Phantasy Star II
Reviewed by Vegita
Sound Effects: 4/10
Play Control: 7/10
Group Enjoyment: 5/10
Individual Enjoyment: 7/10
Phantasy Star 2 is the sequel to the popular Master System
game, Phantasy Star (duh!). As with the previous game, you
are a character out to save not just the world, but the
galaxy. Your character (with the name you give him) lives on
the planet of Mota, a planet in the Algo system. Sadly, your
character has been having nightmares. He dreams of a girl
fighting a giant demon, but is unable to aid her (By the
way, the girl is Alis, and the demon is DarkFalz, both from
You are then given the mission, by your superiors (you're a
special agent in the city of Paseo), to get a data recorder
from the Mother Brain, the giant system that runs the
environmental controls for the planets of the Algo System.
Hopefully, it will explain the anomolies taking place on the
planets. Before you can go, however, your friend, Nei,
forces you to take her along.
Well, that's your briefing to the story. Along the way, 6
people will join you to discover what is happening to the
Universe, and what your role in it is. Good luck!
Counting previous experience with bad RPGs (mostly NES),
this game has counteracted a lot of the usual problems that
plague them. Battle, while still tedious (aren't ALL RPGS
like that?), aren't quite as bad as some games I've played.
This is in part to the pseudo-continuous battle system. You
select what you character is going to do, then the battle
continues on with each character performing that action
until someone wins. If you want to cancel out of this, press
a button. This makes battles extremely easy after a while,
as you can set up a series of attacks, then walk off, come
back, and find out...you've died. Oops!
Another good point is the thief, Shir. While not
particularly strong in any area, she has one great ability -
she steals things from stores. Simply walk in and out of the
store until she suddenly disappears, then travel back to the
Main Character's house, and she'll be there, waiting. She
will have in her inventory whatever she took. If you're
short on cash, this is a great way to gain some.
Aside from the dramatic jump in enemy challenge (if you
wander into the wrong area, you're toast!), there are only 2
main problems with this game. In battle, shouldn't you be
able to decide exactly who you're going to hit with
something? You SHOULD, but the closest the game lets you get
to that is picking the group of enemies you will attack.
That's just not good.
Second of all, there are some things that you want to be
able to check up on from time to time, and this game does
not give you the opportunity to check them. In order to find
out how much experience you need to gain a level up, you
have to go to a saving location (until you get Shir...). And
if you forget where you are supposed to go, good luck
remembering. Finding you way there is just as difficult as
figuring out where you're supposed to go! You are rerouted
through so many subquests, you'll probably forget just what
it is you're doing in the game - You have to find out what's
wrong with Mother Brain. In order to do that, you have to
get to the control module. In order to do that, you have
cross a certain bridge. In order to cross the bridge, you
have to get the kidnapped girl back from the thieves so the
guard on the bridge will leave. In order to get the girl,
you have to find dynamite AND the thieves' base. In order to
find either, you have to wander around for a while in a
variety of locations until you stumble upon what you're
looking. Frustrating, no?
Graphics: The graphics in this game were great, but there
were several points that brought it down. Whenever you
entered a building, there was a large picture of the
shopkeeper. There were also large pictures of each character
when they joined your party. There was also a good deal of
animation of both the characters and the enemies during
battle. These were good. The bad aspects were the lack of
animation in your characters walking (3 frames?). There was
also a LOT of palette swapping in the enemies...Frankly, I
can't STAND that in a game!
Sound: The sound just doesn't do too good here. The sound
effects are more annoying than anything. For instance,
whenever you select something it sounds like a pathetic bike
horn! Seriously, folks...
Music: The music has a decisively technological feel to it.
While, at times, the music becomes rather irritating, the
rest of the time it is rather enjoyable. The Overworld music
is catchy, and even features a "Techo-Vibes" solo! Good,
but the irritation factor brings it down a notch.
Originality: There have been RPGs before, and there was a
Phantasy Star before this. That is no problem for this
reviewer, as there is plenty in the way of original ideas to
take care of that! Instead of using magical abilities to
warp from one place to another, the people of this universe
use vast technological means (transporters, hovercraft,
etc). They use guns and swords, and the guns are usually
more effective (they can hit lots of enemies for lots of
damage). And instead of "Magically" reviving a dead
character, you take them to a cloning bank to have them
restored via, well...cloning. Nice, imaginative work!
Play Control: It's an RPG! You don't worry about it, aside
from what buttons do what! The A button talks to people and
searches, the B button cancels out of menus and selections,
and the A button takes you to the menu screen and accepts
items therein. Oh yeah, and the start button pauses the
action. The controls are muddy or anything, but I'm sure
they could have found a way to change which button does what
(if you so choose).
Enjoyment: For other people watching, it's average
enjoyment. For yourself, it's a fun look at a futuristic
society, founded on 3 different planets, that still has
problems like any society. They deal with it in their own
ways, but sometimes people go out of their way to take care
of their own needs by themselves, creating even more
problems...only with a technological feel! WEEE!!!!
Challenge: As I stated earlier, if you wander into the wrong
area, the monsters take a radical jump in strength, making
you look foolish and weak. Another point is the odd system
of techniques, as people might not initially figure out that
"Gofoi" is really a stronger version of "Foi". In fact,
they might not even figure out that "Res" heals, "Hynas"
returns you to the last area you saved, "Rever" brings
back the dead, and "Megid" lays waste to anything in its
path. Oh yeah, and the enemies are pretty strong too, but
that's due to the lack of armor you party is probably facing
(high prices tend to do that to you), and weak weapons. Oh
well...we can't ALL be perfect, now can we?
Ending: Ah, the only section I can't give an example for.
Very well, I WILL tell you this - this is the kind of ending
I love to see, but don't want to see it ALL the time (at the
end of a Super Mario Bros. game, for example). The games
that have the guts to do this style of closure are a very
brave bunch indeed, and I tip my hat to them. Oh yeah, and
it's got really good graphics to go along with it. Just
thought I'd mention that.
Overall: 7 / 10
Overall, this game could stand a little more finish work.
While the graphics and music are good, the sound got on my
nerves after a while, and the high cost of items bothered me
a great deal. Well, at least this game isn't Hydlide...