| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:29PM sofbert said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Awesome game, had lot of fun in PSO when that first came out. Sadly it also destroyed itself for me. The game saved your character on the little memcards in the controllers which were of course, subject to their own issues. Level 99 character... lost to corruption. Never picked up the game again :(

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:43PM DeeBeeP said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@sofbert

Only 99? I lost my beloved 200 RAcaseal with 80% Guld Millas that weren't duped. :(
Reply

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:35PM kevinsal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Great article and great game. So many memories of PSO, starting off on the gamecube. Yes the Gamecube did have an optional Ethernet adapter! This could have been the only game that it was used for!

PSO:BB was a great additional to the franchise, this is the first time it was available on the PC.

There's something about the atmosphere and music that draws you in. This game in many ways is more advanced than recent MMOs. Action combat you say? Yes, in an online game.. very rare even these days.

I truly hope that PSO2 is like the original and far from the PSU attempts.

Go Sega!

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:36PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's nice to see some PSO love on here. PSO was my go to online game for so many years, before Guild Wars, and reading this really helped solidify why I liked episodes 1 and 2 so much, I never got around to playing Blue Burst, and I despised the gameplay change in episode 3. When I saw PSU I was underwhelmed, mostly because it was only for PS3 when it was first announced. But PSO2 has me genuinely interested, and at this rate Guild Wars 2 might be having to share some time with the sequel to the game that got me into MMO's in the first place.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:39PM Sorithal said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
While I'm guessing this article didn't want to mention it due to it being unofficial/illegal, Blue Burst -is- still alive in the form of at least one private server (Schthack) for anyone who wants to go back into PSO for nostalgia's sake.


I miss playing it on the Gamecube though. Real darn shame that so many hackers had to ruin the online part, because that was really the best part of PSO :/

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:42PM Korvix said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Ahhh PSO one of my all time favorite games. Sitting in my Dreamcast right now and I still play it every few months just for shits and giggles.

I would play it with my little brother and its where I taught him how to type. One of us would play the character and the other one would type on the keyboard to chat to the other players. loads of good memories. I cant wait until PSO2 comes out.

Can still play it online if you know where to look.

PSU was terrible b/c of a lot of reasons but the main one that got me to call it quits was that no one really wanted to run anything but the same damn mission over and over and over and over and over. Without searching out other people on backwater forums it was hard to find a grp for anything. That and getting people to actually chat outside a lobby..it was like playing a single-player game...where the NPCs (Mute PCs ) would take all the loot.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:55PM Scuffles said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I blame SonicTeam ~.~

PSO was awesome but it always seemed to suffer from the same problems in any and all of its iterations. Mostly bugs that went undressed, virtually no modding of the servers etc.

I mean imagine how World of Warcraft would have fared if blizzard had left it essentially as it was at launch with no bug fixes or content updates and expected you to pay monthly ~.~

Still PSO is one of my favorite games of all time ^^

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:55PM Space Cobra said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
What a quaint commercial...

"Play with the WHOLE ENTIRE Population of the world! All 600,000,000 people of this planet! Link up to someone 20,000+ kilometers on the other side of the PLANET!"

:D

A few references:

Sega had been struggling with its various consoles even before this. Its nice "Master System" was overshadowed by the Nintendo Game System, even though the Master system had a Japanese Anime promoting it (Zillion) and came packed with the same guns for shooting as the Anime; a Lazer-Tag playground clone shortly followed both in America and Japan, but it was named something else for the American Market while it retained the "Zillion" name for the Japanese market.

Sega Genesis is where Sega truly shined, although it also had hard competition and could not surpass the SNES in sales. Once the Playstation was introduced, Sega's 2nd place position eroded to third place and it couldn't recover, especially with the lack-luster peripherals added to the Genesis (Sega CD), the Sega 32X, and the ill-fated Sega Saturn (btw, I liked all these, but the general press/public did not).

Dreamcast was, even at the time of launch, Sega's last "hurrah" into the console wars. It was an "all or nothing" type of gamble and it was beginning to pay off, unfortunately, more tragedy struck as the totally non-deserving Microsoft division eyed the console-niche quite enviously and introduced the 1st XBox. That pretty much sealed Dreamcast from it's undesired 3rd place into 4th place. This coming from a company that held out in earlier years against Neo Geo and TurboGrafix.

Anyway, enough tangibily off-topic and on-topic with my next post!

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:22PM DevilSei said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Space Cobra

Aye, the Dreamcast was sadly Sega's "candle", burning brightest just before it died out. I mean god, almost everything on it was amazing. Grandia 2, Sonic Adventure 1 (and 2, looking past the treasure hunts), Skies of Arcadia (which desperately needs a sequel), Evolution (everyone is named after guns!), a totally sweet gundam game (at least to me), and of course Phantasy Star Online.

Sadly, I never got a chance to play before Ep. 2 came out, so I missed the free portion, not that I'd be able to play since I used AOL, who at the time was in a tiff with Sega because of the Sega browser that came with the Dreamcast.

