Phantasy Star Online 2 (ファンタシースターオンライン２ Fantashī Sutā Onrain Tsū) is a video game in the Phantasy Star series published by Sega. It is a successor to Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, featuring similar gameplay. The main version was released for Windows in July 2012.
A PlayStation Vita version was released in February 2013, while a PlayStation 4 version was released in April 2016. A spin-off/companion game, Phantasy Star Online 2es, was released for Android and iOS in 2014. Any version of the game is currently only commercially available in Japan, though an unofficial English-language patch is available for use with the Japanese PC version. In September 2017, during a Japanese Nintendo Direct, it was announced that a cloud-based Nintendo Switch version would be released sometime in Spring 2018. In the Japanese Nintendo Direct of March 2018, it was announced that the game would have a full launch on Nintendo Switch on April 4, 2018 after a beta release on March 20.
Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Phantasy Star Online 2: Microsoft WindowsJP: July 4, 2012PlayStation VitaJP: February 28, 2013PlayStation 4JP: April 20, 2016Nintendo SwitchJP: April 4, 2018Phantasy Star Online 2es: AndroidJP: April 7, 2014iOSJP: May 14, 2014[
Action role-playing, MMORPG, third-person shooter
Gameplay Upon starting the game, the player can select one of several servers, known as “Ships,” to play. Players create and customize their characters to be used in the game. The name, gender, race, character class, body and facial features are available for customization during the character creation process, and later, the player can acquire a number of accessories and aesthetic goods to further customize their characters. There are various races available to the players in the game, which include Human, Newman (bio-engineered humanoid elves), CAST (manmade androids), and Deuman (species that contains recessive Darker genes in them). Players also pick a starting class: in addition to the core classes Hunter, Ranger, and Force, the hybrid classes Braver and Bouncer, introduced in Episode 2 and 3 respectively, are also available. Furthermore, as of Episode 3, the advanced classes Fighter, Gunner and Techer are also playable immediately. Classes in Phantasy Star Online 2 are interchangeable; every character has access to all classes, although they all level individually, and can switch between them freely at any time from the lobby. When players are finished creating their avatar, they begin playing in the tutorial and the story’s prologue stage.
The user interface and controls are similar between the PC and the PS Vita. By default, players can play the PC version using a mouse and a keyboard, but may also play the game using an Xbox 360 Controller, which the game supports natively. The player’s Character ID, Health (HP) and Photon Points (PP) are displayed at the bottom left corner of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, the sub-palette may contain consumable items, class active skills, Techniques and Photon Blast skills. The mini-map is located at the top-right corner of the screen. When a target is acquired, the top-left corner of the screen displays the information and status of the target.
The chat log displays messages left by players and NPCs, as well as system messages. Chat commands can customize text in many ways, such as changing the colors of the text or using special speech bubbles and animations. The player can also create and display Symbol Arts, images made within the game out of various symbolic objects. Autowords can also be created for a character to react to certain events in battle automatically, such as dying or successfully completing a mission.
Gameplay Gameplay in Phantasy Star Online 2 is action-oriented, and features a diverse selection of weapon types and playstyles for the player to choose from.
A form of energy known in the game as Photons plays an important role in the game’s battle system. During battle, the player can combine his normal attacks with Photon Arts (PA), special attacks using photon converted into energy, to perform a variety of attack combos. Additionally, the Force, Techer, Bouncer, and Summoner classes can use Techniques, photon converted into magic-like spells in both offensive and support forms. Players can guard with certain weapon types to reduce damage taken at the cost of some PP, or “Just Guard” with accurate timing to perform a counterattack at no cost.
In some areas of the game, Photons can be generated by defeating enemies to fill up the Photon level in the environment. In return, Photon-sensitive effects (PSE) can provide bonuses to the players in that area. When one of these effects reaches the maximum level of 8, an event known as PSE Burst can occur where many enemies will rapidly spawn for a limited time. This can be further extended by causing a different PSE Burst to form a Cross Burst.
Upon reaching a certain level, each player will be granted a Mag, a small droid that hovers around the owner. Mags can be fed a variety of items in order to strengthen and eventually evolve them. In addition to enhancing the player’s stats, a mag will support the player with abilities such as healing or buffing under certain circumstances. Mags also enable the Photon Blast ability, in which the player and mag summon a Photon-based avatar for a brief time to attack enemies or support party members, depending on the type of mag. Photon Blasts can only be used after defeating a certain number of enemies and generating enough Photon energy to fill up its gauge.
