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Critic Reviews

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1UP (Mar 08, 2009)
Capcom's Monster Hunter remains the handheld, multiplayer king in some parts of the world, but while Phantasy Star Portable's characters aren't as detailed, and the environments aren't as gorgeous (PSP suffers from a fair amount of draw-in and pop-up) as in Capcom's runaway success story, Portable is far superior in terms of playability. Not only is it much easier to pick up and play, but Portable has the legs to survive extended replay sessions while like-minded adventurers gather together to take down increasingly difficult monsters in the hopes of getting just one more red item. The truly neat trick that Portable performs is that it is not only an excellent distillation of the Phantasy Star Online/Universe experience, but it makes me want to go back and give Ambition of the Illuminus another shot, even if it's just to reinvestigate that game's offline mode. Any port that makes me consider giving the source material another spin is worth the price of admission any day.
All around I think Phantasy Star Portable is a great buy for any PSP owner. You can notice a few problems here and there but with gameplay like this, especially on-the-go, you can’t go wrong. Make sure you pick this game up right away.
RPGFan (Mar 26, 2009)
All-in-all, Phantasy Star Portable is a worthy RPG on the PSP. While its lack of infrastructure mode is more than a little disappointing, hopefully Sony will release the beta for the PS3's Ad Hoc Party in North America so players won't need to resort to third party programs to get their online fix. Those who aren't big fans of PSO or Diablo-style grindfests won't get their mind changed, though with the added depth to the classes, beefed-up story, and portability, it's much more palatable than other games in the series as a single-player game. If you've got a PSP, this is a quality game, something the system hasn't seen much of lately.
GameDaily (Mar 12, 2009)
Many will argue that the Phantasy Star series peaked with Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast, but there may be a new contender. Phantasy Star Portable takes the best features from its predecessor and cut out the bad stuff from Phantasy Star Universe, leaving a loot-collecting online RPG that's fun in small doses. Although the visuals are below our expectations, the increased speed is a welcome addition. Leveling your character, gaining new items and battling the same enemies with friends is a cool experience; even the computer-controlled allies work well. This one doesn't break new ground, but Sega did nice work bringing its addictive RPG to the portable arena.
In conclusion, this game does add another level to the franchise that has been successfully transferred to the PSP with strong gameplay, decent graphics, although sometimes a little dated and an impressive soundtrack. I was extremely pleased with the control system of Phantasy Star on PSP, although after a few hours of playing, it does hurt your thumb but it's a small price to pay for saving the universe. The only downside is no online play.
neXGam (2009)
Phantasy Star Serie macht auch mit dem PSP Ableger weiterhin vieles richtig, aber auch einiges falsch. Die Story ist definitiv kein Kaufgrund. Es ist eben ein klassischer Dungeon Crawler, der langweilig werden kann, wenn man nicht auf Items sammeln steht. Die Präsentation macht nicht zuviel und nicht zu wenig. Der fehlende Online Modus und der instabile lokale Multiplayer trübt die Gesamtwertung weiterhin. In jedem Bereich des Spiels gibt es etwas zu meckern. Und trotzdem macht das Spiel unheimlich Spaß. Die Itemsuche und das Bedürfnis immer stärker und besser zu werden lassen einen immer wieder, zumindest für ein paar Missionen zur PSP greifen. Sehr löblich ist meiner Meinung nach die Länge der Missionen, da einem bei dem monotonem Gameplay innerhalb von fünf Minuten die Lust wieder vergehen kann und das Spiel somit perfekt für unterwegs ist. Für Phantasy Star Fans, die endlich mobil ihr Lieblingsspiel zocken wollen, ist Phantasy Star Portable ein Muss.
