Ah, Phantasy Star.  The series with a compelling storyline that continues to evolve with each chapter.  The name that immediately brings to mind innovation, quality, and the bizarre notion that RPGs don't always suck.  The game that many an SMS fan has used to tease and berate any number of NES people with over the years.

Indeed, while most NES fans knew, and still know, not to trust any kind of insane babble that spews from an SMS fan's mouth, we also knew that for once, the people who owned that other system finally had something to brag about when Phantasy Star was released.  Even to this day, those SMS people still hang that damned game over us...

SMSDood88: Hey, you know what was a great game?  Phantasy Star.  Yep.  That alone made the SMS better than the NES.  I mean, look at the pale imitation that you guys got instead - Final Fantasy?!  That game sucks!

NESDood69: Yeah, I know.  But at least our system didn't get an Alf game.

SMSDood88: ....

But Phantasy Star kicked ass, plain and simple.  And it's quite a shame that I'll probably never be able to play it in non-pirated form.  Ever since that stupid Phantasy Star Online came out, the prices on the original have just shot up...which is also a shame.  Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder how many duplicated PSO items you'd have to sell on ebay before you'd have enough money to buy the original Phantasy Star with.  That thought, like, blows my mind, man.

Anyway, I'm here to discuss the red-headed stepchild of the series: Phantasy Star 3.  Its predecessor (which some refer to as Phantasy Star 2) remains to this day the best of the series, despite the grumblings of any people who name themselves after obscure comic book characters.  So, keeping in mind the masterpiece that was PS2, people naturally expected PS3 to suck badly.  And of course, their expectations were fulfilled.  Or so I'd heard.  Until recently, I'd never had the opportunity to experience the game first-hand.  And since I had yet to hear a kind word about PS3, either from reviews I've read on the internet, or from people whose opinions I actually care about, I didn't want to waste my time on something I wouldn't enjoy.  But a few days ago, while having lots and lots of time to waste, I decided to fire up Genecyst and get a free, illegal look at the game's undoubted suckiness for myself.  And this...is the record of what I found.

YAY Sega logo

Yeah, I took a screenshot of the Sega logo.  I bet you can already tell that this review is going to turn out very badly, right?  It's all uphill from here...

That's some nice writin' there, Chauncey.

...and after a really unimpressive fade-in/mosaic kinda effect, you see this.  I don't know why I took a shot of this, either, except maybe that it reminded me of my brother's attempt at a game in RPG Maker.  See, he had this idea of a quest where you go out to try and hunt down and kill Billy Crystal, and...well, that's pretty much the only idea he had.  He never got to making the actual game itself, though.  All he made was a title screen, wherein heroic music played in the background while a frilly red curtain raised to reveal the words, "Fuck You Bitch" in a font similar to the one in the picture above.  It was a moment of divine inspiration for all parties involved.
Yeah, that's a title screen, all right.
Seriously, I don't know.

You know what?  I hate myself.  I don't know why I took screenshots of the game's full title screen, nor do I know why I took that shot on the right.  I'm just not very good at this, I guess.  I also don't know why, after taking the shot on the right, I was inspired to create this:

Just...just leave me alone.

See, that's why I should write the accompanying text right after taking the screenshots, because if I wait a few days after my picture-taking funfest, I can't remember what was going through my head during the other half of my creative phase.  Chalk it up as a learning experience, I guess.  I just wish I could remember why I chose to label a nondescript location slightly to the left of that goatee-like object, or why I didn't document the hideous misshapen growth on that happy fellow's jowl...

Anyway.  I also took screenshots of the game's credits and opening demo, but since this is boring enough already, I put them on separate pages.  Click the following links only if you have some kind of desire to see...credits...or if you want to experience the thrilling backstory of...eh.  Moving on, pressing start nets you this:

Here's something that's unique among the Phantasy Star games - a savegame verification system.  Or whatever it is.  PS3's checking system doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, though, since you can skip through its checking routines and messages as if you were in a regular conversation with one of the game's idiot townspeople.  It's probably not checking anything at all.

Regardless of its lack of usefulness when being run on an emulator, the series' checking routine always caused me much worry when I played through Phantasy Star 2 a few years back.  Maybe it was because I was playing a cartridge with a battery that should've died five years ago, but every time I'd power up the game, I was certain that the checking routine would give an error message and my saves would be erased.

And of course, if that turned out to be the case, then my life would be over.  My experience with Zelda haunts me to this day.

But in thinking about it, that probably would have been more of a blessing than anything, since the latter half of PS2 gets extremely frustrating and repetitious.  A sudden erasure of my saves would've been for the best - it would've prematurely ended my attempts to finish the game, and thereby would've saved me the pain of leveling up my characters for hours just to discover that they still weren't powerful enough to beat Dark Force, nevermind Mother Brain.  That's where the beauty of used games becomes apparent, though - the guy who owned the game before me had a save where all of his characters were at their maximum levels, so I used his days of hard work to blow through the last bosses and see the game's bizarre ending.

And again, despite its problems, PS2 is still the best of the series.  Despite what any RedEyes might tell you.

Anyway.  So you start a new game, and you get a nice prologue, which I've documented here for no reason.  Just call me Opi.

And then...

Your adventure begins! Or something.

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