So I’m now about 4.5 hours into Phantasy Star Universe. Having received my pre-order copy a couple of days early, I’ve been playing the offline mode, as the servers haven’t been turned on yet. The offline Story mode is a fully fledged RPG, in the mode of a Final Fantasy, right down to having far too many cutscenes in the first hour of play.
I have been enjoying it immensely. At first the world is slightly bewildering, but once you take control of your character, it plays and feels like Phantasy Star Online of old, but with much better graphics, and a more organic feel that makes it feel less like you are playing in mainly square rooms. The fighting, whilst still based on the same system, does feel more fluid, and the trademark targeting mechanism of PSO has gone, replaced by, well, pointing at the creature you want to hit, and fighting them. Works fine.
I think my main gripe so far has been the on-screen display. Even though the game isn’t optimised for HD, the menus are tiny. Whereas in PSO you had beautiful clear graphics that told you exactly what you had and were using, these you really have to squint at. I appreciate it may partly be my old age, but they are very small. I reckon they could have done with offering a large-print option for the older gamer. Reminds me, I probably should look into getting my eyes tested soon.
Once the servers have gone live, I’ll be wanting to play there instead, but I will carry on with the offline as well, as it is where all the game achievements are apparently. Will probably report back on the online version soon.
In other news, we’ve got tickets for Bond tomorrow, and hopefully mrsfb will be over her cold for that. Do a few chores and a bit of shopping this weekend, then Sunday afternoon I’m off to London for a couple of days for XP day (now two days).