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Preview: Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis Shows Promise

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The Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis closed beta test was recently made available in Japan, and Siliconera had a chance to explore what the upcoming MMORPG had to offer. Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is something of a sequel to Phantasy Star Online 2, boasting a new story and environments for players to discover. However, immediately I was given the feeling that it might have been better billed as an expansion to the already established MMORPG. A lot of the systems are mostly the same, with combat being a bit more refined this time around. That being said, action still feels tight and stylish.

Editor’s Note: Kazuma’s impressions are based off of the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis beta test, not the final version of the game, and as such will not talk extensively about any bugs encountered.

I primarily spent time in the closed beta test with the Gunner class, unable to resist the temptation of jumping and blasting around the field at quick intervals. This class suited my playstyle perfectly, in that it was agile and allowed me to effortlessly look cool. The skills available during the closed beta test were limited, but that didn’t mean that I was unable to work around what was given to me.

During the early hours of Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, I spent time doing fetch quests that taught me the fundamentals of the game as I explored beautiful environments. The various locales managed to impress me, even with my ten plus years of MMORPG experience and having dabbled in just about anything released to Japan and the West within the past decade. I found the first area particularly striking, with its dark forests and neon blue backdrops, thanks to its moody atmosphere and jagged enemy designs. My first quests kept me mostly confined to this area, where I would kill enemies and progress the quests assigned to me.

However, what I enjoyed most about the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis closed beta was the ability to actually take down enemies much higher level than myself. For example, I ran into a level 10 enemy in the first area. In other MMORPGs, that would have meant certain death. Here, I was able to strafe around the area and remain just out of reach for the most part, all while gathering up healing charges from draw points found in the environment and whittling away its health. It took awhile, but I was able to defeat it with patience and skill. It reminded me a lot of my time spent with MMORPGs like Tera and Blade & Soul, which are arguably more action focused. This made me excited at the possibility of challenging myself with future content in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Closed Beta Test

That being said, the targeting system in the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis closed beta test was a bit erratic. Players lock on to targets based on how they position their camera, which can result in drawing unwanted attention from nearby enemies. This happened to me a few times, but I was able to walk away mostly unscathed due to the tactics I employed earlier. I cannot comment on the party matching systems, since I was not able to access this feature during my experiences.

Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis also ran surprisingly well on my gaming laptop. Previously, Sega released information about the closed beta test that stated this period would be accessible for players running on lower end PCs. I was skeptical at first, but I was pleased to see that I could run it without any major lag while playing. Transitioning between areas did take a bit of time, roughly thirty to forty seconds between teleporting, which may be an issue for some players.

Additionally, the character creator mostly remained unchanged. Players can modify their characters within the constraints of the character creator. However, players can still pick body and head options separately from one another, which is nice to see. That being said, changing or modifying features of your character’s face were fairly limited in the closed beta. You could adjust certain features using a scale system that didn’t allow for free placement or adjustment. Minor details could be changed, which is nice. This may change with the full release of the game, as some options that could have been available were greyed out.

All in all, I had fun with the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis closed beta test and it makes me hopeful for what the full release will have in store. I still feel as though there isn’t enough to actually differentiate it from Phantasy Star Online 2 yet after a the time I spent playing the game, but it is an early build. Either way, I’m still excited to see what the full release will bring and what other reveals Sega has in store before the full release.

PC Specs

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-9500 cpu @ 2.4 GHZ
  • RAM: 8.00
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will release for the Nintendo Switch, PC, and PlayStation 4 sometime in 2021.

Kazuma Hashimoto
Translator and streamer, Kazuma spends his time playing a variety of games ranging from farming simulators to classic CRPGs.