Just in time for the holidays, Amazon currently has Phantasy Star Portable 2, for the Sony PSP, on sale for just $19.99 (eligible for free shipping with Prime or orders over $25). It's a great opportunity to pick up this awesome PSP sequel for yourself or someone you know. Better hurry, though, as the last time this game was on sale it didn't last long!
Also, be sure to stayed tuned for Episode 3 of PSO-World's Phantasy Star Podcast, which includes an exclusive interview with Stephanie Komure, the voice of Emilia Percival in the English version of Phantasy Star Portable 2! The episode will be posted here and on iTunes shortly!
Update: The price has gone back up. Congrats to everyone who managed to snag a copy while it was still on sale!
The regional Phantasy Star Portable 2 servers are in the process of receiving a patch that will fix certain deficiencies in the servers' authentication checking code. It was previously possible to get online without having a valid Little Wing License. This flaw is being corrected. RubyEclipse, a member of the Sega Community Team, posted the following about the update:
"Good news - this update has just gone live!
To clarify again on the specifics:
As with any patch or update that affects connectivity, I'm sure there may be some people who have trouble getting online - so if that's you, please also feel free to contact us at http://help.sega.com for customer service if you're having any trouble with your code."
- All users now need the code granted within the retail copy of the game or which was automatically awarded when purchased digitally to access the online servers. This code has been updated, so you will need to download it once more. (Download history should work.)
- If you've already entered a code and are getting errors logging in, you can redownload the code and this should automatically take care of things.
- New users to the online servers from today forward should automatically download the new code, meaning they won't have to download twice. (I haven't been able to test this yet, but this is the dev team's intention.)
According to RubyEclipse's latest post, this update has gone live in the UK and needs "one final tweak" before it goes live in the United States.
You can comment on this server update in this forum thread.
Sega of America held a Community Day Event at its San Francisco headquarters on November 12th. Fans were able to participate in a Phantasy Star Portable 2 Battle Mode tournament, Valkyria Chronicles II team tournament, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 feedback session. HUnewearl_Meira, a PSO-World moderator, was at the event and has submitted his report of the proceedings. Be sure to click on the "Read More" link to read his report. Also, check out the image gallery to view pictures from the event.
Credit goes to HUnewearl_Meira and HAYABUSA-FMW- for providing the pictures.
PSO-World.com Community Event Report: Sega Community Event 2010
This year's November Community Event at Sega Headquarters was a little bit bigger than last year's, with 55 invitees, as opposed to last year's 30. This year, the focus was divided across Phantasy Star Portable 2, and Valkyria Chronicles 2, both for the PSP, iced with a feedback session for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 right on top. My wife and I traveled 130 miles with our daughter in the car, so that we could be there for it. A trip that I am experiencing no signs of regretting, save for the sole caveat that this year, as last year, RubyEclipse has obligated me into purchasing a handheld game console that I probably can't afford. There are worse burdens to bear in this world.
San Francisco is a place where traffic happens, and parking soon gets complicated. Sega of America's neighborhood at 350 Rhode Island Street, is no exception. There are hills and other drivers to contend with, a fact further complicated by an extensive collection of signs arranged with careful nuance. These signs may or may not forbid you from leaving your car next to them, depending on various factors including the time of day, day of the week, duration of your stay, and whether or not the chicken bones were thrown in the proper direction. After parking my car where I was reasonably certain it'd still be there when I returned to it (after consulting a brief mental checklist constructed from surveying a nearby sign), my wife and I strolled down the street, to Sega's building.
Sega's facilities here, are part of a slightly larger complex, and entered by means of an atrium accessed from the sidewalk. Because this is San Francisco, not all of the buildings involved exist on the same starting elevation, so after walking down the entry corridor and ignoring the doorway into a culinary school on the right, a left turn is made, where a wide set of stairs is found. The whole area is decorated with well-chosen vegetation, and honestly reminds me of a number of areas in some signature Sega titles, though I believe the closest I can think of is Phantasy Star Zero's Paru, if with distinctly fewer machines bent on your destruction. On the whole, it's a very pleasant view, regardless. As we had our daughter fastidiously strapped down into a stroller, my wife and I circumvented the stairs by way of a ramp to their left, traveling parallel to the corridor through which we entered, then looping back to arrive at the top.
