Phantasy Star Online Episode 3
One of the most recognisable online console games to grace a variety of platforms Phantasy Star Online is partly responsible for pushing online gaming beyond the realms of the PC platform. It first appeared on Dreamcast the first online console with any real credibility and from there it spread to GameCube and Xbox as a compilation of Phantasy Star Online Episodes I and II.
Following that Sega then announced a third and final instalment for GameCube but the realisation that PSO III was to be card-battling strategy affair as opposed to a familiar hack ‘n’ slash RPG put gamers in doubt. However the game is now finished and though it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea it will no doubt be relished by those who do play it and even change the way people view the Phantasy Star Online world.
Though PSO III brings with it the same graphical style and character likenesses from the previous two instalments there are also several obvious and critical changes. Where Episodes I and II failed to immerse players in an involving single-player affair PSO III offers a more in-depth offline game with a greater focus on story telling and character relations.
Then there’s the gameplay – undoubtedly the boldest change in the series we’ve seen. Disposing of myriad hack ‘n’ slash encounters on the mysterious planet Ragol PSO III now accommodates grid-based environments turn-based gameplay and more than 450 unique playing cards that can be won and then traded with other players.
Players will be charged with missions by the game’s NPC’s as usual but rather than exploring the planet and searching for items you’ll be pitted in a single battle against a selection of familiar beasts. And as you would expect players don’t have direct control of their characters. Instead they command their movements and actions by going into battle with a chosen selection of attack defence and assist playing cards. Selecting the right cards for the ensuing battles is paramount if players are to succeed. What’s more players are ranked on their performance in winning battles and the better the grade awarded the better cards they receive. It’s a solid card-game strategy that encourages real tactics and the player’s desire to complete a massive collection.
And that’s all offline. Players wanting to battle online can do so and even interact with players involved with Episodes I and II. But the meat of online gaming in PSO III lies in the form of solo and team tournaments. Either fighting alone or with a new found Phantasy Star buddy players can engage in massive tournaments online in a bid to prove themselves as the best C.A.R.D Revolution player Phantasy Star has seen. Players can also trade their cards online to boost their library and fill the gaps in their collection.
So what may have seemed like a disappointing PSO III announcement has turned into an in-depth challenging and addictive card game. See it’s not all bad. At present PSO III is the final game in the series but you never know…——
Notes About Additional Content
Our products may not include additional material like Digital Copies Online Passes or promotional downloadable content (DLC).