Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus review

It clearly doesn't want to be an astronaut

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Easy to pick-up-and-play

  • +


  • +

    action-RPG style

  • +

    Reminiscent of Gauntlet


  • -

    Incomprehensible cutscenes

  • -

    Frustrating camera

  • -

    Little in-game help

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus proves there’s room for a faster paced, action-RPG approach to the MMO. After playing it... well, there’s still room.

This Guild Wars-esque RPG game was going to receive the concept review to end all concept reviews. We were going to blather on for 450 words in a semi-kooky fashion, never getting to the point or being entertaining in any meaningful way. And then we were going to end saying “And that’s pretty much what watching a Phantasy Star cutscene is like.”

We didn’t because we don’t want you to suffer. Suffering’s our job. And no matter how hard we tried, it wouldn’t have been accurate enough. After all, if you got tired of it, you could always skip to the end of our review, and that’s the one thing you can’t do when playing Phantasy Star.

At its best it’s like a modern descendant of the jump-in kick-ass collect-stuff joy of arcade-classic Gauntlet. There are two modes. The Offline Story mode has you and NPC chums working through a direct continuation of where the previous game left off, although you can jump in here with a new character if you want.

More info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionThis expansion pack brings the player's customized avatar to the forefront of the story, and allows for both single-player and 6-player online modes.
Franchise namePhantasy Star
UK franchise namePhantasy Star
Platform"PC","PS2","Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)