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Opinions are like assholes. 
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Post Opinions are like assholes.
And this review will be similar to one fresh from the bathroom. Yep, a review. Of Phantasy Star Universe. A dead game. No longer playable online. Although I will still give my review. It was written before the time the servers officially closed, though. And edited quite a bit before posting it here. I warn you, if you like PSU and are going to uhfended by certain criticisms, please do not read ahead. On the other hand, if you have trouble trying to understand or express how PSU is a bad game, feel free to read it up! If you DO however like PSU yet are very open minded and can share a well thought out reply, whether you agree or disagree with me, many many cool points to you. I will like you. You will be my best friend. I like level headed people.

Some people like PSU, some didn't like it and stuck with PSO. Those who liked PSU may realize the bad but able to endure it. Personally, I don't see anything about PSU that's better than PSO aside from aesthetic stuff... aesthetically, the game is REALLY pleasing to the eyes and ears, and sometimes I just wish all SEGA did with PSO2 was remake the original PSO, only with the elaborate aesthetic details that PSU had down to the voice acting, making it more update friendly so they can actually ADD content, rather than just having to use "already existing slots" like we do here at Eden. I warn you, this review is a WALL OF TEXT, so I understand if you will not be willing to read it because "oh it's so long, moving on" and I will thus lack replies. But that's all dandy. I've had this review for a while, but then finally waited until now to decide and share my thoughts to the world... or Eden.

Also, any forms of rage you see is acted out, for I am just trying to imitate a certain nerd who likes many video games, but has a very short temper.

Anyway, I think that's all I wanted to say... Check psupedia.info for terms you don't understand. I'll leave the review in a spoiler tag. It's gonna... take up space.

Intro:
Ah, Phantasy Star Online. This was a very great and memorable game for us all. This game was seriously the bomb and it was unique and like no other. Of course, compared to other games in today's period, PSO is pretty outdated in some aspects, but it's overall unique and enjoyable. But enough about that, this is a review for the game Phantasy Star Universe. I remember when I first heard about it, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to play it. But I wasn't exactly the type to have the money to afford such a game let alone even play it off of the PC because my PC was crap at the time... And well, it still is sort of, but it can at least play PSU smoothly at mid-low ended graphics. But it took me a long time until I was able to finally play PSU, and I got hooked up on the Japanese servers. Fortunately, I have enough knowledge of Japanese to be able to navigate my way through menus and remotely know what I was doing. Of course, I had a few trial and error cases, but I eventually got it all done. This game uses a lot of katakana, as does a lot of games, so if you plan on playing Japanese games pretty often, I recommend learning some katakana. But enough about that, let me talk about what I heard about the US servers.

English vs Japanese Servers:
I'm not too familiar with the US servers since I never played it on there, but I hear they did really bad with their servers. They had all these updates which utterly destroyed the game to the point where they had to close down their servers because everyone kept leaving due to how badly these updates ruined their game. They didn't even have monthly events. They had to wait many many months before even one event came by. Lucky for SEGA, they were able to keep their game alive on the Xbox 360. But whatever, SEGA of America sucks. They need to learn to maintain their shit. Now let's move on to the Japanese servers where I experienced my PSU gameplay. For one, I can say that Japanese servers did a MUCH better job with maintaining their servers. They actually have monthly events, and even between those months, they would have special weeks such as free Lumilass, where you can get your hair done, facial features changed, all the cosmetic stuff for FREE. Doubled Photon Art leveling events so you can level up those tedious ass Photon Arts that take forever to raise, and Guardian Boost Road where you can do a specific alignment of missions and collect GBR points that adds to the percent rate on how frequently rares drop in a specific place. There were scheduled rush hours, it was great. Cool points to the Japanese for doing what they should do.

Voices:
Another thing that I can say I love are the voices you can select for your customizable character. I just had to make a separate section just for voices. I LOVED the voice acting for the Japanese. Compared to the cheesy voice acting in the English version, you could actually hear their emotion and what kind of anime stereotype they were. GOOD stereotypes that's suitable for creating your own persona, whether you like an evil character, heroic character, manly, boyish, androgynous, young, old, silly, on crack, even a homosexual voice. Similar varieties for female voices. If you are the type to watch anime, you could easily find out what kind of anime stereotype they are. The voice acting is superb. Even more cool points to SEGA for that one.

