So a typhoon is expected to hit Guam this Friday and that means I'm likely to have the day off work and to be stuck inside all weekend. So I figured, what the heck, I'll start this game and see if I can take it down quickly and be one step closer to playing the beloved Phantasy Star IV.
The game looks quite a bit different from its predecessors, but else than that it seems pretty similar, with the expected items, techniques, etc. I've also had to do a little bit of grinding out the gate, so I'm not at the point in the series where that gets modernized. But there was a cooler opening sequence compared to the previous games and there does seem to be some new stuff in terms of shifting power from one technique to another, so we'll see how that shakes things up.
Googling suggests the game is somewhere between 15-25 hours. We'll see how much I decide to use a FAQ to speed things up.
I'll be looking forward to your impressions. The game was generally seen as a disappointment when it came out, because it abandoned so many of the things that made Phantasy Star what it is. But the "generations" concept is intriguing, and maybe the game can still be good despite the departure.
@Guillaume Same here, it doesn't look like most people like this game. I already have this on the Sega Genesis Collection for PS2, and I've also already played PS IV, so I need to decide if this one's worth the time for me.
Finished the first generation. Not sure why people think this one strays from its predecessors, it feels pretty Phantasy Star to me. No space travel yet, so maybe that's it, but I assume it's coming.
I'm enjoying it. Slightly easier than the last two I played because the mazes aren't as deliberately confusing and they do a good job of directing you where to go next. I've been able to keep my FAQ use to a minimum. It's nice to have 5 party members when at full strength as well.
The game gave me a pretty big choice at the end of the first generation and I get the feeling it actually changes quite a bit depending on what you go with. I kept a save to go back to if I get the urge, but most likely I'll just read up or check out YouTube after I'm done with my playthrough.
I chose to marry Maia. Seemed like since rescuing her was the whole point of the game up until then, that it didn't make much sense not to. Plus I thought a marriage might unite the two enemy tribes. We'll see if it plays out like that.
So yea, so far so good. I'm not regretting jumping into this one so soon after beating PSII.
Finished the second generation. Once again a big choice at the end. Kind of a shame there's only two save slots, so I can't go back and try all the different routes without having to replay stuff. Oh well, probably wasn't going to do it anyway.
Got some space travel this generation, so I really don't know why people find this game so much different from the first two. I did read that it was made by a different team though so I guess that has a lot to do with it. So far it seems overblown though.
One thing I will say is that it is much easier (not slightly as I said before). For the first time I'm not constantly afraid of death and losing everything because they give you a lot of characters, plenty of healers, healing items are reasonably priced, etc. I guess that could be a disappointment to some, but after the first two games, I'm happy for things to have gotten more relaxed.
This time I chose to marry Thea. Lyle asked to look after her with his dying words so I figured I'd honor that. Plus she has both offensive and defense spells so I was thinking that maybe her offspring would get them too, which is useful.
The beginning of chapter 3 was quite explosive, with Ayn and Thea getting blown up right away. Crazy!
I'm making good progress here and not feeling burned out. If the last generation (pretty sure there's only three) is about the same length as the first two it won't take me too long to wrap this one up.
What better feeling is there in one of these old school RPGs than gaining some new travel ability that makes your life so much easier (and less random battle heavy)?
I'm really enjoying myself. This generation seems more meaty than the previous ones and I've finally got a clear overarching goal to conquer the game. I'm probably done for the day but often I've said that with this game and then ended up picking it up again to progress a little further. I imagine I'll be done pretty soon at this rate.
It's not perfect. I've had to rely a little more on FAQs because some of the villager's directions are really obtuse and there's some areas that just rely on you stumbling on the right tile on the world map or in a town and are very easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. That's alright though, I still feel like I'm mostly advancing on my own, so it's still been a satisfying experience.
One weird thin was the explanation for the death of my parents. I find the guy who blew up our entire planet, he admits it but says "I'm sorry that I caused so much trouble" and then... that's it. He's forgiven seemingly. And I even take his daughter along as a party member. Weird, considering I assumed that the point of this generation was going to be to avenge my parents. I guess there's more important fish to fry though: The dreaded Dark Force.
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom is defeated! Survived Dark Force by the skin of my teeth. Phew. The end battle was surprisingly tough considering I basically never died after the very beginning (I did die once near the end because I didn't realize an event in the game had de-equipped all my weapons and I accidentally tried to beat a dungeon using no weapons). If it weren't for some luck in casting the revive spell I would have been done for.
Very good experience, I thought. Cool world, with an interesting plot and some cool twists. I wish there was a way to play the other routes but skip all the random battles. I'll check things out on YouTube later I guess.
But yea, I prefer this to the first two games, although obviously it built upon what those had done. I would recommend it if you enjoy old school RPGs. And it's not that old school because, while there's lots of random battles, it's not that hard and you don't really have to grind at all outside of the very beginning.
Not sure what's next for me, but I'm really looking forward to playing Phantasy Star IV at some point before too long. I guess I'll grab it on Steam. If it was on Wii U VC I might consider it for the Gamepad, but it's not and who knows if it ever will be. Of course it's only $3 on Steam anyway so I'd probably get it that way anyway.