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DomRafa's Review of Phantasy Star II

The year was 1991. I had just bought a "Mega Drive" in Belgium and the game "Phantasy Star 2" box set did call my attention; so I rented it. By then, I had no idea of what was an RPG or how it was played. It took me some time to realize combat was turn-based and pressing "C" was not making my 4 characters attack the enemy. Even with the "bizarre" gameplay, I immediately fell in love with the graphics, music and scenario. It wasn't long before I bought the game.

I will not present the Phantasy Star series here. The second game made its appearence on the Mega Drive/Genesis Console around 1989/90 and was one of the first RPGs released to the platform. It abandoned the 3D dungeons for a more futuristic and detailed setting. For the battle, It was now set in a "Space Harrier" like 3D Scenario. Though very repetitive, it looked awesome! Combat was extremely challenging and sometimes even by levelling up you would still be an easy prey for some strong robots or monsters.

I have often read about how "revolutionary" the game scenario was for its time. I disagree. The japanese version might be different, but in the European version I had the dialogs were dull and uninteresting. I was not immersed in the story at all. All the game quests seemed pretty pointless to me, due to lack of details. I wished for a more dense and dramatic game.

Despite this flaw, I find Phantasy Star 2 to be, by far, the best game in the series. It is extremely fun to play, challenging and offers great replay value!

+: Animated monsters coloured to perfection. This game had the most beautitifully designed enemies for a long time. The last boss, with the Solar System in her womb freaked me out the first time I saw her!
-: Too much color swapping! Little variety in dungeons. Where is the scenario during the battle? I mean... I do like the 3D screen and all but... Phantasy Star 1 had it!!!

SOUND: 15/20
+: The music made me happy. Catchy tunes, I was never bored by PS2 Soundtrack. Electric sound effects were really cool!
-: The enemy hits you... You hear plenty of beeps. God!!! That was annoying!

+: Final Fantasy VI had static enemyes that attacked you by flashing... Enough said!
-: I really can't see a thing.

+: Your characters moved fast. The game was easy to understand. It even featured a guide.
-: It did feature a guide!

+: A party of 4, with 3 characters to choose from a list of six. Each one of them had unique fighting abilities that made them useful at a certain point of the game. You could try multiple combinations at will throughout the game. This is VERY difficult to find in most RPGs, where the rule is to customise every character, and you end up with similar characters in your team...
-: Dumb dialogues. Linear gameplay with no sidequests.

Overall score: 19/20
* I wouldn't say it is my favourite game of all time, but it is certainly the game I've played the most! And 16 years after the first time I killed my first "Mosquito", I still can't get enough of it! =)

DomRafa, Brasília-Brazil