Music:
I've mentioned a lot of good things about PSU so far, but let me move on to some the bad about PSU. Now, the music certainly isn't bad. The music was good, but it just wasn't as good as PSO's music. PSO was honestly more epic, despite how horrendously overused that word is. It was way more dramatic and had an overall better appeal. I'm not saying PSU's music was bad, it was actually pretty nice. There's one or two pieces that I can consider nostalgic. But PSO wins in this aspect. Or at least in my opinion.

Interface and Mechanics:
Now let's move on to the interface of the game and a few mechanics. PSU doesn't have the Normal, Heavy and Special attack features. It was just limited to attacking regularly and using your Photon Arts. Two main attack buttons. It wasn't that bad, though. It just made it more mindless and action orientated. At least you could time your attacks just before the animation ends to perform a critical. But even like that, it can still get mindless after you've trained yourself to always time your attacks after each hit AND THEN use your Photon Arts in order to save yourself some PP. Or at least that's how I did it. There is also the dual wielding system where you could hold a single-handed weapon and use a left-hand weapon such as a handgun, RCSM, etc. It was a "cool" idea I guess, but it made a bit of inconvenience for me. The R-Trigger originally made you access your alternative palette, which gave you more options for attacking, using items or setting traps which I found much better than how PSU does it. Because R-Trigger in PSU activates your sub weapon, they couldn't really do that anymore, so they have to resort to using the circle button for weapon changing, which was also inconvenient in more ways than one. Scrolling through the menus sometimes take forever, so you have to think of witty ways to organize your items and remember how you ordered them, but sometimes that's not even enough. If SEGA remade PSU, I would suggest they go back to the palette system where you can assign your attacks to whichever key you want. It might completely scrap the idea of dual wielding, but it's not worth having it in my opinion.

Photon Arts, Classes and PP:
The Photon Arts look amazing. Some of them are useless, but just fun to watch. I actually liked the idea of Photon Arts. I THINK I can live with taking out the special attack from PSO and replacing it with the new Photon Art system. Or at least integrating it in some way so that it isn't completely flashy, but actually have legit, strategical use such as your classic effects: Zerk, Charge, Paralysis, Freeze, etc. But ONLY for Hunters! This does NOT work for Rangers and Forces! As a Ranger, you're basically using your Photon Arts all the time. In fact, it would be stupid not to use your Photon Art as a Ranger. Each time you shoot, it drains PP, and PP was a horrible idea. For those of you that don't know, PP is basically Photon Points, which is how much photon each weapon had. In other words, ammo. Why would you make weapons have ammo, SEGA? I mean hell, why would you make MELEE WEAPONS have ammo? It's ridiculous. For Hunters, you should have some kind of internal meter such as "SP" which determines how many skill points you have, which can be regenerated with some sort of item and possibly idle resting. Make CASTs have gradual HP gain and newmans have gradual TP gain, just like in PSO. And lastly, make beasts have gradual SP gain. Something that's just better than making weapons have ammo. Now for Rangers, I can understand how guns can have ammo, but it's still highly inconvenient having to "reload" all the time. Not to mention Rangers are practically useless in PSU, aside from very rare occasions. Hunter is the only decent class in all honesty. Hunter needs the least tweaking, but it still needs tweaking nonetheless. Rangers and Forces however need the most. And come to think of it, Hunter Ranger and Force has the same exact interface for controls. It doesn't work, it's a bad idea. It's okay if the interface was like PSO, because the palette system gave you six buttons where you can place ANY attack you want at your very own convenience, and in Blue Burst, it took advantage of the keyboard and allowed you to use hotkeys, leaving you access to a whole 10 extra buttons of convenience, but not for PSU's interface. When you play as a Ranger, you're ALWAYS using PP, Photon Art or not. Photon Arts just cost more than regular shots. There isn't a second button for you to use when you're shooting a gun. (Like there is for melee weapons where you can attack normally which can gain you some PP and then a special attack that drains PP for a more powerful, cinematic attack.) And you have to charge it with your Photon Chargers, which you are limited to having only 10 at the most. And well, EX Photon Chargers which charge all your weapons in your inventory fully in one use, but it's very expensive and you can easily run out of ammo. Or if you're rich, good for you, but Meseta was actually part of the economy, rather than Photon Drops or whatever, seeing as how the max Meseta is much larger in PSU. Guns should have two separate buttons. One for normal attacking, and the other for status effects which is okay for THAT to consume PP I suppose, not just your regular standard attack. And maybe an idea tons better than my shitty ideas. But even with that, Rangers still seem useless. Rangers in PSO used to be the most powerful on the battle field. They used to rape everything whether they were raping shit with mechguns or using status effects against enemies. I understand if SEGA wanted to get rid of the brokenness, but I honestly rather settle for brokenness if it completely deteriorates the enjoyability factor and usefulness of a class. In fact, Rangers weren't even all that broken in PSO until you got all the top tier equipment which is hella hard to get, seeing as how it's debatable that ranger weapons are harder to get than any other weapon types in PSO. The equipment made them broken, not the characters themselves. And it's okay for super awesome rare items to be broken. That's fine, it's okay. You find it, you deserve it. This isn't a fighting game where balance is absolutely necessary for competitive play.