Worth Playing (Mar 25, 2009)
Phantasy Star Portable is a very interesting entry to the PSP RPG library due to the heavier focus on action. In this regard, it's more like the Monster Hunter series, since the emphasis is on raiding and multiplayer. An online component would have helped make this game stand out a bit more, as would a more stable ad-hoc connection when more than two people join a game. Despite all of this, it's still a fun title, and players who liked the previous Phantasy Star games will find a good amount to like here as well. As it stands, if you want a simpler version of Monster Hunter without the medieval themes, Phantasy Star Portable could be right for you.
With so many options for weapons, equipment, abilities, items, clothing, and other things to purchase and uncover, delving into Phantasy Star Portable missions will quickly become addiction forming for players with a love for the grind (both level and loot varieties). Though the game's other aspects fall short in some regards, its strength and focus as a dungeon-hack RPG are hard to ignore.
72 (Apr 17, 2009)
Phantasy Star Portable is a good addition to the series and it should keep fans of the game very happy thanks to its diversity and action. Whether this game will be enough to convert other gamers to the Phantasy Star world only time will tell, but it is a decent title which deserves a chance from RPG fans at least.
70 (UK) (Apr 17, 2009)
Judged in isolation as a PSP title, Phantasy Star Portable offers recurring glimpses of the unforgettable RPG multiplayer baby steps we first experienced with Phantasy Star Online on SEGA's Dreamcast. But today, with a wealth of multiplayer action-RPGs on the market for other systems, most of which are far easier to set up for multiplayer sessions, only committed players will have the tenacity to get the most from the game. For that reason, it's destined to remain a niche product in Europe, even if, for those who do fall for it, its depths as a handheld multiplayer RPG ensure it may never be forgotten.
Pocket Gamer UK (Apr 02, 2009)
Phantasy Star Portable teeters on the edge of being too complicated but its innovative controls ensures the action RPG always stays playable
RPG Site (Apr 20, 2009)
The game might well be average, but if it’s addictive and fun. That’s worth some points. Make that above average, and well worth a look for MMO fans looking for that addictive feeling on the move.
70 (Sep 21, 2009)
Nachdem SEGA es erfolgreich geschafft hatte, das Fehlen eines Online-Modus nicht nur zu verschweigen, sondern gar durch irreführende Formulierungen dessen Existenz vermuten ließ, war meine Enttäuschung groß, das erste „Phantasy Star Offline“ seit 2001 in Händen zu halten. Ist diese Enttäuschung jedoch erst einmal verflogen, zeigt sich das Spiel von seiner interessanten Seite. Nie war süchtig machendes Leveln so kurzweilig und befriedigend wie hier. Regelmäßig findet man bessere Ausrüstung, die einen zum Weiterspielen motiviert – ein Fakt, der sich leider nicht auf die langweilige Geschichte beziehen lässt, welche nahezu 1:1 die Geschehnisse aus Phantasy Star Universe kopiert und lediglich einige neue Charaktere auf die Reise schickt. Insgesamt ist Phantasy Star Portable ein netter, unterhaltsamer Dungeon Crawler für zwischendurch, der jedoch durch das Fehlen eines Online-Modus gelitten hat.
70 (Apr 15, 2009)
Bien réalisé et beaucoup plus jouable que Phantasy Star Universe, Phantasy Star Portable est un beat'em all futuriste d'une étonnante profondeur qui scotchera sans l'ombre d'un doute les nombreux nostalgiques de la série sur l'écran de leur PSP. Malheureusement, et c'est un comble pour l'héritier du tout premier jeu console en ligne, il ne supporte que le réseau wi-fi local !
IGN (Mar 05, 2009)
Despite its problems, including a terribly lackluster story, poor AI and imperfect lock-ons, Phantasy Star Portable is really satisfying, especially if you enjoy collecting loot and seeing your deliciously fashionable robo-wizard level up. The diversity of the weapons, mixed with the franchise's intrinsic charm, make this an appetizing title for the dungeon-savvy gamer.
