noiseredux vs.

Posted on Mar 27th 2013 at 09:12:10 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Dreamcast

Hi. My name's noise. And I'm a PSO addict.

I'll be completely honest here: I never thought I'd see the allure of Phantasy Star Online. In the past I'd heard fellow gamers refer to the game as "video game crack," in which every session left you wanting just a tiny taste more. But to me it just sounded pretty unappealing. For one thing I'm not a fan of extremely long games. So something like PSO with its online world which makes it something of a never-ending game was a turn-off. I'm also not all that interested in hack-n-slash battle systems within RPG settings. Nor have I ever found myself drawn to games that focus on hoarding loot. So while I was certainly a fan of the Phantasy Star brand, I just couldn't see myself interested in an MMO.

But one night several months ago while browsing the Dreamcast-Talk forums I thought it might be fun to get my console online and test it out with PSO. After spending some time Googling for free dial-up ISP's in my area, I was able to configure my conole's modem and get connected to the Sylverant private server. Of course I had never played Phantasy Star Online before, so once connected I hadn't the foggiest clue what I was supposed to be doing. So I just sort of walked around and marveled at the excellent graphics and music.

And then soon enough I noticed two characters just standing and talking to each other. Right away I realized that I was seeing actual players since everything they were saying was being typed into word-bubbles above their heads. I admit that for a moment I was severely intimidated. But i approached, introduced myself and warned them that I was a total n00b. "Wait... right now is your first time playing PSO? You mean, like ever?" And these guys were nice enough to then spend the next hour or so giving me a crash-course in the basics. They had my back with monomates to heal me and watched me hit level 2 while playing the game online.

All in all the experience was fun, but I knew I'd need to spend some time offline with the game to really grasp how things worked and try to get myself to at least a respectable level before attempting to seriously play online. So basically the game sat untouched on my shelf for the next several months. Sure I had a good time messing around with it online that night, but it would be a serious committment to play a game so demanding. Hell, you can't even pause PSO!

A few months later we got hit with a pretty impressive snow storm, and I found myself with one of those lazy snow days that gives you an excuse to dive into a game you normally wouldn't have the time for. Immediately I thought of PSO and popped in my copy. The version of I've been playing by the way is Ver. 2, which is (as I understand it) the same exact game as the original Dreamcast release, but with some bug-fixes and some additional quests.

And so I spent that afternoon going back and forth between shoveling and and exploring  Ragol. At first my progress seemed slow and I'd find myself consulting the manual often to try to figure out what all the buttons did and what my objectives were to begin with. But once the ball started rolling I was making my way through quests and getting myself familiar with the Forest and genuinely having a great time to my own surprise. In fact I was having so much fun with the game that as my wife and I packed up all of our belongings to prepare to move into our new house, I spent most of February with Phantasy Star Online being one of only two games I left accessible (the other being Sega Smash Pack).

Which reminds me, I should take a moment to point out that over the months I've spent with PSO, it became a big enough part of my gaming habits to actually justify some further purchases. Perhaps the most obvious is the official Versus Books strategy guide. This book is definitely very handy to have around for reference on such confusing matters such as what to feed your Mag, and of course maps are excellent to have around if you don't want to tie up a big chunk of your screen with the in-game map. PSO also make my decision to obtain a large lot consisting of both the Dreamcast VGA box and Broadband Adapter a much easier one to make. Let me just say that this game looks stunning in VGA mode (though in fairness, so don't most Dreamcast games that take advantage). And although I haven't had the time to hook up the pricey BBA yet, it's certainly nice to have the option to do so.

At any rate, I'm currently making my way through The Mines. I'm now at level 19, and have put about just as many hours into the game. And yet my addiction shows no signs of slowing down. Perhaps the absolute sickest part of it is that I keep thinking that once I get through Offline Mode, I can actually start to play Online. And hey, perhaps I can start a second character when I pick up a copy of Ver. 1...

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Awesome dude!  Excited to join you...someday.
PSO is always a blast. I've put in over 100 hours in both online and offline over the past 6 months. There's just something about hunting those red boxes that keeps me coming back. That, and finally being able to play online really opened things up for me.
anyone try Dreamcast with an Ethernet adapter?
Oh, memories.  I was able to play ver.1 on release, and three good buddies and I played it so, so much.  We used it to keep in touch years later after moving, and it will always have a special place in my gaming history.  Definitely one of those 'Sega' games you either 'got' or you didn't.  I sure did.  When people talk about how Sega isn't what it used to be, this is what I miss, although the entire Dreamcast experience fits that bill.  Lots of great memories tied up in that system, but PSO really encapsulates it.

Picked up several reiterations since then, but for whatever reasons, nothing grabbed me past this one.
Dunno how it works but i know there are ways to play your "legacy" systems online still Wink
Maybe i should have finished reading before posting huh...
Wow, just a fantastic game. I picked this up back when it came out, and grabbed a BBA as soon as I could get cable internet years ago. It was really great playing back then, and I'm not terribly surprised to see people still playing now. So many hours spent, but really great.

I played a lot of the Xbox version as well. Voice chat really made it my favorite version, and I still have the Xbox USB keyboard adapter for it.
A really awesome game, an all time favourite. Way ahead of it's time too. Not only for the online but I also remember downloading additional missions from the net onto my VMU for it.
Where's our resident PSO addict OatBob on this one? Surprises me he hasn't chimed in on it.
He didnt do a collection post last month either I dont think  ...hope he's ok.
He's around - he's been playing Steel Battalion.
Played a massive amount of v.1 back in the day, but never got along to v.2.  Maybe I should hunt it down.
Cobra, never change your avatar.  I read everything you say in Ghost's voice now.
Turn n burn, Dogmeat.
@wildbil52 Challenge accepted!

I suppose this is a good time to post this.
@Shadow Kisuragi:I think Captain Nintendo played waaaay more PSO then OatBob Tongue

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