Monday, April 20, 2009

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, Phantasy Star 2

Hey, guys. I'm back to bring you some more groovy reviews.

Of course you know that I take an interest in old games. And I'm a fan of Sega's games. So when I heard that they came out with a Collection of old Sega genesis games for the PS3 and 360. I thought to myself: "Hey, that might be worth buying.". And man, oh man, was I right. Let's look into it. 

Now this probly isn't going to be that big of a review since it's just a collection of old games. but I have to say. this is the biggest, nicest, and most in-depth game collection I've seen. I've played Namco Museum and Midway Arcade Treasures. And I've never had this much fun with an Old game Collection such as this. (And yeah, I know the technology difference between the old arcade games and the Sega Genesis is big.) 

The menu in the game is good. You can organize the game list alphabetically, by year, Genre or by which ones are your favorites. there's also a museum section for each game. giving you a basic description of the main story for each game. and a couple history bits about the game which are pretty neat. 

one thing I really like about the Genesis Collection is that it has secrets that you can unlock. which I haven't seen before in a game collection. pretty much all of the secrets are either interviews with the creators of the some of the Sega games. or other famous Sega games that weren't on the Genesis platform. such as Phantasy star 1 for the Sega Master System, or the Arcade version of altered beast. none of the secrets will take alot of work to unlock. some you'll unlock just by starting to play a certain game. but they definitely add some more stuff to do in the Genesis Collection. they also have trophies in the game too. they don't have as many trophies as I thought they would. they have about one per game, and not all the games have trophies I think. but they have a decent amount. some of them are a bit more challenging to get then the secrets. so if you wanna get all the trophies. that will add even more time you'll be playing the game.

I don't have a HD TV, so I don't know how well the graphics look in HI-DEF. the only thing that bugs me is that the game doesn't take up the entire screen. they have this background thats behind the screen of the game your playing. the background differs from game to game. and also you can adjust the screen of your main game by going into the video settings and getting it so it covers up the background. 

the collection includes all the games that the Genesis was know for. You have all the sonic games. Colums, Comix Zone, Vector-Man, all the Phantasy Star games before Phantasy Star Online and over thirty other games on the Collection. 

Even if you have a Genesis. (like me) This is worth 30$. You get so much in this Collection. and I'm sure some of the games on there are hard to find and cost an ass-load of  money to purchase. so I think You'll be getting your money's worth with this. 

Now I'm gonna review one of the games I've fallen in love with on the Genesis Collection. Phantasy Star 2. 

Nintendo had Final Fantasy. and Sega had Phantasy Star. My history may not be completely accurate. but I know it took a while for the Final Fantasy games come out in north america. it took them three years to release Final Fantasy 1 in North America. and by the time we got to play Final Fantasy. Phantasy Star 1 was out on the Master System, And Phantasy Star 2 had come out three months earlier. Phantasy Star 2 was a big RPG game. Big enough that it even came with a player's guide. Whether or not it covers the whole game, I don't know. but it goes to show you that Sega was going the distance to make sure gamers enjoyed this game. 

Between Final Fantasy coming to the states, and the Fact that the Sequel to Phantasy Star 2, Phantasy Star 3, sucked ( that's what I hear at least ). I wouldn't be surprised it got in Final Fantasy's shadow and got overlooked by many gamers back in the day. but that doesn't mean it was a bad series that should be ignored. Phantasy Star 2 I think is probly one of the best pre-Super Nintendo Games out there. so, enough about the history of the game. let's check it out.

Story: The main character in the game is Rolf. And it starts out with him dreaming about a woman fighting a monster. I can't tell if that's a reference to the first game with the game's main Female character, Alis, or something in Phantasy Star 2's story later on, but that doesn't matter a whole lot. so after Rolf wakes up he goes to his hometown's central tower. and is given a mission to go to a far off Research Lab to find out what has caused the recent outbreak of monsters throughout the world. Your Friend, Nei, Joins the party when you goto your house to get ready. throughout the game, you'll find out about what's happened with the whole monster problem. and realize, like in pretty much every RPG game, that the whole world is under a big threat that must be stopped. 

Gameplay: Gameplay for roaming around town, the world or dungeons are pretty simple. one button brings up your stats/inventory menu, the other examines stuff and talks to people. each town has an item shop, weapon shop, teleport station, save house, and a cloning station for if your party members die. of course that farther you get through the game the more expansive the stuff in item or weapon shops get. the other places such as teleport, healing and cloning stations are pretty cheap to use. though I think if you try to revive a character at the cloning station thats not dead. the owner will get pissed at you and raise the price for resurrection by alot. 

Battling is a bit weird at first. to start off, you don't get your characters to target a single enemy. instead, you have them target groups of enemies. so say your in a battle with one group of enemies of that monster type, and another of a different type of monster. you could only get one of your characters to attack one of those monster groups. which one it attacks is random. which I guess isn't a bad thing. I'm just used to targeting single monsters in RPGs. 

Another thing thats interesting is the way you give orders to your characters. its kinda weird. once you setup who's gonna attack what enemy or who's gonna use what spell. its set to keep going in a loop till you or the enemy dies. luckily, you can "intervene" as they call it in the manuel and press any button or move the joystick in any direction to stop the fight from being automatic and make a different strategy for you party. 

one thing I like about the fighting in this game is that the monsters have a good challenge level. unlike games like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. the monsters in those games would either go from too easy, to too hard. in Phantasy Star 2. the battles will have some challenge to them when you step into a new area or dungeon. but not so hard that you'll have to go back to an earlier area to level up. 

with alot of old RPGs back in the day. you'd have to spend a good portion of the game building up your characters and getting new equipment for them. and Phantasy Star 2 is no exception. you'll have to do your fair share of level building and equipment buying in the game. and the more characters you get in your party, the longer it will be to get everyone at a good level and get everyone their best equipment.

pretty much every time you reach a new town, or a special event happens. thats a sign to teleport back to Rolf's hometown and goto his house and a new character will join him and help him out. the only problem with this is, all new characters start out on level 1. so it takes them a while to get up to speed with the rest of the groups level. but once they do, they become useful characters. 

Presentation: for its time, I think the game had great graphics. the soundtrack to the game might be kinda small. but all the music to the game I think is really good. where it lacks in quantity, it at least makes up for in quality. 

Phantasy Star 2 may not be perfect. You'll find yourself doing quite a bit of leveling up and equipment buying throughout the game. But alot of old RPGs did that. when the couldn't fit a story onto the cartridge the size of Final Fantasy 7, 8 or 9, which would span up to four discs. they had to do something to increase gameplay length. so, they made the monsters tougher and the equipment expensive. and the difference between the other old RPGs and this, is that I'm finding doing all of that stuff worth it to continue on with the story. and you definitely don't have to do it as much as Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. So if you feel like checking out other old RPGs besides the famous Chrono Trigger or Breath Of Fire. Give the Phantasy Star Series a try. I definitely plan on beating it. And playing through the other games on the Genesis Collection. It's definitely a series I've begun to really like.