Phantasy Star Online 2, is an instanced based MMORPG developed and published by SEGA. The game was originally supposed to come to the West, back in 2012, but was at a time indefinitely delayed until it was announced to be released Spring 2020. The Phantasy Star Online 2 beta is currently exclusive to just the Xbox One console and the full game is expected to have a PC release and maybe even subsequent console releases in the near future. The game features a central hub where you can interact with NPCs and other players, as well as personal housing, guild space, shops, and more.
There is a story to Phantasy Star Online 2 that is broken up into large Episodes, with mini bite size episodes within them. Some of the story missions have combat missions within them, and the story missions coincide partially with the anime that’s running of the same name. Story missions with combat elements can be done either on casual or hardcore.
Missions are abundant in Phantasy Star Online 2 beta. They range from Story missions to open field missions called expeditions. There are also time sensitive quests that trigger every 3-4 hours called Urgent Quests, which of themselves also have a variety of mission objectives to complete. Each mission has the ability to be replayed on various difficulties for an added challenge, once the player reaches the proper level threshold. The difficulty ranges from Normal to Very Hard. Each difficulty has a level suggestion to help you decide how much of a challenge you’d like to experience. Of course higher the difficulty better the rewards will be.
The Phantasy Star Online 2 beta has 9 classes Hunter, Ranger, Force, Techer, Summoner, Bouncer, Fighter, Braver, and Gunner. Each have their respective attack style ranging from melee to ranged or even “magic”. You have access to just 6 classes in the character creation, but once you enter the game, you can change your class at any time. Once you hit level 20 you can unlock a Sub-class which will give you part of that class’s stats to make your main class stronger.
Phantasy Star Online 2 has a very good character creation system, where you can literally make your character look how you want them to look. Whether that be a basic human, a robotic CAST, a force sensitive Newman, or a badass Dewman. You will be able to make them look how you want them to look. Though the clothing in the character may be lacking, as you play the game and earn “FUN” you can purchase scratch tickets to unlock more cosmetic items, you can purchase ARKS Cash (AC) for more personalized scratch tickets, or even use your Star Gems (SG) to purchase items from the SG Shop.
However, if you don’t like how your character came out visually and you have already invested in them, you can also visit the Salon, with the use of a Salon Pass, and change the appearance of your character. You can get a Salon Pass either through daily login or via purchasing from the Star Gem shop. Just be warned you cannot change the sex or race in the Salon, to do that you must make a new character.
Combat in the Phantasy Star Online 2 beta is fun and rewarding. You have various weapons to use for each class, they also have skills, called “Photon Arts” or PAs that cap at level 10 which allow you deal out more damage, buff/debuff enemies and allies, or even heal.
There is a Cooking system that requires players to either mine or fish on respective maps to find items that vary from common to rare. This system is a bit complex to explain, as I don’t have much experience with it.
Overall as of right now, the Phantasy Star Online 2 beta is in a good position. Hopefully, it’ll remain strong in the West and will make it to all consoles and will eventually be just as much fun and in depth as its Japanese counterpart. So if you’d like to check out Phantasy Star Online 2 right now, you can do so for FREE by downloading it from the Microsoft Store. At the time of writing there hasn’t been an official release date for Phantasy Star Online 2 to come out of beta or a release date for when it shall come to PC or other consoles.