Thursday, September 24, 2015

Phantasy Star Universe: Thoughts and Ongoing Playthrough




I'm gonna try and do this blog a different way and update it every time I add a video to the playlist. 

Well finally got around to this game.  I picked up the Xbox 360 version from Gamefly. I didn't want to hunt for a PS2 version. I didn't know there was on the PC.  But the game is no longer supported. I rather not buy the game and find out I don't have access to a lot of things cause of support.  After researching apparently I can't get the expansion anyway unless I get the PS2/PC version. I doubt I'll look into getting it. I already started on 360 so might as well go all the way.

Well the opening has a catchy song as most if not all Phantasy Star games go (I never played the ones on Genesis or NES).  I can let the graphics go cause I don't care for graphics. But I can already see how the game dramatically improved with Portable and Portable 2.  Universe does things that you're thankful is no longer a thing or simplified in future games.

  • The binoculars are an actual item. You have to put it in your quick select or whatever its called to use them. This de-equips you of weapons so if enemies show up you gotta switch to a weapon. There's no sniping either. 
  • Weapon techs you only need to learn them once then to level them up you just use them constantly. I actually prefer this as opposed to Portable's method of requiring you to find a higher level version of whatever move. Meaning you're depending on drop rates. 
  • Guns are generally useless. You have ammo in a sense. The PP required to shoot guns may be small at first. But recharges VERY SLOWLY! Once its out of PP you either have to wait FOREVER or recharge it using an item or a recharge point. This applies to Melee weapons too but you can still use them to hit the enemy.  
  • You can't use a created character. At least not until the expansion part of the game.  Yeah you're stuck playing as a character who you can't change clothes or looks.  

Ok so I started this and I already don't really like Ethan Waber. Or his sister.  Ethan is cocky and wants to pick a fight with everyone. I'm amazed at how quickly he humbled himself a bit at the very start of the game.  Seriously characters these days take forever to wise up and humble themselves to realize that they're not all that. But Ethan is still cocky. 

Ok I have to point this out now.  What the hell is the deal with these awkward character movements these dudes make. I don't mean from a graphics point of view I mean why do they do that? Do they have some kind of disorder or medical condition? Why do they do that? 

I have to say that main problem with this game is that the hub worlds are too damn big. I like how they simulate multiple NPC's walking around by making them disappear so the only ones that actually have something to say are standing around. That something other RPGs should take into account if they want to make the game have lots of NPCs around.  But regardless the Hub Worlds are too big. I got lost easily trying to figure out where I have to go next. I didn't even see some shops till much later.

Chapter 1


Get lost and try to advance the story.  Then when mission time came up.  It dawned on me that I'm gonna constantly miss the time requirement for an S Rank by just a few seconds each and every time. I could see where the moves came from at least. Level the skills is kinda annoying but its better than hunting down high level versions of the same move.

Chapter 2


Once again I'm lost as to where to go. These maps are far too big for there own good. New party members. And a character I may actually like. Karen has the appearance of a person that doesn't take anyone's shit. But this mission is annoying.  Having to switch from my weapons to binoculars to some special gun to defeat a specific enemy. This is annoying to no end. Its hard to make my party members take care of it too. I figured ok I'll locate where all these Seeds are and they do the other thing.  But I have to kite my allies over to it to even maybe get them to do something. I'm trying to be efficient by killing enemies and taking care of the Seeds so I can make the mission time. But once again I miss it by seconds. Boss time.  I wouldn't call this a boss by Phantasy Star standards. Bosses are usually MUCH bigger than this. But my allies didn't help at all. They were in some distant corner of the map while I'm swinging my sword. To once yet again miss the mission timer by SECONDS!. Allies are less reliable here than they are on Portable it seems. I realize its AI but man...at least do something.


Chapter 3


Well guess its time to detour and train cause I have access to side missions. Best to do those so I can be ready right?

Why is it that every chapter I have to view the damn opening FMV? Was this supposed to be an Anime? Ethan you're night clothes...well I shouldn't complain but I mean this is a game. And now Hyuga's giving me the business on how I messed up his mission points?! Last I checked I didn't get an S rank cause you and Karen decided to have a cup of tea while I'm doing all the work.

And the first Free Mission I get to do...Another A Rank....These AI partners are useless to be honest. And here's the first instance of me being poor.  In the game...I'm already poor in real life. Time to repeat that same mission countless times. At least maybe I'll get my rank up and build my techs better.

(How am I supposed to do any of these missions in the seriously strict time frame given? They're practically asking me to be able to do 1 hit death here.)

I honestly think I should train up to LVL 15 but that might be overkill. Level 12 will do me. Also my Photon Arts aren't too bad in levels.

So I'm supposed to make sure this dude doesn't die at all during the mission...Sigh...Well at least its not PSO...oh wait...its just as bad. Oh hey De Regan...oh so that's how you pronounce it. Well if that's the case just call it Dragon. How the hell do I go into FPS mode? Would love to have it so I could shoot properly.

So now we explore these damn ruins...well its just like Portable. Oh joy its those robot soldiers except in this game they're far more annoying. Seriously I can't get to backside and every time I do its smart enough to do that damn spin attack. The exact properties of these guys are the same as portable too...Guns are next to useless on guys like these while melee despite being a bad option is far more effective.  Really want that first person view so I can aim properly.  Ok...thought the game was broken for me Doctor repeated a line like a music CD was skipping.

