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Phantasy Star Online / Score: 9.5
Published by Sega and Developed by Sonic Team

Ah, Phantasy Star Online. The first online RPG for a console. And what a great one.

Phantasy Star Online was originally released in January 2001. It brought the world of, you guessed it, Phantasy Star online and did it successfully -- for the most part.

Graphics
PSO (this is what I'll be calling Phantasy Star Online from now on in this review)'s graphics, for when the game was originally released, are pretty good. The characters themselves look nice although the areas have some draw-in and pop-up and the textures could be better. Magic, like fire or lightning, you can cast look good.

Gameplay
Offline play
Offline play is pretty much in the game as an option for a few things: to prepare yourself for online play/to level up and to play the offline quests to acquire some items and weapons you probably wouldn't be able to acquire.

Online play
The game is called Phantasy Star Online for a reason. If you get this game you are probably going to invest most of your time online (note: you can no longer play the U.S. version online, so if you want to play this game online with your Dreamcast you should get the Japan or European version). Once you log on to the PSO servers you are transported into the lobby you selected and can chat with the people who are there and team up to go to Ragol or you can just join a team by yourself by talking to one of the people behind the counter.

Once you get to Pioneer 2, there's some stuff to do there. You can go to Ragol, go to the shops to buy stuff, go to the principal's office, or go to the hospital and heal yourself.

Sound
Sonic Team's games usually have good/great music and PSO is no exception. From the moment you go to the title screen to the final boss, the music in this game is great and fits this game perfectly.

Replay Value
If you plan to play this game only offline, you won't get much replay value, but if you plan on playing this game online a lot, the replay value is through the roof. Sure, there aren't a lot of areas to explore, but the ability to chat and meet with so many different people is great.

The Final Word
PSO is a great game -- if you plan on playing it online a lot. If you don't have access to the internet (obviously you do if are reading this) or just aren't an online gamer, don't get this. PSO's main draw is its online play and only those who play online will be able to enjoy it the most.

-- MajorLocke