Ahoy Captain Cats here and today we are going to look at a landmark game that changed the video game industry and the way we play video games as a whole and often tends to be forgotten and that game is Phantasy Star Online.
The game was developed in-house by Sega during the late ’90s and the in-house team that was responsible was none other than Sonic Team who just finish finished releasing Sonic Adventure in 1998, ChuChu Rocket in 1999 and Samba de Amigo in 1999 for arcades and in 2000 for the Sega Dreamcast. The team used what they learned from ChuChu Rocket, which was the Sega Dreamcast’s first online game and took some inspiration from Blizzard action RPG game Diablo, and thus Phantasy Star Online or PSO for short was born.
The game was released on December 20, 2000, in Japan and became a hit. Both North America and Europe would have a release date in 2001 and the game was also a success in both regions as well. PSO would be the first online RPG console game in the world and its success change the way people look at console gaming. While the game was a success it also did have its problems with server issues and players exploiting glitches and bugs and of course cheating.
The gameplay and music for the game were ahead of it’s time when the game was released, the story was a love letter of fans of the first four Phantasy Star games that were released back on the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive system back in the 16-bit era. After almost 10 years of PSO release, Sega released PSO2 back in 2012 in Japan only until May of this year for the rest of the world. PSO 2 took everything that made the original so special and turn it up to 100. Here is to you PSO and thank you for creating so many good memories and changing the way we play games today.