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  3. Should I play the other Phantasy Star games?

User Info: MegaZerro

2 months ago#1
I played Phantasy Star IV years ago and I loved it. I recently got Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, which has all of the Phantasy Star games on it, but I'm hesitant to actually play them based on what I've heard about the first three games.

PS1 is apparently very archaic. Battles are first-person, meaning you can't see your party during battle, and even dungeons are explored in first-person, which doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy. Don't know anything about the story though.

PS2 apparently has a very grim story. I heard that one of the first "quests" you do has you rescue a man's kidnapped daughter, only for the man to murder her and then commit suicide. And that just sets the rest of the game, apparently. I don't like dark stories like that at all, so hearing that made PS2 sound wholly unappealing to me. I also heard that it attempted to do away with all the fantasy elements in favor of making the game pure sci-fi, which I am unsure if I like the idea of that. Relatedly, I heard that when a character falls in battle, instead of getting "KOed" they actually die, and instead of reviving them, you just replace them with a clone, which is kind of horrifying if you think about it--you die and someone who looks and acts exactly like you comes and takes over your life, and your friends and loved ones think nothing of just replacing you with a copy. Gameplay-wise, I've heard it's really hard and super grindy, and I don't like being forced to grind, so that's another point against this game.

PS3, I actually haven't heard much at all about. It's apparently the "black sheep" of the series, but I haven't been able to find out much else about it. Not the gameplay, not what kind of story it has or the tone of the story, nothing. I do know that it is a multi-generational story though, which makes me feel uneasy, because in mutli-generational stories, things typically don't end well for characters who are part of the older generation(s).

I really don't like gritty or super-depressing stories, so what do you guys think? Do you I would be able to enjoy one or more of the older Phantasy Star games based on tat, or would it be best for me to just avoid them? And what about their gameplay? Are they fun and still hold up today, or have they aged poorly?

User Info: OfficialAce-Kun

2 months ago#2
Phantasy Star 1 got a Switch port that adds stuff like maps, item and spell descriptions, lower difficulty. It's a way better experience that puts the game up a few pegs for me

PSII has great inklings of a story but there's not much plot or character development in it. The game is brutally hard so play with a guide or find a version with better balanced difficulty.

PSIII feels like an unfinished game with tons of neat concepts - being able to rebalance magic to make it stronger or weaker, multi generational story, tons of worlds connected together.

Problem is the game feels really unfinished so a lot of this means jacks*** since it's not fun to play. Aside from higher damage your characters don't change at all since they start with all magic and barely anyone gets development outside their introduction

So basically

4 > 1 (with improvements) > 2 > 3

User Info: c_s_tadsen

2 months ago#3
If you like old-school rpg's styled like PS4, it might be worthwhile to ignore other people's opinions and at least give PS2 and PS3 a try. They might surprise you... Just sayin`.
I don't get the "dark" objection to PS2. PS2 isn't really any more "dark" of a game than PS4. I mean, look at some of the horrible events that do happen in PS4: a madman leading a cult turns an entire town to stone, leads his army to utterly obliterate several towns, disguises himself and pretends to be your friend, then he poisons your mentor Alys with black magic, and she dies horribly. That's just the first third of the game- you haven't even met half the party by the time you reach this point!

If you like PS4, PS2 is worth trying. True, it is much longer, and holds your hand a lot less. It's not an easy game... But you don't really need to do excessive grinding, either, though. Occasionally you'll need to farm a bit of money, but nothing excessive unless you're trying to buy gear you really don't need yet. (There are a few weapons placed in shops well before they should be; if you don't kill yourself buying them you're fine.) Normal play will carry you through the game, trust me- like PS4, you'll rarely come anywhere near max level unless you're really making that the point of the run.

PS3 has a bit different of a combat style, but nothing outrageous. It takes all of maybe ten fights to adjust to. The story does feel a bit sparse, but I think that's due more to the limits of the cartridge than anything else; they essentially put a trilogy of games onto one cart with the multi-generation mechanic... It's a huge game. My only issues with the game are that, A) certain audio tracks, while not bad, are short and hearing them loop over and over can be annoying; and B) some areas feel like the encounter rate is much too high... The battles aren't even tough, just annoyingly frequent.

