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  1. #1

    Default What made PSO so special?

    Hi, i am a day one PSO player who started playing with Ep1 on the Dreamcast all the way up to the Blue Burst version on PC. I have played this game hundreds of hours and loved it like no other game to this date. When PSU came out i was jumping in as fast as possible just to be so disappointed after a few days. I came back to it two more times (plus the PSP versions) but that has not changed my mind.

    I moved on to play games like WoW, CS and other more action oriented games.
    Now i am 31 years old, have barely the time or the will to invest so much in a game.
    And even in short periods like holidays where i have this free time for myself, i cant find games that suck me in like it was 20 years ago.

    Then 2 years ago i downloaded PSOBB (Ephinea) and it immediately clicked again. I was thinking that this feeling is because i see it through rose tinted glasses so i invited a friend to play with me. He has never touched a Phantasy Star game and played PSO for the first time in 2018. We played a few weeks and he was completely hooked. He noticed a few bad things like the UI navigation but that was not killing the fun for him.

    Then we thought about trying PSO2 after reading an article about how easy it is to get into the Japanese version. We really tried to like this game. My friend is really into all this over the top Japanese stuff and really likes anime but for me it was painful. The gameplay just felt so boring, lackluster and without any understanding of what made PSO great that this is not a successor for me. I was hoping for a simplified Monster Hunter with PS visuals.

    After all of this the daily grind got me back and i stopped playing video games for the most part. But once in a while PSO comes back to my mind with this jarring question.

    What made PSO so special for me?

    And as a closer i would like to give you my thoughts on a possible answer:

    PSO was made with other standards in mind. It is a simple game that was made with one eye on Diablo. Todays games try so hard to be more than everything before them. Then they try to stuff that complexity into your throat by handholding, easy mode difficulty and huge tutorials. I just want to explore by myself without getting overwhelmed by thousands of dialogs. I want a little challenge and not a theme park.
    Then there is difficulty. PSO2 felt like a clicker game that plays itself. Huge numbers flying across the screen, your character jumping like a mad Olympic Acrobat and enemies feeding their bodies into your spinning weapons without really attacking. Most of the time i was not aware of what was happening on screen. I am not saying that PSO2 is a bad game (it obv. has a huge following) - it just is nothing like the original in my opinion. Games like Monster Hunter are so much closer to PSO than its successor and i would likely play that now if i would be 14 again.

    The low complexity with comic-like but not too over the top visuals and a cool sci-fi fantasy setting made PSO special for me. And the slow but satisfying combat gameplay paired with a positive progression made me come back day after day.

    I just want to have a game like this for the Nintendo Switch where i can lie on the couch and have fun without all the stuff that modern games come with.

    What are your thoughts on this and do you feel like there is a gap that a future game can fill?

  2. #2


    Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate for Switch is what you want.

    As for me? I loved PSO but was not a fan of its clunkiness, loved every improvement in PSU, and was astonished by all the leaps pso2 took, and hope for the next game to be even more crazy, Platinum Games level of hack n slashery if possible.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by landman View Post
    Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate for Switch is what you want.

    As for me? I loved PSO but was not a fan of its clunkiness, loved every improvement in PSU, and was astonished by all the leaps pso2 took, and hope for the next game to be even more crazy, Platinum Games level of hack n slashery if possible.

    And i hope that the next game will be a genuine normal Phantasy Star game. No [PSO] Strings attached.
    PSO2 (NA):

    Ship 2 Hu-lvl 26

    Ship 1 Bo lvl 12

  4. #4


    Hey Smiley,
    I was mostly the same way as you. I agree that PSO was/is just "that good". I don't have the experience with it's predecessors. I did however start on Dreamcast. After playing offline for about 1 week, I was hooked. After playing online, I was addicted. I put many hours on that game. As soon as I saw that it was re-released for GC, I bought a GC and all the accessories(eventually a kb once it came out). I literally had over 2,400 hours on one character. I met my wife on there.(now divorced), and I still keep in touch with a fellow PSO gamer from another state that I've never met in person. I have tried to explain to many people just how good that game was and what made it so good. It is hard to explain what makes it good. I say that the game just had "the it factor". There is no way to explain it, it must be experienced. I am looking forward to PSO2, and SO hope that I have a better time with it than you. I really want another PSO in my life. I highly doubt that any game will ever come close to capturing me like PSO did. It is good to read your post and know of yet another person that is like me. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Last Pureblooded -type Mystil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


    My whole childhood was put into the first one lol..if I could go back and do it all over again, I would..
    Miranda F Newman Fighter (PSO2: NG) Ship 2
    ~Past Characters~
    DC PSO: Silhouette HUnewearl 100 102 (Ver.2)
    GC PSO: Silhouette HUnewearl 161 :: Za'leshea FOnewearl 172
    PSU: Eternia F Beast FF15 Lvl142(PC) :: Elemia F Cast GM20 lvl174(360)

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