Avec tous ces éléments tranchés dans le vif, Phantasy Star Portable a des airs de beat'em all futuriste bourrin. Sa difficulté relativement faible amènera le joueur à bien souvent foncer dans le tas en martelant les touches de coups, tandis que la collecte d'objets s'avère au final peu intéressante tant ces derniers sont laissés facilement par les monstres. L'absence du mode online (et de traduction française) risque d'être un gros frein en occident, et les joueurs ayant déjà Phantasy Star Universe ne trouveront dans Phantasy Star Portable que des environnements recyclés et un gameplay forcément moins intéressant. Malgré tout, le titre reste une réussite pour son support et permettra aux aventuriers solitaires ou organisés (avec des amis qui ont aussi le jeu) de passer de très bons moments à purifier des monstres par centaines.
68 (May 04, 2009)
Judged without thoughts to the series' history, Phantasy Star Portable is a decent stab at crafting an action RPG for the PSP. Its item collection/level grinding nature and weak story telling will perhaps point it more towards the Monster Hunter end of the market and the omission of true online multiplayer out of the box make it feel like a Phantasy Star game with one hand tied behind its back which is a shame. Those who've always wanted a portable slice of Phantasy Star will find hours of content to enjoy, especially if they have a like minded friend or two. The rest of the world however may find it more of an acquired taste.
PlayFrance (May 10, 2009)
Si l’on souhaite tuer du monstre dans l’espace et acquérir des armes toujours plus puissantes pour y parvenir, peut-importe l’histoire et la diversité, alors Phantasy Star Portable est fait pour nous. Le mode on-line étant absent, ceux qui ne supportent pas le manque de forme du titre risque d’en faire rapidement le tour.
UOL Jogos (Mar 12, 2009)
Continuação preguiçosa do pouco inspirado "Phantasy Star Universe", "Phantasy Star Portable" não honra o nome da série e traz poucos motivos para ser jogado. O simples fato de ser um game de exploração de labirintos com bons gráficos e combates um pouco divertidos será o bastante para convencer os aficionados do gênero, mas os problemas de taxa de quadros, falta de melhor acabamento e o falho modo para vários jogadores demoverão na hora outros entusiastas de RPG e ação.
55 (Apr 23, 2009)
Was hat sich Sega nur dabei gedacht, aus seinem einstigen Online-Rollenspiel-Pionier ein reines Offline-Abenteuer zu machen? Phantasy Star Portable ist wie Fußball ohne Ball, Tom ohne Jerry, Donkey ohne Kong - es ist einfach unvollständig. Klar, man kann trotzdem zusammen spielen, aber nur über Umwege oder direkt vor Ort. Aber das ist leider nicht das einzige Problem. Phantasy Star Portable krankt nämlich an denselben Symptomen wie Phantasy Star Universe, das als spielerische und inhaltliche Grundlage dient: Die Spielwelt ist sehr überschaubar, das Leveldesign reichlich altbacken und der Spielverlauf hoffnungslos monoton. Zudem wurden im Vergleich zur Vorlage viele Elemente weg rationalisiert, die Handhabung hat sich teilweise gravierend verschlechtert und die neue Story ohne echten Protagonisten ist so spannend wie eine Meinungsverschiedenheit mit einem Zierfisch.
Boomtown (May 18, 2009)
I found Phantasy Star Portable to be nothing other than a disappointment, it has redeeming features but too many flaws to make it enjoyable. In every area of the game is something that is either difficult to work with, frustrating or feels cheap and unfinished. What I had hoped to be a lively and engaging experience became a grind with no pay off. Re-running and repeating missions in order to get better and better gear only appeals to me if I have an engagement and investment in the game, it just wasn’t there.
RPGamer (Apr 26, 2009)
If you can track down three friends to play with and enjoy this style of gameplay, Phantasy Star Portable might be an enjoyable experience. However, it remains an excessively repetitive grindfest with little lasting appeal, regardless of multiplayer capabilities. As a 20+ hour single player experience, it is simply awful. Aside from a very small subset of people, this is a game that can easily be passed up.