Phantasy Star III2K: This RPG Maker Remake Is Better Than The Original In A Few Ways

While poking around over on RPGmaker.net the other day looking for smaller games to download for my weekly feature on Random Indie Games, I stumbled upon this pretty interesting fan-made remake of what some call the “black sheep” of Sega’s Phantasy Star series. Programmed by Lys86 (who also made A Blurred Line, one of my old favorite RPGM games), this version keeps the same story as the original, but adds in a ton of new dialog (with a nice sense of humor in spots where its needed) and a completely reworked battle system that takes a bit of getting used to. Like the original game, there’s still¬† the need to grind quite a bit before you can fetch Nei from her waiting spot in the forest, then grind some more before tackling the desert area and so forth and so on. But I rather like the mix of enemy sprites based on the original, redesigned maps (some with fun puzzles added) and completely different RTP backgrounds.

The game also adds collecting creature parts, plants, relics and other items which can be traded for Meseta or cool gear, trainers for certain character skills and lots more that make it a lot less dry than the game it’s based on.¬† Visually, as this one’s a bit long in the tooth, it hasn’t aged all that well, but still gets the job done. While it’s not perfect and you may find a minor bug here and there that can take you out of the fun for a tiny bit, this is one of those games that will make you appreciate the third installment all the more because it manages to be quite enjoyable while hitting all the right nostalgic marks. It’s too bad Sega isn’t planning to revisit the older PS games any time soon, as I’d actually love to see Lys’ beefed up translation get the nod as an “official” rewrite of the game’s story. I’ve still got a ways to go before I’m done with this one, but from what I’ve played thus far, the game kept my smiling away and reminiscing for a bit. Give this one a look and definitely a play if you’re a Phantasy Star fan looking for a new take on an old friend…

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2 thoughts on “Phantasy Star III2K: This RPG Maker Remake Is Better Than The Original In A Few Ways

  1. Very interesting. I checked out the site and it’s hard to get an idea of what this game is all about. I downloaded it but it would not run. Something about ‘Runtime Package is not present’. Do I also have to install RGP Maker to make it go?
    I also searched for screen shot and youtube video but came up blank.
    Did you beat this one yet? Was it worth playing through?
    Thanks for the heads-up on this! :)

    • Gah – my long(er)-winded answer got eaten before I could post it! Anyway, oops! You do need the RPG Maker 2003 RTP to play that game as well as other games made using that program (RPG MAker 2000, 2003, XP, VX and VX Ace are the ones most commonly used).

      Get the 2003 RTP here: http://2drpg.com/2003.php or here: http://crankeye.com/?page=downloads – install it and place PSIII2K into the folder. Check the forum post for which file or files to drop in to the Chara folder from the assets included in the RTP (if needed) and you’re good to go.

      I got up to the part where you battle a certain party member, but I stopped playing because I got busy with some freelance stuff and other games piling up. Save often, as this one’s hard from the start, especially if you walk too far in certain directions early on.

      I will warn you to take the three weighted treasure chests from one early dungeon with you after you solve the puzzle – you’ll need them in a later area (and backtracking all the way back at that point is a pain).

      The game is interesting for the new content, map layouts, puzzle elements and lots of other tweaks. There’s a weird magic system and a level cap that I think may lift later in the game, but I need to dive back into this and see how the rest plays out.

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