|Phantasy Star Online 2|
|Series:||Phantasy Star Online 2|
|Original Release:|| July 4, 2012|
|Phantasy Star Online 2 es|
|Phantasy Star Nova|
|Idola: Phantasy Star Saga|
Phantasy Star Online 2 (Japanese: ファンタシースターオンライン2) is a free-to-play online multiplayer game for PC, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. It was originally released to the Japanese market on July 4, 2012. During the same year at PAX 2012, Sega of America announced that they would bring the game to the west, however, they would not reveal any further information about the project until Microsoft's 2019 E3 conference, wherein the game is now expected to release in English in Spring 2020 on Xbox One and PC.
A mobile "sister game" called Phantasy Star Online 2 es is available for iOS and Android.
Phantasy Star Online 2 was originally due to be released in late 2011 but was postponed for updates until 2012. Servers for use with the Japanese PC version opened July 4, 2012. A SEGA ID must be registered and activated to be able to access the game servers.
An English-language version for South-East Asia region (SEA) was released in 2014, while versions for the United States and European markets have been postponed indefinitely. The SEA English version was closed in May 27, 2017.
According to SEGA, over one million SEGA IDs have been activated for the game. The milestone was reached on October 1, 2012, about three months after the game's launch. In 2018, over five million SEGA IDs have been activated, which is celebrated through a special campaign.
The game is updated through an episodic model. Each episode brings in new things to the game, ranging from quests to Classes, as well as continuing the ongoing storyline. Code: EPISODE 2 was released on 2013; Mission: EPISODE 3 was released on 2014; Reincarnation: EPISODE 4 was released on 2016; Heroes: EPISODE 5 was released on 2017.
The following system specifications are recommended by Sega to play Phantasy Star Online 2:
- OS: Windows XP SP3 (32 bit), Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)
- API: DirectX 9.0c or better
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 or better
- RAM: 1.5GB (Windows XP), 2GB (Windows Vista, Windows 7) or more
- HDD: 8GB or more free
- Monitor: 1280x720 or higher resolution
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 7800GT or equivalent or better
- SPU: DirectX 9.0c compatible or better
- Network: Broadband Internet access
No purchase or recurring subscription fee is required to play the game. Subscriptions (in the form of "Premium Service") include access to additional game features, such as trading items with other players. Both subscribers and non-subscribers can make microtransaction purchases through ARKS Cash (AC). Another purchasable currency, the Star Gem, was added with the Episode 4 update. Unlike ARKS Cash however, Star Gems can also be earned normally in-game.
Phantasy Star Online 2 takes a departure from its predecessor by having its own continuity. Additionally, the story doesn't take place in a single planet or solar system; new planets to explore are added during the updates.
The plot of PSO2 concerns of a colony fleet called Oracle that travels the space in search of habitable planet. The odyssey is handled by a large explorer organization called ARKS (Not to be confused with the organization Arkz from the previous game). The player is a new recruit in the organization, when they became tangled in a situation that would later decide the fate of Oracle and the universe itself.
- Episode 1: During their qualification exam in planet Naberius, the player and fellow ARKS trainee Afin were attacked by vile organisms known as Darkers. This is followed by the two discovering a mysterious girl who lost most of her memories, and the truth regarding Naberius and the recent spike of Darker activities.
- Episode 2: After the events at the end of Episode 2, the timeline was altered with the creation of a new race called the Dewman. The plot follows the player and Matoi as they try to unravel a dark conspiracy regarding the origin and purpose of ARKS.
- Episode 3: The discovery of the planet Harukotan brought a new quest into the fray, as the peace between the Shironian and Kuronites that dwell in the planet is disturbed by the Kuronites' sudden attack. The newly-reformed ARKS is tasked to investigate the reason behind it all, and it seems like the truth is more complicated and horrifying than expected...
- Episode 4: Two years after the end of the previous episode, the player character finally wakes up from their cold sleep. ARKS has undergone an administrative overhaul, with the player and Matoi sitting on a special position called the Guardian. Additionally, ARKS has discovered a planet that resides in another dimension, which is none other than Earth. However, this discovery brought new cases into the table, such as the sudden influx of new ARKS members and the sudden appearances of enigmatic creatures known as Phantoms in the planet.