Now let's move on to Force. Oh god, Forces. Forces are even MORE useless! You can cast a spell and it hits multiple enemies, okay cool. Oh wait, they don't lock on. Spells don't fucking lock on like they do in PSO. They only cast at a fixed distance. Oh, and you know what else? They don't hit multiple parts of multitarget enemies either. Take the De Ragan for example. He obviously has multiple parts, but something like Rafoie will only hit in one place. Sure, it's better for mobs, but I'm just saying. Not only that, they do shit damage. Their entire role is downright pointless. Sure, they can heal as a Force. Acrotechers can get level 50 support and healing TECHNICs, but that's all they are good for. If you want to Force in PSU, I recommend you make a Newman Acrotecher and heal everyone. Nothing more. But that's boring, right? Who wants to sit there and heal the team and not use your badass whips? Whips are only useful if you're on a Beast Wartecher for how much it rapes the general area. Other than that, status effects. Now, I know what you're thinking. You may be thinking, "Hey, why not use your whip when everyone is doing fine but bust out the heals when things get heavy?" Well, I'll tell you why. Because let me start off with this. As a Force, you have to link your Photon Arts to your wands. You are limited to only four spells per equip slot, which I think you have a total of six. There is no palette interface, so you have to link an individual spell on each four parts of your wand. Spells in this game are, guess what? Photon Arts. So you have to link them to your wand. Rods are two handed weapons, so you can actually link four spells to one weapon. If you're using a one-handed wand, you can link two spells to that and dual wield either a gun or something ACTUALLY USEFUL like an RCSM which can also take a total of two spells for your R-Trigger. The only real difference between the dual wield and two-handed wands is that one is stronger but slower, and the other is weaker but faster. But the difference in power is hardly notable, (not that spells even do considerable fucking damage in the first place) so people go for speed instead. Anyway, because of this photon art linking bullshit, you have to grab multiple wands to not run out of PP fast. And then when you have multiple wands, it's hard to keep up how much PP you have for each. You have to remember which wand has which spells on it and how much PP you had left on them. And it's just a huge mess. It takes forever just to organize your spells, not to mention switching weapons so fucking rapidly just to get the right element or attack type is bullshit. It's really hard to change spells. And do you know the ironic part? You are LIMITED to how much you can have on your equip menu, so if you carry more than you are limited to, you have to go all the way back to your menu and set this and that to that and this. So, in other words, you have too many wands to remember anything AND too little to have all that you want. Holy fuck? How do you do that? Why the hell does it take so much effort just to force?! Challenges are good, but not if it's out of inconvenience! So just fuck it! Fuck TECHNICs! Fuck Fortecher! Fuck Masterforce! Fuck them ALL! Now let's move on...

