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  • Birthday:August 06,1981
  • Location: France

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Hello all Mmositers, visitors, and all other creatures! Last I left you in Phantasy Star 2 Online we had discussed a few menu systems and general game play through a few starter maps I had unlocked. This article will cover the next 5 levels from where we left off up to level 25. We will discuss upgrading armor, crafting, pay options, guild features, and the evolution of character progress into level 25. I will also give a score of this experience. Last time I gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5. Will this level bracket hold the same score experience? Drop? Raise? Read on!

In my last article I wrote about how the game through level 20 took a "dragon slayer" turn as I grew out of killing little mobs, mini bosses, and bosses and moved on to full on dragon encounters! This was very welcome change and made the game just feel epic and engaging early on as opposed to waiting for end game for a real dragon encounter like most games have. Gaining just five more levels turned into, yet again, a whome new gaming experience! What a treat! Before we delve into the goods, let's talk maps. Mentioned in my last article, I did not rush through maps but replayed them several times, so for me, level 25, I am still doing some level 21 maps, and slowly moving ahead. But I went from 5 maps to 14! So I did advance a little bit! I have unlocked desert maps and beautiful ocean maps. This lead to more mob variety, and most important boss encounters!

I also have been moving across the achievements and unlocking progression points and some goodies. My biggest complaint at this point is two fold. 1) The achievements are not TOO rewarding and although I get a stamp in the achievement book. I would like maybe a little more compensation or "You unlocked level 20 achievements" fashion. Otherwise it is feeling hollow and just "sign in flashy".
2) I would love to have some more interactive story. The recycle of talking to floating markers on the missions to unlock an NPC story is stale and at this point...I just pass them up. The inside NPC's are not as dynamic as I would want them to be. It becomes clear around level 20 that you will be an ordere client slave. Missions come in the form of client orders. You run up to NPC, accept order, get out. Allot of orders are kill X. I really wish there was a quest that pertains to the world / ship I am on and impacts NPC relations. It started off like that in my first character mission. Perhaps it will evolve later on. There are two principle NPC's that give repeatable quests for exp and gold. They refresh every day. The exp is not allot, but a nice stack to the main mission. And a nice little boost to any map type you might be going in. Be sure to pick up quests that compliment your next mission that offer good exp. Sometimes it is not worth it. For example, if I know I heading into the caves, I will skip re taking the "kill 25 X for 500 Exp". 500 does not improve me greatly. I prefer 2000 minimum.


That said the current content is great and the cream of the crop are the
boss fights!



I will refrain from using the bosses proper names because I forgot them. So, to start, I met a beetle boss in the desert maps. This is a great battle. The beetle emerges from the sand and you can take attack it by dodging it's evil mouth and slapping it upside the head. But if you really want the fight to end quickly. Cut down it's arms that pop up in the sand, that will make it expose it's belly, and you can slap that beetle belly for some huge damage. Dead boss. It's special attacks include sucking you in, taking you up in its mouth pincers, Squeezing you, tossing you, the catching you, crushing you more, then slamming you down. Nice huh?

(ROAR! Do beetles roar?)


On your way to this beetle you do have a chance of encountering this giant robot boss. I had no idea what I was running up to. All I know was that there was a giant space ship looking thing that spawned turrets that shot out at us. A few dodges and we destroyed all turrets. Once on the platform of the ship, the ship came alive Transformers style. Totally epic. Totally awesome battle. Strategy included Running to the back to take out the missile launchers that target in on your position. Take out some of the turrets. Jump on the hands, remove the robots arms, avoid mega blasts and giant back hand slaps. Get up on the chest piece, slap the heart. Blow up the ship....yeahhhhhhh. Epic! Better than "Click on spell 1, 2, 3...of all my other mmorpgs! So epic!

(Guns blazing, we dodged our way up to shut them down)

(Things just got serious)

(You can get completely thrown off. These battles are not "take damage stand in place" battles)

(Nothing I can't handle)

not impressed? How about an awesome water dragon fight as you chase it through a water whirl pool on a ships gunning plat form....yeah... that's right! Strategy includes manning guns that have charge rates. Gun down the beasts death bubbles it throws at the party, avoid its super charge blast. Avoid its physical rushes. Shot it! And then use a large electric harpoon, when the charge is up, to hook it is in the face and drag it down on your ships deck. Slap it around a bit for damage, get back on a gunners seat. EPIC!