According to Sega COO Naoya Tsurumi, Phantasy Star Online 2 took over five years to develop. Sega “pulled out all the stops” believing the game to be a crucial entry point into the growing free-to-play market on multiple devices. A cross-platform strategy involving PC, handhelds, and smartphones was made possible by the sharing of cloud data. Moreover, Tsurumi stated that the game would serve as a model for other intellectual properties as part of Sega’s broader strategy “to further develop the whole of Asia as a single market.”
On February 5, 2011, at the Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity Nationwide Fan Thanks Festival 2011 in Japan, Sega announced that the alpha test for Phantasy Star Online 2 would begin in the summer. They stated, “Entry into the test will not be open; instead, all participants will be selected by lottery. And your first chance at putting your name into the drawing will be by purchasing Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity.” On February 7, Sega listed on the PSO2 website alternate ways for users to enter into the lottery. On March 9, 2012, Sony announced that Phantasy Star Online 2 would also be released on the PS Vita. Later that month on March 26, it was announced that the game would also appear on iOS and Android.
Open beta began on June 21, 2012 as free-to-play. Open beta ended on July 2, 2012, in preparation for release on July 4, 2012. Characters created by players during open beta were carried over to the live servers.
EPISODE2 of Phantasy Star Online 2 launched on July 17, 2013, which introduced the new Dewman race and the Braver class. EPISODE3 launched on August 27, 2014, which introduced the new Bouncer class and Casino, new skills for every class, new items, a new planet, and new quests. Reborn:EPISODE4 was released on January 27, 2016, and the main theme was revealed to be ‘new experience’. It introduced even more advanced customization features, a new planet (Earth), and the brand-new Summoner class.
The game was launched in Japan on July 3, 2012. The game was free to download and free-to-play, with an optional real money to in-game currency feature known as the “ARKS Cash” system. Sega also has released a retail version of the game on September 13, 2012 along with an installation disc bundled with extra bonuses and in-game items.
Southeast Asia release Asiasoft, an MMORPG publisher released Phantasy Star Online 2 in Southeast Asia. The game was fully translated to English with huge changes to its menu, items and classes name. This is mainly to make the game much easier to understand for newcomers to the series. They also released a Thai language version of the game for Thailand players only. The closed beta for it began on April 10, 2014, with the official launch on May 29, 2014. Asiasoft announced they would also distribute Episode 2, which was released on March 5, 2015.
However On April 5, 2017, Asiasoft announced they would end servicing Phantasy Star Online 2 to Southeast Asia countries on May 26, 2017.
There’s also a Chinese version released in Taiwan, which also lasted 3 years before the server closed in early 2017.
Western release On July 9, 2012 SEGA announced plans to release the game in the west as early as 2013, and English players were given a teaser of an English version of the game during the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Washington on August 31, 2012. However, the game was delayed until further notice.
The western release may have been cancelled in the later half of 2013. In November 2017, the English website for the game was taken down.
An anime adaptation based on the game aired on TBS in 2016. The adaptation was directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi at studio Telecom Animation Film, with scripts written by Mitsutaka Hirota and music written by Takashi Ohmama.
The opening theme is “Zessei Stargate” (絶世スターゲイト; Matchless Stargate) by Shouta Aoi, with the ending theme is performed by Ayaka Suwa and M.A.O.
The anime was licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America, and was simulcast by Crunchyroll.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Anime television series
Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation
Hideki Uchino, Mei Yoshikawa, Yasuhiro Yamaguchi
Telecom Animation Film
TBS, CBC, MBS, BS-TBS, Anime Network
January 7, 2016 –March 31, 2016
Registered users for the game exceeded 2.5 million in March 2013. By August 2015, the game had over 3.5 million registered users. As of September 2016, the game has over 4.5 million users. Sega confirmed in 2018 that the PlayStation Vita version has sold over 1.5 Million copies.
Famitsu gave the game a score of 33 out of 40. The game won the Rookie of the Year 2012 WebMoney Award.
Legacy Sega released Phantasy Star Nova in 2014. The game shares similar elements to and is set in the same world as Phantasy Star Online 2, and is also part of the Online series. However, unlike Phantasy Star Online 2, Photon is not present in the game.
The Phantasy Star Online 2 Side Story will begin novelisation on June 15, 2014