Gameplay:
The gameplay is pretty fucking mindless. I think I said that before. All you do is go there and rape your enemies. There's nothing to think about, if hardly anything much at all. I remember fighting enemies like Gol Dolva. That huge ass Koltova. Look it up, if you don't know what I'm talking about. That enemy has four legs and if it stomps on you, it will hurt you. If you get in front of it, it will charge your ass. If you get behind it, it will still hurt you. There's no tactful way to beat this thing while assuring minimal damage. So what do you do? Well, get up close and personal and take those hits like a fucking man! That's right, take those hits! And if you're a Ranger, you're on easy street, but if you're a Hunter, aka the only decent class, you're bound to just get hit. I remember big enemies in PSO such as Dorphons. They were huge and unmovable, but at least there was a cool tactic to bring them down efficiently. You old PSO fans should know the old Gifoie trick, right? And not just Gifoie, you can actually dodge its attacks whether or not it's charging at you. You can plan ahead and study its movements and AI to reassure minimal damage. Or you can just be mindless and get raped. There's some other enemies like the Stateria, those huge iron knights with the swords that make dragon sounds. When you walk near their legs, your character starts rapidly warping around and it's sometimes hard to escape. SEGA really needs to fix their collision boxes. It's highly frustrating, not to mention makes me want to have a seizure. Now let me talk about when the character takes damage. I remember in PSO when you get hit and you fall down, you have a short moment of invincibility, so you have a chance to get back up and rethink how you're going to get back at them. But in PSU? No, my friend. No matter what animation you're in, you're gonna get hit. If you fall down and your character is completely helpless on his or her back, taking an onslaught of endless attacks and projectiles, you'd expect at least some form of invincibility. But no, if you get hit and you fall down, whether you're rolling or laying on your back, you can keep on taking damage and get utterly raped. If you're surrounded by enemies that knocks you down with each hit, you're fucking stuck and you're going to die so quickly, it's not even funny. This game is fucking relentless with its pathetic invincible frames. Enemies can mow you down just as badly as you can mow them down. I'm all for challenges, but this is ridiculous. There are moments when you can't even heal on time because you take twenty Go Vahra claws to the face before you can even register a Trimate and you just fucking die. (Don't you love dying even though you CLEARLY USED A TRIMATE and no longer have it because the server was too laggy to notice, so instead you just die and your trimate is casted into the abyss?) Enemies just take the advantage with your lack of invincibility frames. When they got you, you're dead... And so is this review for Phantasy Star Universe.


... With that said, I'm sure the portable games fixes a lot of problems, but classic PSO is ultimately the best formula. Thank you for reading.

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Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Opinions are like assholes.
Hmm i dont play PSU a lot (arround 80 hours) but i am agree with many point.

Musics : not bad but they dont stay in my mind after i stoped to play,
PSO music can and i listen them when i play without sound (my poor brain >_> )

PSU Forces : .... just try to play FO 1 night, i ran far aways those rod wand tech and other shit.
PSU Ranger : PP ... you need to reload your wep ... WTF !!!
multi target wep ? shot ? just lol for the range, you can't be safe with those "ranged" wep.

Interface : yeah 2 main attack button, i can leave my brain in water for play but ...
PSO have 3 (6 with ctrl) + 10 keyboard additional button... why sega reduce PSU to 2 button ?

Gameplay : I played PSU on jap serv and my first surprise when i begin was : WTF i take damage when i skip mob's attack O_o
Server too laggy or i dont know, but you can't skip attack and fastly counter mob, you can just tidy your brain in a box
and rush and scream on mob by attacking and taking blow.


Well just for say i prefer PSO than PSU :3

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Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:17 pm
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Post Re: Opinions are like assholes.
I'm horribly horribly biased because PSU was the series that got me DEEP into Phantasy Star.

But I will say this PSU brought me Hyuga and I could play a female human hunter, that's all it really needed to do :B

No but seriously, I do agree on a lot of those points. Hence why I never really played the console/PC PSU more than I did the portable games. Except for PSPo1, that was basically a literal portable PSU.

But Portable 2 and Infinity is where I think they got things right. Of course the bulk of it is that you hack and slash shit until it dies, but with the introduction of the ability slots you could customize to something that's easier to play. I was literally like "Whoa I can make Ami a fucking tank and have lady parts HELL YEAH." And Infinity just took the parts that made Portable 2 awesome and added more awesome. It really is a shame it will never see an English release

So as someone who loves the Gurhal based Phantasy Star games to death I go like this

PSU ep.1-3 : skip unless you want to experience the story but even then with the servers done (thus making ep3 unable to play) just youtube all three episode plots.