PS1 feels more like certain entries in other popular rpg's of around the same time period, such as Wizardy V, Might & Magic II, Shining in the Darkness, and most of the Dungeons & Dragons games from the 8- and 16-bit eras. The first-person view can be very disorienting if you're not used to it, and even if you are navigation can still be pretty tricky. I don't blame you for having qualms about this one. I'd still suggest giving it a try, if for no other reason than so you can say you judged for yourself instead of just believing the Internet, lol. If you don't like it, you can just read the script online:

That site has good coverage of all three games if you decide to play them. There's a lot of fan-fic, too, if that's your thing, ranging from absolute crap to pretty entertaining.
<(0.0<) <(0.0)^ ^(0.0)^ ^(0.0)> (>0.0)>==============O
"Kirby... Ka... Me... Ha... Me... HAAAAA!!!!!!"
(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: SatoruMasamune

2 months ago#4
PS2's biggest drawback is the testicle-crushing difficulty of the early game, if you ask me. Trying to grind out some early levels or make some "dosh", as the kids call it these days, is an exercise in masochism in PS2, even if you're a long-time vet of JRPG grinding.
"These words don't come easily to me for some reason, but I'm inclined to agree with the ninja's advice." ~ Joe

User Info: danzibr

2 months ago#5
My least favorite part of the game was Dezolis, actually. (PSII, that is)

User Info: looked

2 months ago#6
Since you already have them all, why don’t you play them for a half hour or so and see how they grab you. A few minutes of gameplay is going to tell you more about your owns tastes than anyone on a message board can.

User Info: alysbrangwin

1 month ago#7
The story on PSI is great. You are motivated by revenge to kill an evil wizard. You must assemble your party, gather the best weapons possible across three planets, and complete a series of dungeons in order to exact your revenge. The game is a lot harder than most modern players are used to, and it is also much less linear. You can go in pretty much any order you want after you've assembled your party, but that does mean you can wander off into parts of the game where you will get insta-killed by the much more powerful monsters.

PSII is a lot of fun too, though I get the people who complain about it being a grind. The dungeons are huge and not at all easy. You have to go into them prepared. Filling up everyone's item packs with healing items is the easiest way to save yourself when you're fighting your way through the dungeons. The dungeons on the first planet seem easy in comparison to those on the second planet. There's a little less variety in terrain and much less emphasis on exploration of the worlds. The dungeons kind of are the worlds of PSII.

I'm currently replaying PSIII and I'd forgotten how much fun it is. For this one I think that the visual design is a lot prettier, and yes, it was limited by the cartridge capabilities in terms of interesting looking battles. I never really cared about that anyway. The characters all have these detailed, beautiful portraits in the camp screen, which I don't recall seeing on any other Genesis game. The generations setup shows you a lot of the same story elements for the final chapter but from multiple perspectives, which enhances how the story is told. It's a very ambitious game providing four different endings, which was basically unheard of at the time. There are lots of planets to explore in this game too if that's what you're after.

And as you can tell from my username, PSIV is my favorite game. It takes elements from all the previous games but adds onto them with better music, better graphics, a faster moving party, an improved battle system that adds the skills attacks, and another epic story that spans multiple planets and satellites. The side quests are new and allow you to make money at critical points in the game, and this game has a lot more boss battles than the previous games. The story is more unified and there's more time spent telling it in PSIV.

This is my favorite series of games for all the reasons named above, so I'm glad when I see people rediscovering it!
Sevillista hasta la muerte
Everything is mutable.

User Info: danzibr

1 month ago#8
I too like PSIII. Need a mod to increase your walk speed though :P

User Info: The Bad Guy

The Bad Guy
1 month ago#9
ps1 with the extra xp/lowered enemies like is optionally available on the switch port (originally from some previous version, the collection on Saturn maybe?) anyway that plus automapping/item & magic lists in the menus, makes the switch version much easier to play than the original sms version (which I did complete when it first came out in America) plus it has the fm version of music as an option. Nice job of porting, even if the graphics are not "updated" like that awful playstation 2 remake...
je suis chuckyhacks
2/29/08 - neber forget
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Elrick75

1 month ago#10
The Bad Guy posted...
ps1 with the extra xp/lowered enemies like is optionally available on the switch port (originally from some previous version, the collection on Saturn maybe?) anyway that plus automapping/item & magic lists in the menus, makes the switch version much easier to play than the original sms version (which I did complete when it first came out in America) plus it has the fm version of music as an option. Nice job of porting, even if the graphics are not "updated" like that awful playstation 2 remake...

I actually really liked the graphics of the PS2 remakes of Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II.
My top 10: Phantasy Star IV, Shining Force II, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Tactics, Monster Rancher, FFVI, FE:A, ToG f, Tactics Ogre:LUCT, Breath of Fire II
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