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Phantasy Star Universe review

Three worlds, two modes, one adventure


  • Dungeon-crawling with friends
  • The cool sci-fi theme
  • Meaty action RPG gameplay


  • If you've played PSO
  • it's nothing new
  • Tedious story mode
  • Technical glitches
  • awkward problems

The universe of Phantasy Star has always been a unique one. Its refreshing sci-fi style breaks the swords 'n' sorcery RPG mold. Phantasy Star Online's networked approach was highly addictive and gave fans a reason to fall in love with the series all over again. But, no matter how stunning Phantasy Star Online was, gamers love single-player, story-driven RPGs. The intended solution was Phantasy Star Universe, which promised to contain both fully-realized story and online modes, to give fans everything they've ever wanted.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case.

The first thing you have to understand about Phantasy Star Universe is that the story mode isn't up to speed - this is no Final Fantasy -killer. For a game that covers three whole planets, it's a letdown that conquering the universe will take you about twenty hours. Planet exploration is minimal - typically, there is one town and less than a handful of dungeons, picked off of a map screen. It makes it all seem small and limited, which is polar opposite of what this "universe" promises us.

You'll be in control of Ethan Waber, a trainee who eventually becomes part of an organization intent on purifying the universe. The beginning of Ethan's quest is quite interesting, actually, when an unknown alien force called SEED attacks.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionWhat are you looking for in the Phantasy Star Universe experience? If it's an online dungeon crawler, then this will do the trick. If it's a compelling story, though, we can't justify traveling to this universe.
Franchise namePhantasy Star
UK franchise namePhantasy Star
PlatformPC, PS2, Xbox 360
US censor ratingTeen
Release date24 October 2006 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)