(Things just got SUPER serious)


(With no previous training. You will learn to survive whatever is thrown at you...)

(Eat turret fire you slug!)

Between missions and bosses, there are also events. This weeks event was a tower defense. There is this single map with about 4 towers, divided by metal grate barrier. The grate and towers are under attack of waves of enemies. About 5 waves. These are mass loot drops. Good to run if you want to get some cash. I went in solo not expecting what to see, and was put automatically in a group. Thankfully they were a good group because it was a pretty intense fight!

(Tower defense. PSO2 style)




Another ship event had something to do with this naked guy...I did not really get into it as most of the quests take place in higher level content. Today the giant human is replaced by a nice cherry blossom tree and hot babes!

(LOL)



I decided to visit my
guilds housing. I was greeted with the typical computer interfaces for storage etc.. A nice little stroll around revealed it is more of a "guild ship" that has landed on a tropical island. In the ship there is a digital tree that gives me damage and exp boosts to take out to missions. There is also a nice hammock to kick back in.



I did dabble into the world of upgrading armor. You add bonus + to your pieces up to +3 without risk. YOu pay the charge and spend about 1 "grinder" (the "gem" that is rewarded for certain maps and boss fights). You have enough to do an entire set up to 3 about 2 times at level 15. Right now I have about 53, and all items +3. +4 Is pretty easy then it gets risky. IF it fails, I am not sure that the item is destroyed...but I am not sure! Must do research before venturing into +5 and beyond.


There is also stat placement. If you want that extra stat boost in attack power or HP you can embed that in certain arms. That takes a different material to complete. I do not dabble to much in this because several pieces I have include special stats from bosses like: "The essence of the dragon"...but sadly, I am not sure what that actually does! ehehe! I also plan on economizing my goods until about level 30 or 35.


Crafting depends on breaking down items to get the required pieces and then collecting a few mob drops. You fuse them together to get the desired crafted material. The blueprints are all pre loaded in the crafting menu. So it is not at all really that deep. There seems to be some pay features to fully exchange items. Speaking of pay features, the auction house is a nice place to get upgrades. Some prices can be high, but if you sold pieces, you would have the cash and help control the economy inflation by putting the same pieces on the market...problem is, the game requires you to PAY REAL CASH to use the auction house to SELL items. You can but items as a F2P player. I really do not like games that do this and this game takes a ding in the score for this.

Conclusion:

In my last review I enjoyed the epic content given early on that did not leave us in a boring grind to reach a certain "content carrot" and then be lead on to the next spot by more grind. It was a natural leveling flow covered by dynamic events. This is no different. In fact, I wanted to wait until level 30 to make a next article but so much had happened and the feel of the game changed from "Dragon Slayer" to "Monster hunter / Transformer killer" that I had to eek out this next article! The good was just that. Content. As much as the missions are dealt out by diverse range of NPCs...They are all turning out to be generally the same pattern: "Go here, kill X". IF there was just a little more impact on these missions than this would feel a little less "plastic". But once in the maps, the boss fights are rewarding. I have also unlcoked the "hard levels" of the maps so there is repeat value. But I am feeling the sting of rinse and repeat content, and of course the quests are turning into "return to X map on hard mode and get 25 X itmes"...not really feeling the importance of want to do that.
The pay to auction house is a huge turn off. The crafting doesn't really pick my interest at all. My personal housing is very limited in space until I pay real cash. Kind of a let down. But at least they left my avatar open to dress up as I want. At a in game coin price of course. Which can get REALLY expensive since supply is smaller than demand due just a few people cashing it. 
I also dropped the music and listen to personal track list as the sounds no longer interest me. 
For that, I drop the score just slightly to 4/5. You entertain me PSO2. You could use some more story love and less "take orders" quest approach and could lose the auction house pay wall. Other that it is a solid dungeon crawler and I am enjoying my progress in the game.
I will see you at the half way to end game mark level 30! Will the score raise, drop, or remain the same? We will see!


Tags:
Phantasy Star Online 2   MMORPG   REVIEW  

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