Phantasy Star (SMS)

The readers post their own reviews.
User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1615
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Phantasy Star (SMS)

Postby scotland » February 1st, 2017, 5:11 am

This was the draft version before the Critic's skilled edits, call it a much longer 'directors cut' version

Phantasy Star
1987 Sega Master System
Publisher: Sega

Icons: RPG, Dragons

PS_Ghoul_closed_mouth.JPG
PS_Ghoul_closed_mouth.JPG (60.88 KiB) Viewed 503 times


Phantasy Star is 8 bit role playing royalty. While keeping much of the sword and sorcery settings of 1980s RPGs, Phantasy Star mixes in heavy Star Wars spices. There will Stormtroopers, a desert planet with a hermit and jawas, a snow planet, a young orphan with a light saber, and oh yes, the name of the game itself. Most memorable is that hero is a heroine – and not a healer or archer, but an armored powerhouse.

Beginning on a lush forest world, a band of freedom fighters will also travel to two neighboring planets. During those travels, a young girl rises from bereaved orphaned innocent into a warrior and leader. Her companions include a magic cat, a space Rambo, and a desert loving wizard. Most travel uses an easily navigated overhead stylized 3rd person view. Random encounters are common, so stock up on ways to recover health on the road, but conserve magic as there is no way to recover that in the field.

Combat changes to a 1st person view, with a single large attractive monster representing the enemy forces. There are drooling ghouls, sword wielding skeletons, and toothy gigantic octopi among the many impressive monsters, although the dragons look oddly comical. The combat stands out as being easy for beginners to the genre, and fun and faithful to old tabletop dice slingers. Over time, the party will advance from simple equipment to laser guns and a magic shield. The turn based combat is enhanced with quick tempo music, uncertain order of events, and interesting animations. A simple attack is often effective, although there is a small set of spells to help your friends or harm your foes. Even diplomacy will occasionally work.

A prudent team knows when it is time to retreat. While some trials can be taken in different order, wandering into doors that cannot open, or monsters fearfully too strong indicate a path for another day. Some dungeons will require several expeditions to complete. Towns are places to heal, resupply, and shop. The manual is essential, not just filling in the story, but having maps and descriptions of spells, items and weapons.

The game does not use set places to allow saving, but allows saving anytime outside of being in combat. Total time varies depending, but expect about 40 hours. The music will probably linger in your mind even longer.

The main blemish is the use of 1st person point in navigating dungeons, forcing old school paper and pencil mapping. The game even gives you a working compass. At times it feels like a homework assignment more than saving the three worlds.

Minor irritants include repetitive and slow accumulation of money and experience. Experience points only slightly ratchet up much as enemy strength grows dramatically, although they do yield more wealth. In combat, there is no way to target any opponent in particular, so weak ones are not quickly dispatched or too much energy is expended on them. There is also no way protect your weaker wizard by forming a front line. Who walks four abreast in a dungeon? Drawing from tabletop gaming, even the most beasties like giant flies or lava monsters have treasure chests, often somehow booby trapped. Clues have to be written down as well to know what to do next. Some things only happen when you try multiple times encouraging you to keep doing everything multiple times. There is a vital piece of equipment only if a very exact spot is searched.

Phantasy Star is indeed an innovative and memorable RPG that is still fun and memorable. While tedious at times, the elegant simplicity of gameplay, the engaging story, the interesting heroine, and the many sly Star Wars trappings all make an enticing game still to both novice and veteran RPGs gamers.

Hyiga
Posts: 1
Joined: February 8th, 2017, 2:21 pm

Re: Phantasy Star (SMS)

Postby Hyiga » February 8th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Hey ! Yeah, Great game, the graphics is excellent (Dungeon in 3D is revolutionary), the gameplay is simple but very pleasant, PS is long and rich, the story is good and the music, in the dungeon is SOOOO good

I hope you speak PS2, PS3, PS4 and PSO (PS4 and PSO is masterpiece)

(Sorry, i'm bad in english, i'm french :'( )


Return to “Reader Reviews”