Eight years is a while to wait for a match to finally get ported from Japan to America. We have seen games get remastered for a completely new generation of Phantasy Star Online 2 Meseta console hardware in less time. However, Sega's Phantasy Star Online 2 is officially out in North America on Xbox One as a free-to-play MMORPG. While its distinctive new anime-style flair and pulse-pounding gameplay are far from what you'd expect in a typical online sport, PSO2's amazing combat system, rewarding progression, and passionate neighborhood prove it was mostly worth the wait.
Back in PSO2, you take on the role of a brand new ARKS (Artificial Relict to Keep Species) Operative. ARKS is an elite task force focused on exploring new planets and eliminating a dark and corruptive force known as the Falspawn. That's honestly about everything that you need to know or consider this obscure, jargon-packed, and emotionless narrative. Ahead franchise knowledge isn't required to understand it, but experience with the first PSO does assist. (PSO2 is entirely irrelevant to the single-player Sega Genesis JRPGs.)
Regardless of the top-notch English voice cast, PSO2 simply doesn't have an intriguing story. Most of it's doled out by rigid personalities that lack lip sync and feel as a waste of time. Both entering and leaving these narrative conversations requires sitting through lengthy loading screens. And to be clear, it truly doesn't matter; this is certainly not the kind of sport you play for the narrative, so the developers have clearly only focused their attention elsewhere. Urgent Quests are limited-time missions that pop up server-wide at predetermined times that are declared on the official website. Throughout the time period the Urgent Quest is busy, everyone on the server can join in and perform that assignment together in large multi-party groups. These are reminiscent of a raid with a dozen players working together, but it is usually a lot more disorderly and fast-paced than many MMOs. They are a blast to do and completely worth planning your sport time around to fit into a schedule.
There are a lot of courses to pick from, such as the katana and bow-wielding Braver; the gravity-defying, boot-wearing, ass-kicking Bouncer; the large sword-wielding Hunter; the attack rifle-shooting Ranger, and many others. Even the magical classes have unique twists, such as the Summoner that hovers above the ground and controls pets using a magical baton.
Combat feels like a mixture of Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter, or perhaps the Tales JRPG Collection, depending upon the class you choose. My primary class is a Braver who uses either a katana for up-close and showy combos or a powerful bow to rain down harm from afar. The ability tree you access back in the main ship lobby is full of passive ability bonuses and minor skills such as dodging and parrying, but your actual combat skills are located as random loot drops on missions in the form of discs. You can find new skills or stronger variants of existing skills, in addition to badge tokens to exchange for even more powerful items at specific sellers. Relying on the random loot gods to buy PSO2 Meseta give you using brand new abilities is somewhat lame, but you can sell the ones you do not need or use them to update existing skills. Overall it is an addictive system that helps maintain excitement even when you're much greater level.