Phantasy Star Universe

Format: PC

5 06004 769025
Age Restrictions: 12+
24 November 2006

Play as Ethan Waber, a 17-year old cadet intent on saving his sister, who is living on a planet under siege by mysterious life forces called THE SEED.
Single-player fans can embark on an off-line quest as Waber, while online players can create their own characters from a range of races, and then set off to explore all three planets in the Gurhal solar system - travel with a squad of other adventurers, enter urban sprawls teeming with hundreds of other players, and build their avatars into powerful warriors...

Long time followers of the Phantasy Star franchise have long been awaiting the next instalment in the series. Sadly, Phantasy Star Universe doesn't quite deliver the goods. The main problem is that this is just like any one of a thousand similar games on the market - and, quite frankly, Phantasy Star fans deserve better.

The actual missions are too repetitive. In fact the only real difference is that your enemies get harder as you progress through the same rather dull tasks. Add to this the fact that, to play the online game (which is the main game here), you'll need to pay a monthly subscription and already things are looking incredibly bleak for the franchise.

The online graphics are rather crude by today's standards yet still they appear incredibly jerky - even when you are doing next to nothing. While the online play is enjoyable, I doubt that I'd want to pay for more than a month's subscription.

If this is the best that Sega have to offer, then the future for the Phantasy Star franchise looks incredibly bleak. One for die-hard fans only.

Pete Boomer

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