Sega-Sammy Holdings have released their annual report for 2017, where they discuss at length their plans for the future. There’s one particular sectoin from the report that I found rather interesting. The Online Content Divisional HQ’s operations center, among other things responsible for their PC online game area, intends to generate earnings continuously by 2020. A key part of that plan involves their online RPG Phantasy Star Online 2. Specifically, the group aims to execute three main action plans for the series:
A news post made on the Japanese Phantasy Star Online 2 website announced a cool milestone for the PC game: a new record for simultaneous user activity! Previously, the highest number stood at 123,758 connections, but on May 15 at 10:50 PM, SEGA recorded 131,265 user connections.
To commemorate this event, SEGA has planned a small bonus for users: log in during the upcoming maintenance period of June 15 – June 22, and users will receive rare item drop and experience boosts for use when the game is operational again. Additionally, log in anytime from June 16 to June 21and users will receive a free gift. It’s possible to receive one gift for each day of this period, for a maximum of six.
It’s nice to see this milestone achieved for PSO2. It’s worth noting that the PC userbase in the US and Europe is particularly active, too. We hope that SEGA continues to pursue bringing PSO2 to Western fans.
Phantasy Star Online 2 sure does love its crossovers. And why not? Especially if there is an upcoming event for Sakura Wars.
Some time ago, Sega announced a collaboration event with the Sakura Wars series for Phantasy Star Online 2. With the broadcast of the recent 42nd PSO2 Livestream, we have more footage and images to share.
The collaboration event features Scratch items inspired by Sakura Shinguuji and Ichiro Ohgami. There are also voice options for the characters, with the original seiyuu (Chisa Yokoyama and Akio Suyama, respectively) reprising their roles. There are also weapon skins for the respective character’s weapons, alongside Mag Devices (autonomous supportive units) themed after their Koubu.
Check out a small gallery of images below!
Bumped’s PSUBlog has archived footage of the 42nd Phantasy Star Online 2 Livestream broadcast. The segment of the broadcast featuring the Sakura Wars collaboration (following some other segments, include another Sonic the Hedgehog lobby and a new story event) can be viewed below.
This Sakura Wars collaboration update is scheduled for late June.
I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but this year has seen an abundance of Sakura Wars-related events – from concerts, to museums, and to game promotions with other franchises. The only possible way to make this 20th year anniversary sweeter than it already is…
…would be to announce another Sakura Wars game! Please oblige, Sega!
Credit to the above-linked PSUBlog entry for information and archiving the Livestream broadcast.
Canadian video game retailer Video Games Plus seems to be on a roll when it comes to restocking SEGA and Atlus games. After restocking SEGA’s Infinite Space and various Nintendo DS and PSP Atlus games, they’ve now added SEGA’s Phantasy Star 0 to their lineup, for the price of $39.99CDN (around $31USD).
Originally released back in 2009 for the Nintendo DS, the game was developed by Sonic Team and featured three online modes and an offline Story Mode. The gameplay mechanics were based on those of Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, and the character design was done by Toshiyuki Kubooka (known for his work on the Lunar series). As you may expect, the online modes are no longer functional in this release. However, the game is listed as region free, and Video Games Plus does ship internationally. We included the original launch trailer and a few screenshots of the game below.
The PlayStation 4 version of Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode 4 was recently launched in Japan, and SEGA has released a new web commercial to promote the game’s various features. You can watch the commercial below, which gives an overview of the various elements of the game, such as the large-scale multi-player battles, the different settings. and the character customization system. Regarding the latter, one of the sillier parts of the commercial features a player who appears to be just a bit too excited about the breast slider feature in PSO2’s character creator.
SEGA have released a new trailer featuring a ton of updates for the game, which will be released simultaneously with the game’s release on PlayStation 4 in Japan on April 20. The game is getting a small graphical update on PlayStation 4, but the PC version will be getting a new Tier 6 graphics setting which offers the same upgrade (we talked about this update in an earlier article.)
In an earlier trailer we also got to see the cast of Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation being added to the game. You can watch both trailers below. Unfortunately, SEGA have stated that there are no plans to localize the PlayStation 4 version. The PC version of the game was announced for the West back in 2013, but was delayed. At this point, it’s not clear if it will ever materialize.
A new Japanese PSBlog entry announces a new type of PlayStation 4 model – one with bay cover designs based off of Phantasy Star Online 2, ahead of the upcoming arrival of the very active MMORPG to PS4. Some of you may be remember Yakuza franchise receiving similar special treament for Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami.
The Japanese PlayStation Store was recently updated with a special sale featuring large list of SEGA games being discounted. For the full list, click here. It’s a sale meant to celebrate the arrival of the Spring season and will last until April 13th.
Among the list of games are Valkyria Chronicles III (PSP) and Phantasy Star NOVA (PSVita), both of which remain unlocalized for Western audiences. 7th Dragon 2020 and 7th Dragon 2020 – II are also marked down. As we know, 7th Dragon III Code: VFD (due for release this summer in the West) marks the first 7th Dragon game to be localized for the West.
The list extends beyond modern SEGA games and goes to the classics. To start, Phantasy Star Complete Collection, and Phantasy Star Generations 1 and Phantasy Star Generations 2 (the PS2 remakes of the first two games) are on sale here. Additionally, some of the other notable classics include Golden Axe, Gunstar Heroes: Treasure Hunters (PS2 version of the original game), Comix Zone, and Streets of Rage II. Even more recent releases like Hell Yeah! and The Cave are on sale too.
While it stings to realize that the West is missing out on some key games like Valkyria Chronicles III and PSNova, the sale is also a testament to the vast library of IPs belonging to SEGA. Many of these are quite cheap, too; most of them run for ¥500, with the outliers being PSNova at ¥2000 and Valkyria Chronicles III at ¥1300.
Be sure to check out the list for yourself!
Sega has uploaded a new trailer for a large 2016 Phantasy Star Online 2 game update – collectively known as Episode 4 Reborn.
New promotional campaigns include a Valentine’s Day theme for the ARKS Lobby, with Valentine’s present boxes containing items (chocolates! Rappies!) littering the lobby. There will also be themed weapons and accessories for this Valentine’s event alongside a new set of Street Style Scratches. The Street Style coincides with the introduction of the new futurist Tokyo world introduced in Episode 4. Besides that, the first trailer introduces some new boss enemies and battle clips (the Summoner is briefly shown off.)
Eagle-eyed readers or fans of Phantasy Star Online 2 may have noticed a slight logo change for Phantasy Star Online 2 in our featured image. The change is being celebrated by Sega as the new year starts and even received its own web commercial video.
Check out the new trailer for Episode 4 Reborn below!
PSO2 Episode 4 Reborn
Phantasy Star Online 2’s Playstation 4 version is set to release on April 20 of this year, according to Sega.
Leading up to the release of the game, Sega will be running a closed beta. 50,000 people will be selected through submitting an application to the Japanese Playstation Store. Applications will be accepted through from January 25 to February 15. The beta itself will run from February 25 to March 6, leading up to the wide release of Phantasy Star Onlne 2 for Playstation 4 in late April.
Additionally, a separate package for the recently released Episode 4 will be made available for all three of Phantasy Star Online 2’s platforms (PS4, PC, Vita) at ¥4,990. A costume scratch for original character Itsuki Tachibana (from the currently-airing PSO2 anime) will also be included in this package.
Still no word on an English-based release of the game from Sega! Hopefully something changes.