PSPo1: skip unless you want the "Veteran Guardian" title for importing to PSPo2, but no items carry over between the two games. So you can probably grab a save somewhere

PSPo2: PLAY THIS GAME. Plot's a bit meh and Emilia really is a load for most of the game. Just be weary when you play online on the english side (JPN servers closed early in the year)

PSPo2i: PLAY THIS FUCKING GAME SERIOUSLY. Language barrier be damned, there's a pretty good English guide around. Also Hyuga <3

TL;RD version: I agree with everything on that review as much as I'm thankful for PSU for bringing me back to Phantasy Star. Nice poo is still poo.

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Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:32 pm
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Post Re: Opinions are like assholes.
Well, might as well shove my thoughts in here in terms of comparing PSU (a.k.a. Chronicles of Ethan Waber) with PSO.

-----------------------------------
Visuals:
Obviously PSU is more recent, and of course it DOES look more polished. However, there's one thing PSO nailed better, which is STYLE. PSO's character design was quite varied while still being consistent, not to mention a huge change in the Phantasy Star series as a whole. In PSU... I dunno, save for Casts, everyone looks like they came out of the darkest depth's of DeviantART. Just looking at them makes me wanna scream "GENERIC!!!". The fact that we had to put up with one of 'em as the main character didn't make it any better...

Gameplay:
Yes, it's a mindless hack-and-slash in a corridor. Yes, some enemies are cheap as hell. And yes, the action palette from PSO is the best thing since the invention of sliced bread... but if you ask me, the controls in PSU feel a whole lot smoother. The way they walk, their response to button presses, etc.

Also, I find it less frustrating that you can do the 3-hit combo even if you don't time it right (I always found that more annoying than challenging), instead giving you the reward of a critical if you DO time it right. With this you have normal and heavy attacks on a single button.

But yes... that's where the good stuff stops. All those missions where you had to pull those goggles outta your ass to see anything, and then pull that other thingamagig to neutralize the evil capsules from outter space... Those were a PAIN IN THE ASS!!! Not only for the mission objectives themselves, but by how you constantly had to open that lame-ass sample of an action palette to switch between goggles to ray-thing to weapon to goggles to... GAAAAAHHHHHHHH, FLUTE IT! Just... friggin' flute it!

... and don't get me started on that "follow the kid" mission in Ambition of the Illuminati, or however they're called. I don't give a damn...

So yeah... To me, a nice mix would be PSU'd core controls with PSO's action palette. I wonder if that's how PSO2 will be like (I'm waiting for the global server to try it out)? O_O

PS: PSU had knuckle weapons. Being a fan of martial arts, that alone is a HUGE improvement for me. Good thing we'll have 'em in PSO2, as well! (I know PSO also has a handful of fists, but they're not a common weapon type, so they don't count!)
PS2: Partner Machines... GET THEM OUTTA MY FRIGGIN' SIGHT!!!

Sound:
I share the same opinion as the OP. PSU has nice music, but PSO's still better, overall. Nothing else to say about this that hasn't been said already.

Story:
Now... this is one heckuva nail in the coffin. It got a lil' better in Ambition... up until Ethan shows up again, now trying to follow the emo stereotype instead of the dumbass he was before. It's not all bad, though... Take Ethan out, and the rest of the cast is actually pretty decent. Yeah, they're stereotypes too, but most are pretty tolerable, my personal favourites being the Beasts and Casts. Gotta love that Lucaim dude... Mr.Miyagi's got nothin' on him!

Another thing that I liked was how they actually tried to present it like a TV show, with the opening theme and all. It was a nice touch, and I personally would love to see it done more often!

So all in all... If Ethan Waber never existed, this could've actually be pretty good! But as it is, it's... ok.
-----------------------------------

And there it is. PSU had some nice ideas, but it lacked a lot, as well. We'll see if Sega learned their lesson with PSO2.

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Opinions are like assholes.
i played PSU.. in fact its lying collecting dust in front of me and i can honestly say it was like a really hot hooker you paid for had a good few hours of fun, sweat and rears then the realization that you paid for something that you could have easily used your charms/few drinks at a wee rock n roll bar down the grassmarket, basically had all the looks and noises you were after but had no soul to it .. nothing to keep you coming back for more passionate love making like PSO did.

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Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Opinions are like assholes.
Never got a chance to play it, doesn't sound Like I missed out on much!


Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:47 pm
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