The entrance to the building was about fifty feet away, and opens up into a lobby. Sega occupies the top two floors of this 4-story building, and after two and a half hours in the car, Maegan and I took the opportunity to relieve ourselves in the lobby facilities, as well as change our daughter's diaper (a deed which I have less involvement in, than did my wife). While waiting in the lobby for my wife to return, PSO-World's HAYABUSA-FMW- appeared from the fading light outside. We had originally planned to meet up with Hayabusa as well as Mixfortune ahead of time, but it seems that all three parties arrived later than planned, each of us just on time to meet the 5:00 PM start.
With greetings exchanged and certain biological facts attended to, we hit lobby elevator. Our destination was the 4th floor, as the 3rd floor, while it is Sega's domain, is some sort of a shipping facility, used not for receiving guests, but for much of the real business of distributing video games. When the doors opened again, we were met by a crowd somewhat more dense than last year's, in Sega's now familiar reception area. To my surprise, this year, we were not required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, though we were soon collectively informed that if we were discovered taking photographs outside of designated areas, then we would be sent away with haste. Bound by no Non-Disclosure Agreement, I can tell you what I saw in those corridors that were off-limits to cameras, and what I saw was chairs. Carefully chosen and placed chairs, which discretely played Gandalf to my Balrog.
After signing in, and identifying myself as HUnewearl_Meira to a group of PSO-World members, RubyEclipse explained that since we were such a larger group, we would be segregated off into different rooms this year, so that it wouldn't be as crowded as it was during last year's Phantasy Star Zero event. He started bringing us into the Focus Room by groups of four. The station which Maegan and I took, was at the start of the room, near a large mirror, which sat above the evening's meal-- a bank of sandwiches, that ran the length of one of the short walls of the rectangular room. Hayabusa and Mixfortune found a pair of seats along the edge of the room, opposite from where we entered.
This is where Maegan and I spent most of the evening. After everyone had been assembled around 5:30 PM, RubyEclipse gave us some explanation of his grand plan, and the Phantasy Star people were loosely divided from the Valkyria Chronicles people. The latter group was taken to a side room, along with several flats of sandwiches, and we were given leave to wage our attack on dinner. During this half hour dinner session, we were also provided with sodas available across the hall. Soon, a tray of cookies of unusual size was brought to us, and we were beseeched by Sega's staff, to see to the cookies demise-- a task which, to much berating from my wife, this Diabetic made his contribution.
I don't know, from where Sega's sandwiches game, but they were delicious and many. A wide variety was supplied, and while Maegan gutted one to feed to our daughter, I selected one which turned out to be of the vegetarian variety. I wasn't sure what was in it to begin with, but its sort was populating the box next to me when we were given the all clear to dig in, and it seemed as good an option as any. After recovering from the surprise of a generous helping of chopped green olives, pesto and lettuce, I felt I had to redeem my carnivorous appetite with salami on rye. I am aware that there was at least one vegetarian in the group, which validated their choice in ordering vegetarian sandwiches.
RubyEclipse seemed to be stretched rather thin, that night. He was the primary coordinator of activities for a rather large group, and his behavior of the evening was the precise sort that inspired metaphors involving decapitated poultry. The Valkyria Chronicles 2 competition fell encountered a problem, in that there was some substantial discrepancy in the estimated number of copies of the game would be needed for the evening, and the actual requirement. This was solved by a delicate juggling of the UMDs available, but it was a scramble for pretty much of the evening. PSPs were promised to be made available to those who could not supply their own, and indeed, Sega had a collection on loan from Sony. After names were placed on a sign-out sheet, black and Miley Cyrus-Pink PSPs were distributed with only moderate levels of discretion. While I received a piano black machine, my wife received the more feminine option, while a tall representative from Sonic Stadium proclaimed the peerless masculinity of the pastel lavender device he had been assigned.
