Hi all my digital readers! Last time we checked into Phantasy Star Online 2 I was doing the evolving review as of levels 1-10. Now, I have reached 20 and have more to share! I gave this game a 4.5/5 points based on levels 1-10. It was fun, well customized, and great user interface. Now that I pushed into the next 10 levels, will this score lower, raise, or stay the same? Read on!
I mentioned in my last review, that I was distracted by so many featured content, side quests, and over all immersion of the game that I did not level up as fast as I could have. And that is a good thing. Letting the game sink in is natural. It just pricks enough curiosity and ease to get involved in it's features that I actually forget what level I am! Nor do I really care what level other people are. I enjoy that in games. It is a sign of good design. Some games try to do this but they fail by making a "everyone is equal" approach. Either we all look basically the same (Like in RIFT) where we have to walk up and inspect others to see how "good" they are. Or they physically dumb us down or the environment to get everyone on that "your on board" train (Guild wars 2 content). This game does not have to do either of that. I could easily hop into a quest with myself, or with some one my level or 10 levels above me and the missions will play out generally balanced. Everyone is respectively rewarded and progression always is reflected through good customization. Mix in the dynamic events and story and it just continues to entertain me.
(I wish this story picked up more....maybe later)
My only sting so far has been, what seems to be, the first F2P limit. My personal housing only has 5 slots. And that means I can not decorate with items that have 10 slot rating etc.. It is not a set back really, just a "awww". Moment. But I am not far enough either to know if some free upgrades drop. As it is, I have allot of cash shop items given for free as I level up. (exp boosts, etc.). I also have no idea how crafting works. It is not as easy to navigate as the other features are. I figured out, in a two click process, how to use the weapon upgrading, the attribute buffing, and all the tinkering in armor. But am totally lost in the crafting. Admitadly, I have not done external research, so I will be doing that in the next article. Also, nothing really has dropped. I have looked over the items in the recepies, and none of those items exist in the maps I have explored. So I am hoping this is something that will open up as I level up since I am still a fresh noob.
(HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT USA MARKETS ARE IN THE GAME, BUT THE GAME IS NOT IN USA MARKET? Biggest fail ever)
I Also complained last article I passed 10 levels with just the grass maps and would have liked a new map. I did unlock the caves. This was a treat and played very different. I Also spent most of my time in the caves and returning to the grass land to do allot of the lower mission requests such as finding flowers for the doctor, etc... But, as I hit the last levels of 19-20, I have now unlocked a cool map that has robots and future city lay out, and I also have unlocked a beach tropical island area. These will be in the next review since I have not step foot in these areas. I will say, the caves were different in the geographical lay out. Allot more terrain to hop over, ledges to climb up. More space to hide treasure. ALLOT more traps. Jets of flame that shoot up from the floor. If you get hit, you are thrown back and sometimes tossed into lava pools taking lots of damage. Rocks fall randomly and can crush you. Doors lock and to unlock them you have to do these mini events like clear out the next wave of 10 enemies or find the keys pinged on your mini map. This also gives exp and other small rewards. All of this...on one new map keeps this game so addictive and alive.
(Creepy NPC friends)
The biggest change is the boss encounters. In the grass lands, they were just a new mob. For example, in Map 1 you fight a wild wolf like boss. Map 2 the regular mobs are now the wolfs, like a respawn using the same skin with a a rock beast as a boss. Map 3 all regular mobs are the bosses just "nerfed". Then you have the open field quest that has ALL the mobs and bosses you ever encountered in the grass themed maps, with one special giant "Rockbear" boss. The caves now introduce in the regular maps, a new boss. A earth dragon of sorts. He has no wings, just a big scaly body and dragon head, and short feet, like a giant lizard. He digs, snaps, stomps, swings tail. The battle is pretty dynamic, and he buries himself and comes back randomly at times. Now, in the "open field" map (the collection of all mobs in cave type), there is a new boss! An actual dragon type. He flies, shoots fire, stomps, swings tail, snaps, causes hot spots to erupt, shoots line of fire, goes underground, and is just over all an epic dragon. And the fight has changed! You really have to adapt to the battle. This is just the second battle and I am in an epic dragon fight! Japanese games really know how to deliver on the dragon fights! I have played Dragons nest, I spent spent 40+ levels and NEVER SAW A DRAGON! (lots of bulls, ghosts, etc...).
In fact, the last dragon I ever battled was Onyxia in Vanilla WoW days. Allot of games really do not like to have epic dragon battles unless it is reserved for end game dungeons (or Dragons prophet, but that is a given). PSO2 really took me back with this gift! A dragon...and a well executed DRAGON FIGHT! Not just stand there and spam skills. YOu have to be on your toes, learn his method, and dodge, slice, dodge, jump, run, etc.. to victory! It is rewarding. It feels good!
In fact, I died at least 3 times. I had to level up, come back, learn the pattern (I also brought another player, 5 levels lower than me) and we enjoyed victory! Killing this dragon unlocked the next missions and maps for me. I was expecting that the story on the ground spider alien creatures would be exploited before dragons were. In fact, I had no clue or see it coming! But once experienced, I can sum up level 16-20 as: "Dragon slayer"! Pretty cool and this game just won me over a little more there!
We had an event I could participate it. It was amazing! It was a huge EXP and equipment burst. I really enjoyed it. It did take help of other players otherwise these events are generally pretty hard and geared for group effort. But, as I have mentioned in last article, the group options are very strong so you are never alone.
(Dead. Like a noob. And I have to go back to the start unless I have a cash shop doll to rez on the spot. I have One free in a gift. PArticipate in events, get cash shop gifts. This game won't let you down...Just don't die. hehehe!)
One last thing that I did not like was the lack of story not picking up too much. We have my main purpose, an Ark member exploring worlds for research and defense. I discover the spider alien race like creatures. The NPCS talk about it, and we have cut scenes and lots of build up...but I have not really seen much else so far (but I am young still). As I move along, there is more emphasis on other quest types and an over all "brooding menace" is not felt. This helps prevent things seem less "linear" I Guess, but they can do perhaps, "Adventure packs", where a certain force seems dominate, and actually poses a felt threat. I guess what I want is some one to taunt me or attempt to manipulate me from my Arks loyalty. Like a queen spider trying to tell me they are good and we do not understand hive mind behavior, and I meet certain pies or fight off certain bosses.
Conclusion: Admittedly, I do not have allot to report in this review. My skill tree is pretty straight forward. I am building in HP and attack. I have not multi-classed yet. I am enjoying the grass and cave maps, and as of this writing, JUST took down the last cave map dragon. So now I have new maps and things to go explore soon. I have a whole new weapons rotation and look thanks to customization and upgrades (and a few armor pieces). I am still very entertained. Enjoying the dragon fighter touch I just explored. Enjoying the flow of quests and tasks I am finishing. Enjoying it all still very much. I REALLY enjoy things, like that live concert, and other "you are an Ark, your life means something" elements the game carves out. But it seems a little light handed so far after 20 levels. It could go deeper... And for that, it is not the PERFECT game yet. It still holds me very captivated at score of 4.5/5.
What will levels 20-30 bring? Will the game stay the same score? Fall or rise in score? Stay tuned! for my next PSO2 article to find out!
And here are some players in game I found to be interesting: