Phantasy Star Portable review

  • Awesome sci-fi art style
  • Variety of classes and weapons
  • Addictive loot gathering and dress-up
  • Repetitive mission structure and level layouts
  • Awful story and voice-overs
  • Not very portable

Yet Phantasy Star Portable remains extremely compelling. With destructible objects and enemies harboring sweet treasure, be it gold or gear, we were happily mashing away on the square and triangle buttons to hack ‘n slash our way through the stylized sci-fi settings. While level layouts are recycled throughout, the neon glow and futuristic, Asian-influenced architecture gives Phantasy Star an awesome cyberpunk aesthetic. There are tons of kickass clothes to wear, too, so your customizable character will always have a cool, unique look.

Like the dungeons, combat is also limited. But the “Action Palette” lets you easily swap between five weapon load-outs with a tap of the circle button, allowing you to effectively take down specific baddies with speed or power at your preferred range. The races, Humans, CASTs, Newmans and Beasts boast unique stats that can be further broken down by one of three jobs: Hunters, who like intimate situations and swords, Rangers, which keep their distance with bows and guns, and Force, who favor special abilities over assault.

The lack of an online mode in PS Portable means you’re stuck with ad hoc gaming, which is silly considering that it’s obviously built for lengthy, at-home sessions. Considering how poorly the local multiplayer runs with just two dungeon runners, however, infrastructure isn’t a viable option.

Phantasy Star Portable’s arenas offer loads of loot if you’re in need of satisfying a role-playing craving. The problem is that it’s designed for extended sessions rather than portable play, and you’ll spend as much time talking about a rabbit-eared robot’s feelings as you will slaughtering legions of monsters.

Mar 16, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 03 2009 - PSP (US)
Apr 17 2009 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Role Playing
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Fantasy Violence
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending


  • Senjistar - June 24, 2009 3:30 a.m.

    The only PS I ever played was Universe and it was pretty good. I remember looking into this game months before it came out and was very excited. Someone please tell me though, can you customize you character and is there any online?
  • 69R - March 17, 2009 2:42 p.m.

    I played this game and it sucks. It's always hack and slash and all that stuff, heck monster hunter is even better. guess I'm not that into rpg
  • Ded - March 17, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    Nothing wrong with Sega. It's Sonic Team that are slowly killing themselves..
  • Sonneilon - April 2, 2009 5:11 a.m.

    I'm ok with the game. I mean, if you didn't play Phantasy Star Online, well, this is really just an extension of that, imo. But if you are pretty old skool and that you wanted something like PS2 or PS4 or those originals, I think that era is long gone. I'm sure PSO wasn't everyone's cup of tea. It wasn't mine tho I did play thru both of 'em and even got the artbook sitting around. To me, THIS is what Phantasy Star is now. True, it's very wordy and your NPCs are pretty lame in the fight. I didn't think the voice acting was overly horrible. At least you can understand what they are saying. Like I said, you played PSO, then you know exactly what to expect. PSU, I wouldn't know.
  • Yellowhat17 - March 18, 2009 3:04 p.m.

    Damn, the original Phantasy Stars were sooo good. This looks awful :(
  • Sonneilon - March 17, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    It IS a single player game, right?
  • garnsr - March 17, 2009 4:58 a.m.

    Ah, Sega, you were once so good.

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