shark week, all week
Depth is one of the best games you may have never heard of, and we've gone hands-on with it and had a chance to chat to the team behind it. Check out both features!
inquiring minds
We chat with friend of the site Cameron Lee about Dragon Age Inquisition's endgame content, theorycrafting, tactical play and much more. Click here for our interview!
welcome to you're doom
AusGamers got a 15-minute live sneak-peek at the totally reimagined Doom at this year's QuakeCon. Read our in-depth first-look impressions right here!
highway to the danger zone
We caught up with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's game director, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, to talk all things Witcher, monsters and open-world! Click here!
AusGamers Games
Phantasy Star Portable 2
Phantasy Star Portable 2

PlayStation Portable
Genre: Role Playing Players: 1 to 0
Developer: Sega
Publisher: SEGA Classification: M15+
Release Date:
September 2010
Phantasy Star Portable 2 Review
Review By @ 05:14pm 27/09/10
In the future, Windex is the most plentiful substance in the universe. From the massive space stations of the Gurhal star system, to the darkest alien ruins of its untamed worlds, every surface sparkles, as though scrubbed twice daily by an unseen army of scutters. It's the perfect setting for a sterile and generic role-playing extravaganza, where gamers can vicariously live out their interstellar destinies via minion-blasting, stat-grinding, and interior decorating. Yes, as action/adventure games go, Phantasy Star Portable 2 is about as Japanese as it gets — in both the best and worst senses of the word...

As a newly minted mercenary in this fantastical sci-fi universe, you can choose to be one of four fantasy races: Human, Newman (space elves), Cast (robots), or Beast (furries). The first leads itself to a balanced play style, the rest favour spells, ranged weapons, and close combat, respectively. The rest of the game plays out as an exercise in upgrading gear and grinding stats, which you achieve by scouring space dungeons and slaying space monsters. If you can figure out their simple attack patterns, then there's little to stand between you and their space chests full of space loot, bar the occasional locked door that requires a colour-coded key to open. The average gamer will be able to cruise through on auto-pilot.

There's a story, of sorts, too. The single player mode has a threadbare plot that you can unravel by completing missions for the 'Little Wing' space mercenary company. This involves clicking through pages of text while looking at static portraits of outlandish characters that look like they were laughed out of Second Life.

The game designers at Alfa System clearly made Phantasy Star Portable 2 with the Japanese market in mind, assuming that anyone who bought it would have scores of PSP-owning play-mates at their fingertips. The problem is that the typical Aussie PSP-owner plays alone. The games he buys must justify their existence through compelling single-player modes. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and Valkyria Chronicles II were made with co-op in mind, yet still excel in solo play. Phantasy Star Portable 2 fails to pull off the same feat.

What's the point of tastefully outfitting your space quarters and hosting imaginary space-tea parties if no-one ever shows up? Why spend two hours customising the pitch of your voice bank and the neon colours of your hair if no-one is ever going to see? Take away these trappings, and all you're left with is the gameplay, which just doesn't stand up on its own. One could generously call the combat 'straightforward' and 'accessible,' though it would be fairer to say it's 'dated' and 'boring.'

The presentation is slick, the interface is smooth, and the multiplayer options are comprehensive... but none of that matters. This game is designed to be played with your friends. And chances are, they won't want to.
Snazzy graphics squeeze every last drop of power from the hardware
Comprehensive battery of co-op and vs. Modes, both ad-hoc and infrastructure
Stacks of customisation options, zillions of rayguns to collect
Sweeping orchestral score complemented by whimsical 70s flute solos
Combat is simplistic and repetitive
Single player mode is uncompelling
Goofy plot, garish characters
Lots of loading screens
Latest Comments
No comments currently exist. Be the first to comment!
Commenting has been locked for this item.
Log In

Advertise with Us | Download Media Kit | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
© Copyright 2001-2014 AusGamers™ Pty Ltd. ACN 093 772 242.
A Mammoth Media web development / Australian VPS Hosting by Mammoth Networks