After receiving mine, I immediately dug in, and created a new incarnation of my PSO-World namesake, Meira, in preparation for my coming entrance into the Player versus Player competition. Against Ryna's advice, I made a Hunter of my Newman, and before I could get through the game's introduction in single-player mode, it was time for me to join my assigned teammate, a fellow named Paul. Last year, my Phantasy Star Zero team named itself, "Team Phail", for reasons that should be easily inferred, and though PSO-World's Nai_Calus has moved well beyond reasonable traveling distance just to spend a single evening at Sega of America, I was re-united with the other two members of the team. This time, I faced off against them in Phantasy Star Portable 2's PvP mode, where they vigorously wiped us out. The contest in which I participated, was by the rule, Catapult Jump. The launching of our characters through the sky was a neat effect, I thought, as this sort of thing was unavailable in previous Phantasy Star titles. Not having had time adequate to adjust to the PSP's version of the control scheme, I found myself scrambling unsuccessfully to find my stock of healing materials, but generally wound up pounded to the dust, instead. A valiant effort was made on my part, but victory went directly to those with superior, practiced skills. On the whole, the return of PvP to an online Phantasy Star title was refreshing. After my fierce battle, I took over watching my daughter, so that Maegan would have a chance to play Phantasy Star Portable 2, while the darker half of Team Phail moved on to another room, and the next rung of the competition. Through the course of the event, my daughter took off to wander around every time she managed to get her feet to the ground. She was two weeks old for last year's event, and this time, she was approaching 13 months. Where she was rather docile last year, this year, she was walking around, grabbing at things, and shouting incoherent noises in response to announcements. Her presence was unavoidably apparent to all in attendance.
Approaching 8:30 PM, RubyEclipse announced that the main Focus Room would be shifted for use for the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Feedback session. After fifteen minutes or so, a Dry Erase board was brought, and RubyEclipse was accompanied at the head of the room by Sonic 4 Brand Manager, Ken Balough, who had earlier made a point of meeting with Sonic Stadium's Ben Kalough, also in attendance-- a pair whose coincidence of names has given me trouble, from which I may never recover. With sage wisdom (not to be confused with wise sagdom, which may be another matter altogether), Ken Balough stood off to the side, and allowed RubyEclipse to take the point position, as the feedback began.
RubyEclipse is a patient man, and as the feedback rolled in, I made it known to him from across the room, that I did not envy his position. Of all the titles I've seen Sega release, I've seen none so harshly criticized as Sonic titles, and if Sonic Unleashed was criticized with 100-grain sandpaper, then Sonic 4 has been criticized with a weathered, splintering 2x4, coated with broken glass and impaled with rusting nails. After a brief joke about Sonic's green eyes, complaints were briefly levied about Sonic's green eyes, followed by more serious discussion about the game's physics, with particular inclusion of Sonic's incredible lack of momentum in the air. It was around this time, that RubyEclipse realized Ken Balough's game, and transferred the session's authority over to him.
The Sonic 4 feedback session wasn't entirely angry ranting, and in fact, I believe that tempers were kept pretty well in-check, with only one participant speaking in a voice of passion. The first attempt to move on to the next activity, the raffle, was unsuccessful, as the collective motivation to vent was too great. Further attempts were made, and eventually, free goods were being distributed. Before the raffle prizes were distributed, the winners of the evening's contests were announced. The winners of the Phantasy Star Portable 2 tournament were given crowns to wear, and a Japanese promotional display for the game. The winners of the Valkyria Chronicles 2 competition were likewise given hats, but of a colorful, more assorted variety, comically reminiscent of those thought to be worn by promoters of the sort of ladies who recruit their customers in the street.