And now we meet Magashi...oh so this is where he came from. Hmmmm....Interesting. But shit hasn't hit the fan yet. Considering that all my grinding still wasn't enough. Guess I'll have to double my efforts for the next chapter.

Chapter 4


OKAY SERIOUSLY I DON'T NEED TO SEE THE OPENING MOVIE AT THE START OF EVERY CHAPTER!

Shopping....yay...I enjoy this as much as I do in real life.  (I don't.)  And now I have access to sythesizing items. Cool...except the cost of the materials is high.  Don't think I've spent this much to make items. Well this should definitely help for this chapter.  Watch me still miss the S Ranking.

So meet with old man...he's the Headmaster of the Guardians Academy....and a perv....thought this trope wouldn't come up again. -_-

Well next mission is coming up let me prep for it.  And again getting an S Rank on these quest is a total pain.  Ugh....Well I'm in the 20s now in terms of levels.  And managed to get most of my skills up to level 11.  Apparently I get the 2nd part of the attack at LVL 11.  So worth the grind.  The endless grinding for.

So the mission is in a completely different area...I wouldn't have seen this if I didn't feel like exploring. Glad the future games made it easier to navigate. This is a perfect example of maps being too big.

On the train. This is likely familiar. And someone's trying to hijack it. Well good thing I trained quite a bit. These guys are pretty easy to deal with.  But as usual AI partners suck.  Splitting up...don't you know how these cliche's go?  Fine. Oh look Vol Brothers these idiots again.  And more robots.

Well get to watch an old man whoop a bunch of fools with ease.  And he...blacks out....-_-  So CASTs randomly BSOD.  Convenient. Well time to travel back up the cars by myself. And the Vol Brother Idiots again. Unlike the guide stated these guys quickly spread apart.  So much for taking them all out at the same time. Oh well too strong for them anyway.

And the last movie.  Well new character and that's where this girl is from.  Oh come on Ethan you should've had a gun as a backup the moment he knocked away your sword. Sigh...and they're gone.  Karen's feeling sorry for herself and WTF Magashi again... Ok dude I don't know why you're pissed at us. You're so strong and have an entire syndicate at your disposal. WHY DIDN'T YOU PROTECT YOUR OWN GODDAMN CARGO?!  Don't sit there choking Ethan for your mistakes. Hell go after them yourself. YOU HAVE A SYNDICATE TO TAKE THESE GUYS OUT EASILY! And then you walk away with a threat...ooohhh scary...*eyeroll*

Welp going home and like usual we leave with a laugh. Oh now the headmaster wakes up where were you earlier? Oh hey Extra Mode is unlocked....although...considering this game...not very useful now.

On the next chapter find out about Karen's past and meet an important plot character that actually isn't important for the 2nd time. Well as long as I don't have to see that opening movie again....

OH GODDAMNIT!!!!

Chapter 5

Chapter 5....

Well Extra Mode is totally pointless. For one I can't play online cause this game's server was shut down ages ago. Another reason although I finally get to make my character. He starts at LVL 1 and its literally starting from scratch all over again.  It would've been better to at least have access to the equipment Ethan has since I've been playing story mode.


ARGH STOP PLAYING THAT DAMN OPENING!!!

Um did things just go to Enter the Matrix? They totally stole this scene from the Matrix. Oh its just a dream.

Oh meet the character that honestly to me isn't really important again. This should be fun. Well before that Extra mode and Free Missions!

Well these weren't so bad.

Main Story...Karen gets emotional about going to Neudaiz and the maiden....well this is obvious where this is going.  Oh no an assassin.  Wow jump in the way of the shot....

Maiden: OH LET ME HEAL YOU!

It's Estelle all over again.

And Karen passes out. Obvious plot story is obvious. Oh look Karen's sister...or step sister. So this is where she comes from.  Well guess we gotta have the big booby lady character somewhere. And she can't cook.  AM I playing Tales of or Phantasy Star?

Maiden's ship has crashed. Time to rescue....I actually did little to no grinding this time. Had enough money for most updated equipment. Ok I'm switching to Ranger. In Phantasy Star I've pretty much always been ranger character. I'm reluctant to pick it cause of how this game is with PP.  I mentioned it before earlier. But this game doesn't let you recharge PP..at least easily.  You gotta use a Photon Charge. In Portable that changed. It was made so that it recharges on its own. But enough so that you don't have a constant rate of spamming attacks.

Anyway This was easy....or at least wasn't too frustrating.  But now we have another aspect of purifying SEED Cores...these one freeze you. -_-  Now you gotta use an even lamer method Well I guess its feasible this time. But sucks that you have to use a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ITEM! So that's another item that eats up your inventory. To make it worse there's next to no way I can make the AI do the job for me. 

Boss time....no Karen you're not allowed to participate.  Oh now I know why Ranger generally sucks. Cause I don't have a FPS mode. This boss would've been so easy if I could go into first person and shoot this boss while its in the air.  

Yay we saved the day. Obvious plot point again.  

Maiden: Oh the reason we look alike and you have that item is because....be...cause....*faint*

*We're sorry but we can't allow you to hear this obvious plot point as its somehow a spoiler that makes no sense.  Please come again in future chapters. We hope you enjoy playing Phantasy Star Universe.*

And we go home on comedy again...Turn this into an anime already ready.

On the next episode meet a bunch of character you already met cause they're in Portable 2. 

As long as I don't have to hear the Intro again....