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Phantasy Star Online 2 Review: The Sci-Fi J-MMORPG


Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of the major MMORPGs in 2012 but only in Japan. Its exclusive nature hyped up potential players all over the world who caught the news. Then in an unprecedented turn of events, the game was suddenly released to the whole world in May 2020. It came as a surprise for many MMORPG fans as people scrambled to download it on Day 1. But needless to say, it had its set of issues when it comes to installing and playing it. But its 3D graphics and fast-paced gameplay left players wanting.

In this article, we’ll tackle how great of a game Phantasy Star Online 2 is in 2021. We’ll list down what makes it great, and its shortcomings as a free-to-play role-playing game. But ultimately, we’ll let you decide for yourself if this is truly a game worth playing in the year 2021.

An Action-Packed MMORPG Experience

PSO2 belongs to the action-RPG science-fiction genre. Despite being a free-to-play MMORPG as well, it incorporated elements from action RPGs like real-time combat. Your combat actions will activate with a flick of a mouse or controller button. Skills and abilities can also be hotkeys into your keyboard. You move and dodge in real-time unlike the classic point-and-click style of old-school MMORPGs. The graphics are beautifully crafted in 3D– making it a feast for the eyes. You can also fully customize your character. You can choose from multiple races, and different job classes– each with its unique looks and passive bonuses.

The dungeon-crawling aspect of PSO2 is also something to look forward to. Inside, you’ll come across droves and hordes of alien monsters. If you manage to defeat them, you get resources and equipment. Each dungeon can accommodate a maximum of four players. You can either take your online friends or iconic NPCs.

phantasy star online 2 review

Fighting bosses in dungeons are challenging. You often have to figure out its movements to dodge, and hit their weak spots. Attacking them recklessly may often lead to an untimely end. Ultimately, it’s fun to run a dungeon in PSO2. But this game isn’t without its shortcomings.

Potentials Locked Behind Paywalls & Tech Issues

Phantasy Star Online 2 looks amazing despite being released in 2012. Its superb 3D graphics and fast-paced gameplay can attract the attention of pretty much every gamer. But one of its glaring issues is its installment. It contains a massive 70+ gigabytes of game files and can be daunting to a PC gaming rig with low hard drive capacity. On top of that, the game contained massive amounts of bloatware in its Day 1 release. That means it has a lot of unnecessary files that take up memory space.

Another issue with PSO2 is the features locked behind the paywall. Most free-to-play games often offer subscriptions for premium access like increased EXP gains, more cosmetic items, and additional quality-of-life features. In Phantasy Star Online 2, the features locked behind subscriptions are player shops, personal and guild storages, and more. It is something that should be accessible in order for players outright. But for some reason, it’s locked behind a paywall. Nevertheless, you get access to the game’s main story and core gameplay for free.

Overall, Phantasy Star Online 2 is a good free-to-play MMORPG you can get your hands on in 2021. Its graphical demands aren’t that high because it was a game that was released nine years ago. However, the massive hard drive requirement, its massive bloatware, and paywall hindrances may be a turn-off. But if you’re a fan of action-packed, monster-hunting sci-fi gameplay, then you might want to give PSO2 a shot.