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New Details and Video Highlight Phantasy Star Online 2 Mobile Version

A few months ago, Sega first announced that it would be bringing Phantasy Star Online 2, the MMORPG sequel to its classic online hit, to mobile devices including the iPhone and iPad. At the time, not much was known about the game, but Sega promised to deliver a top-notch MMORPG experience.

In recent weeks, more information has come out about the Mobile and North American releases of PSO2, and it has gotten a PC release in Japan. I for one can’t wait for PSO2 to hit iOS. As much as I love Order and Chaos Online, PSO2’s sci-fi flavor and big-dev backing really appeal to me.

At a recent Japanese trade show, Sega released the first video trailer for the Mobile version, featuring the first looks at game play for PSO2 Mobile. The text is Japanese, but I don’t think you need to read it to appreciate some of what you’re seeing on-screen.

First, the graphics look gorgeous, no doubt. And gameplay looks fun and dynamic. There are some things that are unclear to me watching this trailer — for example, the combat somewhat stylized. There’s moments where the video reminds me of Infinity Blade style, “fixed” motion fights (like when the PC is grabbed by the monster and has to “shake” free). But these things remain to be seen.

For more information on the meat of the game, Sega has also launched their English-Language PSO2 website. On it, we get our first good look at how the races and classes in the game break down.

First, there are three races. The very elf-like Newmen, who are strong with “photon arts” (read: magic); the robotic Cast, who excel with “precision and fighting” (so, shooting and melee combat); and Humans, who are a “jack-of-all-trade” species. There are also three classes: Hunters, the melee fighters in the game; Rangers, who excel at ranged combat; and Forces, who excel at the photon arts.

Depending upon how strongly the racial descriptions are reflected in the actual racial abilities, it could mean that race choice might actually affect game play. If Cast are not just weak at photon arts in story, but also as a race, then making a Cast Force is probably going to be a bad idea … if it’s even an option at all; and Newman Forcers may be the best in the game. I love the possibility here; reminds me of the early days of WoW, when choosing a race actually meant something (unlike Order and Chaos Online, where it’s mostly irrelevant).

[Incidentally, if any readers out there speak Japanese or play the Japanese version of the game and can confirm any details, I'd love to hear from you.]

There’s not much on the site right now about gameplay or the game world, but there is a nifty prologue and trailer for the game that establishes the plot: characters will be part of the crew on an Ark, a spaceship seeking out habitable worlds for colonization. Presumably, much of the gameplay will involve exploring such worlds and the creatures that inhabit them; and then perhaps returning to colonizing cities, where vendors and NPCs will be.

I am a sucker for a good sci-fi story, and I love a good sci-fi anime, so Phantasy Star Online 2 is definitely going to be a game for me. Massively Portable will be keeping an eye on this as it makes its way to the U.S., and you can be sure we’ll be talking about it again here in the future.

Want to hear more about pocket-sized MMORPGs? Check out the Massively Portable podcast

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