Review Information
Reviewer Name: Master Mark S. Kanaar
Game Difficulty: Hard
Difficulty Options: False
Game Information
Full Title: Phantasy Star
Year Released: 1988
Game Type: RPG
Max Players: 1

Well, it has been almost 20 years since it was the first time I put this classic game into my Sega Master System. At that time, my brother's birthday was coming up and he asked my mom for a Sega Master System game. My mom didn't know which one to get, so she made me go with her to pick one out. I looked and looked and found the most expensive one. The cover was appealing with a lady blocking a lightning bolt with her sheild and a man picking up a skeleton over his head. A wild cat with iron fangs, a flying eye ball, a vampire bat, an evil wizard and a brown cloaked man leaping over a lava river with a stick shooting bolts out of the top of it. My brother's birthday came and he opened it. He was very happy. I had to leave after his party to go to my grandmother's house. So, I didn't get to play it or see him play it for the first time at all. He called me and said it was the best game he had ever played. He tried to describe it to me over the phone, but it was not until I played it for the first in 1989 that could say that I played the greatest game ever made up to this point.
Role Playing Game.... this game has many of the concepts that are in every RPG today. A story line with side scenes. Sure, they are just pictures with sentences, but no other RPG did that during that time. Dragon Warrior, Ultima and Final Fantasy had not done it in their first series. In fact, this game was the first RPG where you feel a connection with each character. They had their own personality, strengths and weaknesses. In Ultima and Final Fantasy, you choose what type of characters you want and that makes them unque. In Phantasy, you are suck with who you get. Man, as a 10 year old boy I was upset when I found out the main character was a... Girl!! Look at Ultima and Final Fantasy, is there a main character, not really. Dragon Warrior does, but you have only one character through out the whole game. This "girl" leads three other characters which she must find through three different planets just to finally do battle with the end boss. It doesn't bother me anymore that she is a female. It makes the game unque. There a three different views to the game. One is a third person over head view where the characters walk around on a plantet or in a city. Another is a first person battle view. You can't see your team, but you know when they strike. They hit the enemy with their weapon and thier name with their stats pops up on the bottom of the screen. On the left side of the screen shows your additional options like attack, run, item, magic and talk. The top of the screen shows your enemy's name and their HP. My only gripe is that there is one enemy on the screen. If there is one enemy against you that is fine, but many times there are 5 or 6 enemies. One enemy appears on the screen, so next to their name it will have 5 or 6 different HPs. You can't control which one you hit, it is completely random. Also, your team only fights one type of enemy at a time. Two different enemies will not appear on the screen at the same time. This first person view is the same when you talk to other characters in the cities and towns. The last view is the moving through caves in first person view. This makes the game hard and sometime never impossible. All caves and towers are in first person view like the battle screens, but you can move forward and backward. If you get traped in a corner you can't run from the enemy. Overall, the game play is basic RPG and sets a standard for all other RPG's to follow.
In the third person over head view and the tower and cave view the graphics are only fair to good. They are better then Dragon Warrior, Ultima and Final Fantasy. In the battle view, they are excellent for there time. The side scenes are also impressive and are a work of art.
Sound & Music
Well, I have the music stuck in my head from time to time so it is a plus. There is a music for the city, walking around on the planet, in a cave or tower, fighting an enemy, flying in a spaceship, riding in a land rover or hovercraft, last boss and side scenes. I don't mind humming the music. The only one out of the three other RPG's I mention that I can remember the music is Ultima. So, it is a little better than Ultima's Music.
The control issues I have is the lack of ability to pick which enemy should be attacked. Also, sometimes in the caves you will get trapped up against a wall and can not run. The last is not knowing the order in which your team mates will attacked. This was solved in Final Fantasy 3 or 7 where you had a meter for when you will attack, but I don't believe it was ever in a 8 bit system.
Replay Value
Music & Sound
Replay Value
It is very good for it's time. There really is no side story lines like in some of the other series. One thing I did try to do once, was to obtain a billion mesetas to buy Myau. I played it for about a year and realized that there is not enough spaces to have that much money. I didn't feel like going and fighting the evil doctor to get the pot back from him.
One of the best game ever and in my top list of greatest games like Tekken, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Resident Evil, Metal Gear, ect. It paved the way for better RPG's to come and I consider it a classic. If you don't have a copy, get one. In this review I compared this game with three other classic RPGs. When I did the comparison I was asking of the first game like Ultima I, Final Fantasy I and Dragon Warrior I. Each of these series evolved and I personal think that some of the latter series are better then this classic game.
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