Interesting thing to note, is that the Dreamcast was probably one of the first to use "DLC", since Skies of Arcadia had something that could only be obtained from grabbing it online through said browser. Sadly the DLC was required to get one character's ultimate weapon in the game.
Reply

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:28PM Space Cobra said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@DevilSei

I know I played Episode 1 on AOL, but I think that was well before the Sega Browser and tiff you mentioned. But I have to remember, I may've also subbed to a local dial-up service by episode 2's time, too. I think I remember fiddling with ISP address numbers and all that so the Dreamcast modem could connect.
Reply

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 1:56PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Ah PSO .... this game was my lifeblood for the longest time. The idea that I could play this game on my dreamcast's modem was mind-blowing at the time. And then it really took off for Xbox when I had DSL. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:01PM Platapus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
My favorite memory was finally beating Dark Falz on hard mode. It took me so long to do that when I was eventually able to do it, I nearly started to cry haha.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:06PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
My family and I couldn't play this online due to reasons I don't even remember, but my brother/cousin and I played this game obsessively offline. I remember getting to around level 120 and the farthest I made it was the cave boss on Ultimate via solo play.

Great memories.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:07PM Space Cobra said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
First, I want to mention, Sega had ANOTHER online service, mostly PC, called HEAT,net. I was wondering about what became of that and its history; I know it sorta went online; I have the sub-box-pack and T-shirt to prove it! It promised many interesting things, chief among them was a "Trade Wars" sorta game done with "modern 1990's/early 2000's" sensibilities, but what was really neat is that there was a promise of the game to keep you informed OUTSIDE the game, like who was attacking your bases, if your bases were under attack, setting up mining operations, and more. While this is fairly common nowadays, with smartphones (Iphone), this was _unheard of_ and quite revolutionary back then, however, afaik, this game never came out on the HEAT.NET network or these features, that alerted you via phone-text or e-mail.

And...I am really getting off-base and need to reel myself back on-topic! ;P

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:19PM Nautius said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
BAH!! If it's not Phantasy Star 2 or 3, then it's not worth my time! :P

Wren - FTMFW!

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:25PM Space Cobra said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
So, my PSO memories...mostly limited to Dreamcast, because I really could not imagine throwing a sub-fee at this game, especially a Console game, not a PC one.

Like many, it sucked away my time. Played it online for hours. I did meet folks all over the world, especially Japan, because of the auto-translating function. Many of those guys even recognized my screen-name (which is not this one) as I took it from a 80's live-action Sentai show, but it's notable villain. And really, one of the character models, the male-cyborg made an almost exact copy of the character in-game.

I do miss this "internationalness" of playing with people from other countries. Sure, I could try and hop on a European server in many of the "big" PC games now, but it's not the same. Back then, even for UO, you had many people just coming onto essentially American servers. It was a real blast to talk to (or attempt to talk to) these folks. Nowadays, you have to pick a region server and you feel marginalized, especially because there is no auto-translate function in many games. It's not quite the same. Heck, even console separate itself into regions, leaving the Asian regions to themselves (unless you go around that, but still, you do feel like the odd-duck out and it's not the same). Of course, communities of players would form out of these regional barriers, but it was much easier to approach such folks and chat at them.

The game was great, even with bugs and duping and more. As time went on, people cheated more and more in various ways I won't go into. In some ways, the cheating wasn't so bad IMHO, because the game wasn't so much a PvP/Fight-against-other-players as it was a co-operative game; and that's part of the key between Western and Asian tastes: that is *was* a co-operative game in the best sense and promoted "working together" (Of course, cheating could and did make things "face-roll easy" and that wasn't that great either, IMHO).

Connecting with that phone line was a wonder. This game was "on tap" for all for the single price of a normal game. Quite the phenomena.

As for sequels, I was interested but I avoided those, also because of the sub-fee-on-consoles. Granted, I am more open to it now, but as per usual argument, not sure I'd get my money's worth for a full sub. Also, I heard unappealing reviews of the later games, even the card-game version, didn't get reviewer's love. Easier to stay out...and really, I was addicted to PSO, so a bit of god-send/excuse to avoid the sequels.

While I would like to see another JRPG like the initial Phantasy Star series, the Online game was different and Sega made sure it looked/felt different from the first games, so in a sense, the games could survive side-by-side, even if they borrow elements from each other (like a certain player-race).

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:27PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is the game that started my online gaming addiction. I played almost every single night for six months. It got so bad that I started having dreams about PSO. It was incredibly fun when it worked. Yes, dupping and PK'ers were rampant but they could be avoided for the most part by only playing with those you knew or trusted. So much fun. I was excited when PSU came out but when I tried that game it just felt empty to me.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 2:28PM kimowar said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Fyi there are several emulated versions of pso still up and running. Also there's PS zero for the dsi that's really good

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:15PM SkuzBukit said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I remember playing PSO quite fondly, it had it's faults but there was simply nothing else like it on console at the time, it's a shame this pioneering title lost it's way, hopefully the new game will find a new audience.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 10:44PM Pikachief said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I've been playing a little bit here and there of the Japanese PSO2 Alpha 2 (After many suggestions they decided to have a second alpha with many changes before moving on to beta)

The game seems to be many of the things that were great about PSO and things that should've been great about PSU and then went even past that and expanded upon that. This game definitely feels like the true successor to PSO.

If you'd like there are videos of the gameplay on the internet.
BTW! This game has the greatest character customization I have ever seen in a game by far. You should look that up too. (and they're adding on to that in the full game as well)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XF7wSuIVBE&feature=player_embedded#!

(no mags in alpha but they will be in the game)

Featured Stories

Betawatch: December 13 - 19, 2014

Posted on Dec 19th 2014 8:00PM

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: MMO of the Year

Posted on Dec 19th 2014 11:00AM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW