Phantasy Star Collection - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Combination Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: SEGA Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: Infogrames (GB)
Released: 7 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
No Accessories: No Accessories


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While millions of SNES players were sinking their teeth into the first Final Fantasy games in the late 1980's, hardcore fans of the Sega Master System were getting to grips with Sega's own RPG equivalent, Phantasy Star.

Three further Phantasy Star games were developed for the MegaDrive in a bid to compete with Square's offerings, and anyone elses offerings for that matter, and they were a remarkable success. Two of these MegaDrive sequels, along with the Master System original, have now been brought together in a trilogy of Sega's finest for Game Boy Advance.

Old school RPGs, as any role-playing gamer worth his salt will tell you, are distinctly more difficult to play than more recent 32-bit incarnations. Battle encounters are more frequent, enemies hit harder, and constant healing was a necessary evil. Gamers who played through these games in their heyday will be all too familiar with the fiendish Phantasy Star game engine, and modern RPG gamers, from the days of Final Fantasy VII, hardcore or not, will have a hard time with this compilation.

But don't let that discourage you. Regardless of difficulty, Phantasy Star I, II and III are fine games in their own right. Largely, each of the games play the same - solve puzzles, battle hordes of mythical creatures, explore maze-like environments and spend endless hours levelling up your characters. There are significant differences within each game though - the stories vary from game to game and there are a few gameplay aspects unique to each of them.

Phantasy Star I, II and III, despite looking dated in comparison to their 3D successors, are still three of Sega's finest games of the 2D era and it's great to see them re-released for a Nintendo handheld. There are hundreds of hours of gameplay and it's a helluva challenge, but a mighty enjoyable one at that.