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Phantasy Star Online 2 Vita Info (Or Why the 3G Vita Was Worth it)
I was an early adopter (as always, I need to stop doing that) and picked up the First Edition Bundle for the Vita. Thanks to that, my Vita is able to connect through 3G for rudimentary tasks like web browsing, near, and Facebook. The 20 megabyte download cap and limitation on online gameplay through 3G has brought its feature into a lot doubt and scrutinizing. Most are wondering why Sony would include such a feature if it would be this limiting. However, some news broke out a couple days ago about a game called Phantasy Star Online 2 being able to connect through 3G and play online.
Let me start by saying, Phantasy Star Online (PSO) is my favorite game ever. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I sunk into my Gamecube thanks to that game. I still play it to this day on my still chugging ‘Cube and on a server with Blue Burst (PC version). I was very upset to see the direction the series took with Phantasy Star Universe (PSU). It didn’t feel the same at all with too much emphasis on a bad story and below average characters. PSO made you create a character and have at it with missions and general dungeon crawling. I argue that PSO was the best 3D Diablo I ever played. The lootfest that game was is pure addiction (especially when the rare “red boxes” popped up!). With its simple nature and increasing difficulty of its levels, PSO was a huge win and has gathered quite the audience over in Japan and a niche yet steady one everywhere else. There are still hundreds that play on Blue Burst with countless others still popping in the discs on Dreamcast, Xbox, and Gamecube. You can’t even buy a copy of PSO+ (Plus edition with more quests and content) online without spending an arm and a leg.
When Sega announced that PSO2 was finally a reality, fans were more than ecstatic. With many new upgrades to the system like jumping, stamina, combo system, more customization, and grapples Sega has put a lot of work into upgrading the PSO experience rather than take PSU and give it the old school feel. The game has had many trailers and concept images released but some of the most upsetting news is that as or right now the game is PC-only and Japan-only. The PC news doesn’t upset me much as I found Blue Burst to be the best version of PSO. However, if I don’t get my PSO2 over here in the States, I may have to take a trip to Sega HQ and cry on their doorstep.
Some PSO fan sites have found files that show possible English localization like menus and whatnot but as of right now it is all speculation.
Back to the issue at hand, though! Phantasy Star Online 2 has been announced for Vita and just recently some info broke about this version. The Vita will get the same version as the PC with patches and updates coming regularly to keep the two platforms as close as possible. With early testing, Sega is looking to keep the two platforms eligible for cross-platform party play. That means you’ll be able to tackle missions with your PC friends should you want the more portable version of PSO2. If early testing proves too difficult, the feature may be lost so try not to get too excited about that just yet. Also, the game will be online-only just like its PC counterpart with all the security for servers and character data protected the same way. Your characters and progress will be saved on Sega’s servers. This is where the 3G comes in. Sega announced that players will be able to play the game via Wi-Fi and 3G, although they mention that 3G will connect a bit differently. No idea what that means but the news about an online-heavy game being able to use 3G connection to play is great for the future of the Vita.
As long as the online will connect here in the States (or anywhere that isn’t Japan), PSO2 will play on any Vita. If this game comes out over in the East before any news of an English version, I know for a fact I’ll be importing it. Hell, I’ll be importing it anyway.