- Episode 5: This episode takes place several months after the end of Episode 4. The player character, Matoi, Xiao and the others have an idea on how to rescue Persona: by imbuing the player character's weapon with Ether and changing its trait to be just like Hitsugi's Embodied Weapon. However, their rescue attempt goes awry, and the player character finds themselves in another universe...
New features in PSO2 that were not in PSO include the ability to jump over short obstacles and attack in mid-air, to take evasive maneuvers such as dashing and teleporting, and to hold buttons to charge up stronger versions of attacks and techniques (although this game mechanic was introduced in Phantasy Star Zero). Players are able to create their own combo attacks by chaining different Photon Arts and Techniques.
Quests and Instances
Gameplay is online and quest-based, with quests taking place in instances on a planet and in an area determined by the quest. Most instances are single-party and accommodate 4 players, but a few are multi-party and accommodate up to 12. The party matchup system allows players to search for and join parties running the same quest.
Each quest has its own objective, but some quest instances also contain "Emergency Code" events; short tasks with special clearance conditions and bonus rewards upon success. Unless stated otherwise, Emergency Codes are optional.
Client Orders provide additional rewards for undertaking various challenges on quests, such as defeating enemies with a certain weapon type, completing a quest within a time limit, or procuring enemy drops in a "fetch quest" style task.
Open-world instances are also available. These allow many parties to travel the same map and can potentially have a much higher player population than other quest instances. Enemies and Emergency Codes respawn in these open world instances, which is helpful for Client Orders.
Race and gender affect a character's appearance, voice, and stat growth, although unlike the original Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, the differences are not drastic. All race and gender combinations can access all of the available Classes. Former racial abilities, such as setting traps or casting Techniques, are now Class abilities.
In PSO2, Classes determine the weapons a player can equip, as well as their overall playstyle. A player can freely change their Class at the ARKS Lobby's Class Counter. Experience, stats, and skills for each Class are tallied separately. It is possible for a single character to reach the maximum Level in every Class, but only the stats and abilities of the currently selected Class will count.
Nine classes are available to choose from: Hunter, Ranger, Force, Braver, Bouncer, Summoner, Fighter, Gunner, and Techer; the first six are immediately available from the Character Creation phase, while the last three are formerly unlockables, but later update makes them available immediately from the Class Counter after finishing the prologue.
Characters may also complete a Client Order for a Subclass license, which allows a character to set a Subclass and change it at will, as with the main Class. Setting a Subclass adds a portion of the Subclass' base stats, all the Subclass' skills, and the ability to use Techniques, if the subclass is Tech-based.
Starting from the Episode 5 update, Advanced Classes are introduced. Advanced Classes require mastering (reaching the maximum level) of some of the initial Classes to be unlocked. As of Episode 5, Hero is the only available Advanced Class.
The PlayStation Vita version of Phantasy Star Online 2 was released with winnable bronze trophies. Most of the achievements revolve around killing a certain boss in a single party area, levelling up different classes, and weapon grinding.
- Main article: Costumes in Phantasy Star Online 2
There are many different types of costumes in Phantasy Star Online 2.
- The Phantasy Star wiki has an extensive image & video gallery for this video game.
- ↑ Phantasy Star Online 2. Phantasy Star Online 2. Sega Retro. Accessed 25 October 2018.
- ↑ "登録ID数、100万ID突破を記録". Phantasy Star Online 2 Players Site. Sega. 09 October 2012. Accessed 25 November 2012.
- ↑ "ゲームをはじめるまで". Phantasy Star Online 2 Players Site. Sega. Accessed 25 November 2012.
- ↑ 「Code：EPISODE2」紹介ムービー Official trailer for Code Episode 2 (Japanese)
- ↑ Phantasy Star Online 2 entry at CERO (Japanese)
- ↑ "What is the 'Age-appropriateness Ratings System'?" at CERO
- Official English site
- Official Japanese site
- Taiwan regional site
- South East Asia regional site
- PSUBlog - Unofficial English news site
- PSO-World - Unofficial English community site