PSO2 - First Impressions of Full Game
So it's time for some first impressions of the full game. Hopefully this can lend some insight into whether or not you'd like to get the game, or how close it is to the other Phantasy games you remembered playing. Plus, hey, it's free! So if you don't like it, you're not out anything but download time. Post assumes you are familiar with Phantasy Star / Phantasy Star Universe.
Part 1: Community, play-ability, updates, pay & customization
Part 2: Gameplay, weapons, mags, leveling, slice of life experience
First to know:
It's all in Japanese still, but groups are working on an English patch. Interestingly, the head developer. of the game commented in an interview on how he was amazed by how fast people patched their beta client & the chararacter create demo for English menus So...whoever this is seems top notch on speed & getting it to work. You can muddle along without understanding it (I am) and without requiring tons of guides. If you want to just 'bash monsters & be cool' that's certainly do-able.
Is there an english-language community?
Yes. Holed up on Ship 2 Block 20,21,22 with 20 being the main. It's this way because PSO-World dedicated it early on for their community. You Can't Change Ships! That's important, because if you charcreate on the wrong ship you will have to either delete it, or pay 5 bucks to make a new on on the ship you want. There ought to be paid move tickets later but that's way later...so that's rule 1 for now. It's well established, and makes it much more fun. It's also important because working together in multi party areas (where your team merges with others!) can create awesome bonuses & help everyone level fast & grab cool stuff.
Why is all that important?
Because the worldwide release isn't for like...6 to 9 to 12 months. Why localizing it is going to take that outrageously long is unknown. What that means is also unknown. Anyone on world wide PSU knows the kind of trash treatment the planet got from that paid game. Are they going to stumble again? Take money and give nothing? Promise content to keep the dollars rolling in, but then never give it out but keep the money like what happened with PSU? No one knows, and there's no way to tell till it's out. There will also likely be a way to patch your japanese server guy over onto the english/european/whatever side. That's one advantage of PC gaming --you can better mess with the data.
How's the free/pay content so far?
This is a free game, but it's not 'pay to win'. So far the pay items have every indication of being no problem to anyone going free course. You pay to keep a shop open, pay for a 'my room' to decorate & meet in, and pay to have extra spaces to put your items if you like to hoard. You can also pay for scape dolls (why?) The only downside seems to be stupid Scratch off lotto cards which are cash pay. Why can't you just pay real money for the thing you want? Not some random chance at 10 stupid things you didn't want. Hopefully this is dismantled a bit, or slashed by allowing direct purchase of stuff (stuff meaning costumes/parts/etc.)
Updates are great!
The game opened with more than PSU did, if anyone was worried. The maps are different every time for each area, and they are opening new areas quickly (latest being mines on the desert planet Lilipa.) New clothing is being added at a nice rate, and the "Free scratch cards" are being rotated, much like the casino prizes on PSU. The winnable items in the card include grinders, 3 day room tickets, actions to preform (such as sitting or laying in a special way) a few hair styles, and all, of course, can be sold for meseta to everyone else. So those free cards are fun, and the rotation is a good idea too. It's also too early to tell how the updates will really be, but so far everyone's mostly happy...
Androids of all sorts, especially PSO's returning HUcasts. Every other PSO class got an 'equivalent' knockoff costume except that one. Also, all androids of PSO2 started off extremely shabby on customization. They all ended up as pallet swap clones because there were only 3 of each (torso, arm, leg) to choose from and only two heads. The third head is PSU's plastic face which you can customize just like a flesh face, only in any color of the rainbow. Rather than dumping tons of parts for casts to cure the shortfall they know they started with, they seem quite concerned with the other problem....
Gimmick Outfits & Silly Stuff
Usually a game will release "on topic" stuff before releasing silly clownish items to mess around with. That's to build up the look of the game, let people look awesome, and get a good library of selection going for weapons & clothing so people are more likely to get the look they want & stick with the character.
However, they've come out with:
Huge ruffle bridal gown, wedding tux suit, wacky rappy masks, summer yukata male/female, & bikinis for the ladies.
Understandable because: its summer
Not so understandable because: where's everything else? The 'wacky stuff' to 'cool stuff' ratio seems to be about 1:1
You'd think they'd want to throw everyone a bone and toss out the old PSO outfits to grab nostalgia lovers right away but...it seems not so far. PSU also suffered from the whole "Nothing matches, everyone picks to look goofy, it's covered in clowns, cosplayers and bikini people wielding squeaky mallets." Lots of the previous fans said the game lost its entire style because it didn't keep the balance.
Don't take it the wrong way though, as customization is still better than probably 99% of the games out there. More outfits, more options, more stuff IS on the way. It's just not here yet and there's likely still enough to keep anyone satisfied while waiting.