The first item raffled off, was a Sonic-themed toy car track, not yet released for sale by vendors. This was followed by a pair of Sonic R-themed toy cars, about which, the winner quipped, "Look! Sonic Racers! And they're actually going where I want them to!" Also given away was a Sonic-themed wall clock, a Valkyria Chronicles figurine more expensive than the game itself, several large goodie bags filled not only with the standard Sega decal, inflatable Rappy and Valkyria Chronicles buttons, but also with assorted Sega titles released in the last year or so. My own raffle ticket yielded a Bleach doll, which fascinated my daughter for minutes. A visitor who happened to be wearing a hooded sweatshirt over a Sonic t-shirt, was awarded a Knuckles-themed hooded sweatshirt, which he immediately donned. The match appeared to be destiny.
The traveler who made the longest journey to attend, was a man who came from Vancouver, and was awarded with a choice between a portrait of PSU's Ethan Waber, or Laia Martinez, both of which autographed by Sonic Team's Satoshi Sakai. There was emphasis made that the portrait of Ethan on a blue background was far more masculine, than the portrait of Laia on a pink background, and this emphasis influenced the Canadian's decision. Perhaps by my own lewd motivations, it is unclear to me that a man should choose a picture of another man to look at, over a picture of a fit young woman, regardless of the color scheme, but it appears that Ethan will be making his home North of the border. The other portrait still remaining, the crowd was polled for the woman in the group, whose trek bore the greatest distance, and that woman turned out to be my wife, for all the other women present apparently lived within 130 miles. Laia has come home with us. After the raffle, open game was declared on the remaining goodies in RubyEclipse's box. My daughter claimed her prize, as a Japanese gatcha ball containing a figurine of Phantasy Star Zero's Sarisa, which she refused to release, thereby making my wife's choice for her.
The party began to break up, after that. Goodie bags were passed out, as attendees left the gathering, each containing 1 inflatable rappy, 1 package of Valkyria Chronicles buttons, and 1 SEGA bumper sticker. In the lobby, a spread of t-shirts was distributed, and we were encouraged to take as many with us, as we would wear. Many of us continued to linger longer, variously discussing the event with eachother, and with those of Sega's staff who were present. Finally, as the clock struck 10:00, RubyEclipse engaged in a ploy involving the promise of photography, to get those of us remaining to take the elevator back down to the ground-floor lobby, and then, outside to the atrium. Here, all hands were shook as needed, and parting greetings were passed about liberally. Thus concluded the orgy, and we all went our separate ways.
I, for one, only regret that I do not currently own a PSP to play Phantasy Star Portable 2 on, and will have to remedy this. I'd like to thank RubyEclipse and the staff at Sega, once again, for both their hospitality and their generosity. This year as last, we were treated to good food, good games, great prizes and all sorts of free swag. He's hoping for many annual returns of this sort of festivity.
RubyEclipse, a Sega of America Community Manager, announced earlier today that Sega would be holding a Phantasy Star Portable 2 and Valkyria Chronicles II community event at its San Francisco headquarters. Scheduled to occur on November 12th, the Community Event will include a Valkyria Chronicles II Team Tournament, Phantasy Star Portable II Battle Tournament, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 play session. Prizes will be given out after the final play session. If you are interested in participating in this event, you will need to register by posting a comment on the Sega Blog entry. Be sure to hurry since only 50 seats are available!
You can share your feedback on this community event in this forum thread.
Since the release of PSP2 in the West, there has been much discussion about whether or not the DLC released in Japan would eventually make its way to the US and Europe. The general consensus has been that the chance was likely slim. That is, until now. PSOW member Izuna has posted a very interesting guide in our PSP2 Forum which shows how to play the Japanese-released Phantasy Star Portable 2 DLC with the Western release of the game!
The process is actually quite easy, and simply involves downloading the free DLC from the official Japanese PSP2 site (where a similar guide is posted in Japanese) and storing it on your PSP's memory stick in the designated folders. The catch, as you might have guessed, is that the mission text is all in Japanese. However, it seems that the items you find during these missions will be displayed in English. (Please note: We do not yet know if there are any potential negative side effects from doing this, but none have been reported so far.)
