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Monday Links: Bartman’s Phantasy Star Online 1 Check-In Edition


Oh dear, I got stuck with the Monday Links this week. You know that new Sonic game that everyone is talking about? Yes. No? Well, theres still not much to talk about, or Sonic Boom, or much of anything Sonic lately, and you probably don’t want to talk about sports either. In fact I’ve been busy messing around Phantasy Star Online despite being over 14 years too late, and I haven’t moved on to Phantasy Star Online 2. Why? It was something I had missed out on when it came out for the Drreamcast and Gamecube. Since I had broadband adapters for each, and my curiosity in private servers piqued, I wanted to take a look to see what I had missed.

The game’s aesthetics and gameplay structure were the main reason for me wanting to look back at this outdated RPG, because it used a theme thoat most RPGs have not tried to work with, and most would follow the large, open world that World of Warcraft popularized. In fact several of them had an identity crisis to the point that you’d think the developers just wanted to get away with making World of Warcraft. But not Phantasy Star Online, a game that took Sega’s established RPG series and not only gave it a multiplayer component but emphasized real-time action where you are actively engaged in battle, and avoiding damage and looking for enemy weakpoints requires creative strategy. This is probably the best non-Sonic game from Sonic Team, at least in my eyes. You’re still not going to be won over by the story, and it is absolutely difficult for newcomers to find others to play with online, but it certainly reached a technical marvel and helped kickstart a genre to what was popularized by its successors. Theres also fun to be had by playing the game Single Player, but the social element definitely makes up half the game through social interaction, item trading, and planning with your teammates on what to do.

My only handicap that I am personally following is to play this game as blind as possible. I’m not going to bother with item duping, I know Force classes are utterly broken, and I don’t want to consult a wiki to generate the best possible outcome for my character(s). I want to try to match my experience with the game similar to how others played the game back when it came out. Its incredible how the evolution of game design and social interaction has changed the way we play the game, and for a game like Phantasy Star Online, the experience does not match with a modern massive multiplayer environment. But to get the most out of the game, its best to look at why the game had it’s strengths in the first place. Its not entirely possible, and I do want to try and avoid the technical hurdles the game has, because there’s nothing quite like it out there. I want to see about doing an annual check in with the game as well as have more video podcasts with people who played the game before sharing their experiences. Because honestly? I truly regret letting it pass by me, even with the paid subscription fees involved.

Now, lets take a look at the headlines for Monday.

Retro/Bits News

Sonic/SEGA Stuff

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Community, Game News, Game Secrets, Interviews, Podcasts, Sega Consoles, Sega Retro, Site News

Monday Links: Bringing in the New Year Edition

It’s New Year’s Eve. Not exactly a whole lot going on in terms of video games, Sega or Sonic the Hedgehog even. But hey, the world hasn’t ended yet! This year certainly has been full of surprises for everyone, including us here at Sonic & Sega Retro. We hope to see you in the new year. In the meantime, there’s still plenty to go around in terms of news and whats happening.





Sonic Retro News

  • Another Christmas with Sonic arrives after Christmas. It’s not 2013 yet, so there is still time for some holiday cheer. [Youtube]
  • Project AXSX is giving a New Year update on their progress. [Youtube]
  • Say that stream featuring the Unleashed-to-Generations mod was pretty keen last week. It’s all there, Wireheads and Magic Knights and all on our account. [Twitch]

Sonic/SEGA News

  • Now we know who to blame for why the Game Grumps are playing through Sonic 06. This remix of them thinking about playing it is a great idea. [Youtube]
  • 8-4 Play’s Podcast interviews programmer Gregg Tavares about his life and times working at various companies, including his time at SEGA, working conditions, Zombie Revenge and more. [Giant Bomb Presents 8-4 Play]
  • The GameCube and Wii emulator, Dolphin, has updated to include GCN Broadband adapter support. Besides enabling LAN play for Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, 1080 Avalanche and Kirby Air Ride, this includes support for playing Phantasy Star Onine Episode 1 & 2 and Episode 3 C.A.R.D. Revolution. There are still active homebrew servers available and are fully functional for both players emulating through Dolphin or playing on actual GameCube units. This is true cross-platform play. [Emulation]
  • Do you still not have Sonic Generations on Steam? GreenManGaming has it for 75% off. You can then take 30% off that price with this code:  GMG30-DPLIM-DN831 [GreenManGaming]
  • Voice acting is the most important element of game design. Jason Griffith plays a character in the latest entry of the multi-award million dollar selling military shooter. [Modern Combat]