Retro Exploration: Dreamcast (Part 8: PSO!)

Phantasy Star Online & Phantasy Star Online Version 2 are for a lot of Dreamcast fans, the crown jewel on the late console, even eclipsing Yu Suzuki’s flawed epic, Shenmue. Combining a solid, lengthy (and addictive) single player campaign with an innovative (and even more addictive) online mode, excellent visuals and plenty of loot to collect made the game an instant hit worldwide. While the superior Game Cube version polished up elements and added some new content, the Xbox version cut off solo offline play for those without Xbox Live accounts ( a VERY foolish move by either Sega, Microsoft or both companies that hurt the game’s sales). Anyway, here are omake wallpapers from the Dreamcast PSO (above) and PSO II (below) discs. I love the artwork in these wallpapers and almost wish Sonic Team had decided to make both titles with a ‘cel-shaded’ look instead of what we ended up with.

  

The good news about PSO is it’s going to live again soon enough as Phantasy Star Online 2, currently in development with a 2012 release date. However, it looks as if this one will be Windows PC only (grrrr…) and there’s no concrete news to date of a definite release outside Japan. SEGAAAAAAA!!! Don’t neglect your dedicated PSO fan base on other platforms (and other countries) so much!

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