This discovery opens up access to many of the very popular downloadable missions that were released for the Japanese version of the game, such as Gemaga and Maximum Attack Cross. In addition, it raises a very good question: If the Japanese DLC can be used with this method, does that mean that Sega could potentially release localized DLC sometime down the road using a similar method? We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, head over to the forums and check out the full guide and discussion! Thanks to Izuna for posting the guide and credit also goes to funkyskunk for letting us know about this trick in an earlier thread!
It's Phantasy Star Portable 2 item code giveaway time! Our friends over at Sega were kind enough to pass along this PSOW-exclusive code which, when used, will unlock the Alis Landale poster from their recent PSP2 fan art contest.
The poster, shown below, was one of two entries selected from the contest to appear in the Western release of Phantasty Star Portable 2 and, coincidentally, was also submitted by PSOW member Immovable One (we're so proud).
Alis Landale was the lead character from the first Phantasy Star, have you played it?
To redeem the code and get your poster, simply enter the numbers 4132 5468 into the Visiphone located in-game in your player room. The Visiphone can be accessed via the console beside your MySynth and the code can be entered by choosing the "Password Entry" option.
Those of you lucky enough to have already secured your copy of Phantasy Star Portable 2 may have noticed that the online servers are not yet up. RubyEclipse, of the Sega Community Team, was nice enough to drop by the forums to give us an update on the server status.
The team at Sega hope to have the servers online Tuesday night, sometime between 7:00PM and 9:00PM PDT (that's 10:00PM and 12:00AM for those of us on the East coast). If all else fails, there's talk of bribing us with free item codes, so you may want to keep an eye on the PSP2 forum!
In addition, Ruby confirmed in another thread that the PSP2 servers WILL be linked between the US and Europe, allowing players from both regions to team up and enjoy the game together. This is great news and we'll look forward to seeing our European friends online in a few days when the game officially releases there!
It's the day we've all been waiting for, Phantasy Star Portable 2 is officially here! Well, in the US anyway. Sorry Europe, you have a few days left to endure. Ever since we first found out that PSP2 was going to be gracing US and European gamers with its presence, the title has been highly anticipated by Phantasy Star fans on this site, and pretty much everywhere else.
The recently released demo calmed the cravings for a brief period, while reinforcing the already-high expectations we had for this sequel. With so many new features and improvements over the original Phantasy Star Portable, including free online play with lobby support, loads of new content, and an enhanced combat system, it's no wonder that you've all been chomping at the bit to get your hands on it.
Your agonizing wait is nearly over and many of you will hopefully be online playing with fellow PSOWorlders very soon. The official release date is today and there are a few different options for securing your copy of the game (for those of you who didn't join the club and pre-order):
- First, you can go the old-fashioned route and hit up your local games retailer to see if they have their copies in stock yet. Keep in mind that some (if not all) retailers may still be waiting for their shipments to arrive, so it might not hurt to call and check first. Feel free to post your findings in the comments section.
- Second, a digital version of the game is available in the Playstation Store. This 942 MB download costs $39.99.
- Last, but not least, the game is available at a wide variety of online retailers, most notably Amazon and Gamestop (which does also have the option of in-store pickup).
There will inevitably be many new discussions sprouting up throughout the day in our Phantasy Star Portable 2 Forum (where there is already a flurry of activity), so feel free to drop by, introduce yourself, and join in on the release day festivities!
In addition, PSO-World is currently looking for a few good PSP2 enthusiasts to be a part of the team working on our upcoming Phantasy Star Portable 2 content sections. If you're interested, please let us know via the contact form, or by dropping a message to Ryna. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you all online!
RubyEclipse, a member of the Sega Community Team, posted a picture today showcasing the in-game versions of the posters from June's Fan Art contest. The in-game posters feature Alis Landale from Phantasy Star - created by PSOW member Immovable One - and a Barack Obama-inspired Rappy portrait. These posters will replace the gravure idol posters from the Japanese version of Phantasy Star Portable 2.
My personal preference is for the Alis Landale picture
Which poster is your favorite? Will either of these posters appear in your player room? You can share your reactions in this forum thread.