The name is Kaichou, and as stated above this is going to be my first ever blog in regards to anything. I’ve appeared on a few podcast on the site already (I tend to say um or uh way more often than I probably should). Poor speaking skills (both public and recordings) aside, I hope to write some pretty decent blogs and overall contribute to the site.
Enough about me though. For my first post on the site, I figured I’d start with something I’ve been into for a while now. Not too long ago, there was an announcement regarding the development of a sequel to a game that wasted a good portion of my life (total hours was around to 1000+ hours, between 3 characters for Dreamcast, and another 500+ for Game Cube). I’m sure many people can relate, as I’ve seen segments on the old Tech TV channel (not G4), where a few people mentioned it being one of the greatest games of all time…that also took vast amounts of precious time as well.
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Phantasy Star originally started off as a general RPG. There are random enemy encounters, traveling on a map from town to town, exploring dungeons, finding cool items, and saving the world. When PSO came out, it gave quite a spin on the series, as it was reintroduced as an ORPG (Online Role Playing Game). The series was turned into a hack and slash game where you equip a wide variety of weapons as you run around dungeons and fields and kill things. The time spent not grinding for exp was generally used to hunt for the numerous rare items that could be dropped from monsters — among my favorites include a guitar, broken monster parts, and even a wok. The game had 3 classes: Hunter (Using melee and close range combat), Rangers (Ranged attacks), and Force (Magic). The game’s character creation was somewhat limited in comparison with today’s MMOs. Depending on your job and race, which was divided into humans, casts (robots), and newmans (space elf), determined what kind of stats your character had.
Skipping a head past the various reboots to the series (Phantasy Star Universe, Portable, and Zero), the announcement for a sequel was something that revived my love for the series. Mind you, the aforementioned games were pretty fun, but to have a new online game I can waste precious hours on made me happy.
I’m lucky enough to know a good amount of Japanese to navigate through the site, download the beta (still open and free to play), and tinker around with the game. In addition, I’m especially happy with the fact that I can run the game, albeit on the lowest settings, fairly well. My video card, and my laptop in general are pretty outdated and I find it difficult in playing the games I would like (Such as Vindictus and even worse FFXIV). Right now, I’m playing as a Force, that I spent a good amount of time creating. The gameplay is pretty fun, and I’d love to go into detail everything they added since PSO, but I’d be typing way more than I want to.
So if you enjoy games of this genre, and can read Japanese, give it a try. Otherwise, the English release isn’t until next year.