Phantasy Star Online 2 game review (2020)

Although the game has been out for eight years in Japan, Phantasy Star Online 2 has finally made its way West. It’s an extremely enjoyable action RPG, even though it can be an extreme grind with a number of factors to learn and master.

Back in the day, during the Xbox 360 days, I used to play Phantasy Star Universe with some of my friends and I remember it being a ton of fun. Even though it was only a trial/demo portion of the game, it was still pretty extensive from what I remember. There were a variety of different customization options when it comes to creating your character and the different outfits and weapons that came along with it. There were also different classes to choose from, such as Ranger, Hunter, and Force. You can even combine certain classes and have the ability to use both classes in combat. Overall, it was a lot of fun.

Recently, I built my own PC and was able to experience this all over again, this time with the sequel, Phantasy Star Online 2. The game felt extremely familiar, which was a welcoming experience since I was able to pick up on it pretty fast, at least the basic fundamentals of the game. Being that it’s also the full game, it’s evident from the very beginning that the content is much more substantial than I remember. The time I have put into the game has been very fun and in many ways, rewarding.

However, like most MMORPG’s and online action RPG’s you have to dedicate so much time to them in order to level up, obtain new gear, and get better at the game. PSO2 can be an extreme grind when it comes to leveling up, completing new missions, and trying to collect enough currency to buy the armor and weapons you want. If you aren’t the kind of game who’s willing to invest that time, then it may not be worth it. Part of the fun in the game is being able level up and see your character evolve in multiple facets right before your eyes.

As for myself, it depends on the mood I’m in. Sometimes, I just want to play a game where there’s barely any risk (if that makes sense) and I can just play a match or two and move on with my day. I don’t have to worry about getting a new weapon, leveling up new skills, and so on in a number of other games I play, such as Halo, Call of Duty, League of Legends, etc. Of course, there are similar modes to do this in these games, but for the most part, you can play a match and not have to worry about grinding a certain character. On the other hand, I actually enjoy part of the grind from time to time and PSO2 is a fun enough game where you can play enough and actually achieve something. Ultimately, it’s about putting the time in.

As for the combat, it’s extremely fun and visually appealing to look at. The worlds are very vibrant and full of colors. I won’t say the graphics are incredible since visual performance in gaming, especially as of late, has pretty high standards if you have the proper equipment to run these kinds of games. PSO2 pales in comparison to other games I’ve played in terms of graphics, but it’s good enough. It more than makes up for it with the gameplay, which is very diverse and, in many ways, complex.

I find myself getting mildly stressed out trying to figure out the best possible class to pursue for my character since there are plenty of options. But, once you finally figure out the path you want to take, you start trying to get all those skills up as much as you can in order to make your character much stronger. I’ts pretty fun and ultimately rewarding once you’re able to accomplish that.

The best part is playing with friends. I was able to play it with some of my friends and the game instantly became a lot more fun to play. Playing online games by yourself can be fun, but playing with great company makes it even more enjoyable.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed what I have played of PSO2 and I look forward to putting in more time into it in order to get the most out of the experience.

Score: B

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