Sega is largely attributed with tethering consoles to the Internet way, way back in 2000. The company’s final hardware platform, Dreamcast, came with a built in modem, the first to do so, allowing companies to put titles online. Sega spun-off its turn-based dungeon crawling series, Phantasy Star, in to an MMORPG known as Phantasy Star Online. The spin-off traded the slow turn-based battle mechanics for real-time hack-and-slash mayhem. The science fiction setting, loot collecting and dungeon crawling all remained integrated with a strong focal point on exploration (for more loot!).
I forgot to mention it in my “Know Thy Blogger (updated)” post, but the seminal console MMOG hooked me. I didn’t just play the two Dreamcast versions (it was how the harddrive-less console MMOG did a content patch). Nope, that wasn’t enough. I had to re-play the game when it was relaunched on the GameCube in 2002. I went to such lengths as to find not one, but two of the fabled and ultra rare GameCube broadband adapters (what if it broke?!). By the time the final content patch came out as a PC digital exclusive, Blue Burst, I had had my fill of the sci-fi Diablo. Even if I didn’t, I can still play my online character in Offline Mode (which lead to all sorts of hacks and cheats, ultimately ruining the game for many).
And now Sega, without much competition in the sci-fi MMOG section, is attempting to drag me back in. Full details and media after the jump.
The company began detailing Phantasy Star Online 2 earlier today. Unlike Phantasy Star Online Episode III C.A.R.D. Revolution (a third content patch launched as a full game that was more of a spin-off featuring card battles), PSO2 is a full-on sequel to the original console MMOG. According to a translation of the Sega presentation the title will feature:
- Randomly generated fields of combat.
- Original combat in the third-person shooter style.
- “Jump Action” and “Hybrid Custom Action” (whatever that means).
- Seamless weather
- Interrupt events to keep dungeons fresh as the company strives for
- “Endless Adventure.”
Former players will feel right at home with the UI shown in the screenshots. Small groups, highly customizable characters and a small set of versatile skills all return. The character models and environments shown are lush and highly detailed, as veterans would expect. Sega didn’t detail the plot very well and the pseudo-translation makes it even more choppy.
The ship fleet Oracle which travels the endless stars. A new adventure that awaits on the countless planets. Invasion of the malice that covers the universe. The name of the people who face off against them is Arcs. Will the universe be saved, or will it be swallowed up? It’s in the hands of the hero (you).
Sega promises more information, like which platforms it’s coming to PC, before alpha testing for Phantasy Star Online 2 kicks off this summer. It’s a title I will be following, so LoreHound.com will keep you posted.
We’ll update this post with the video footage once we find it.
Here’s a link to the HD video.