi du jeu. Bon c'est vrai maintenant j'ai 500 heures de jeu dessus donc je commence Ă  me lasser. Tout n'est pas nĂ©gatif, il vous faudra quand mĂȘme au moins 30 heures pour le finir normalement dans tous les niveaux de difficultĂ©s, mais il restera encore beaucoup de choses Ă  faire puisque SEGA a inclut des quĂȘtes Ă  effectuer et des armes rares Ă  dĂ©couvrir. De plus, les quĂȘtes Ă©tant toujours les mĂȘmes, ça devient lassant Ă  la fin.

Jun 26th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

GamePro (US) (3.5 out of 5)

While its unique multiplayer gameplay raises the bar for the Dreamcast?s online capabilities, Phantasy Star Online is nothing more than a watered-down role-playing game that will disappoint both RPG enthusiasts and fans of the Phantasy Star series

Jan 23rd, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

RPGFan (51 out of 100)

Overall, Phantasy Star Online was a disappointment. Gamers who did not get a chance to check games like Diablo II out won't be as disappointed, but it was too hard for me to see past the repetitious gameplay and such poor variety. The game is terribly short for an online game and suffers from too few areas to visit. Maybe Version 2 will fix all this, who knows. But as it stands, Phantasy Star Online combines the power of mediocrity and melds it to the powerful Phantasy Star name. What you get is a game not worthy of the title it bears.

Aug 16th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

Computer Bild Spiele (3.65 out of 6)

(...) Dank der aufwendig gestalteten Landschaften mit prĂ€chtiger Vegetation oder durch glĂŒhende Lava erhellten Höhlen kehrt man immer wieder gerne in die fremdartige Welt zurĂŒck und sucht nach neuen Herausforderungen. Die SpielqualitĂ€t hat sich ein ordentliches „befriedigend“ verdient. Aufgrund der hohen Kosten, die beim Online-Spielen anfallen, wird das Testurteil allerdings auf „ausreichend“ abgewertet.

Apr 2001 · Dreamcast

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (4 out of 10)

Even finding a newer version on a newer console may not remedy what was once so good. Phantasy Star Online was a pioneer for online console gaming, and now it is but a mere memory – a bright memory marred by a sad, sad reminder: online games, while fun, eventually become useless. This is the perfect example of then and now.

Mar 14th, 2007 · Dreamcast · read review

Player Reviews

Celebrating really bad Sega games!
by Vance (100)

The Good
Preeeeeeeetty colors. The graphics were truly well done. There are some good cheats in character creation to ensure that you create a unique body.

The Bad
Everything else. Even though the graphics were good, it's because there wasn't nearly enough variety in them. You tromped through the same level at least two dozen times before going to the next of three total levels, and the only thing done to make each level different is to switch door locations. The rock-stupid enemy AI gets predictable about five minutes in, the translation was serviceable but not overly skilled, and the music is great until it loops around about ten seconds after it begins. Also, after a promising opening, the story goes on hiatus until the very end.

The Bottom Line
The series had a problem with making dungeons WAY too large for meaningless filler, and this game felt like a single dungeon. Hack hack hack, upgrade, hack hack push button.

Jun 18th, 2003 · Dreamcast

Plus 38 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, Tim Janssen, Alsy, Big John WV, Jeanne, Riemann80, Parf, vedder, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Patrick Bregger.