Electronic Theatre Preview: Phantasy Star Zero

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Electronic Theatre Image            With Phantasy Star Portable  having just been confirmed for a European launch in early 2009, we thought it was about time we took a look at the title’s NintendoDS sibling, Phantasy Star Zero. With the PlayStation Portable release breaking continually breaking records for SEGA in Japan, it’s no surprise the publisher would want to emulate that success on the NintendoDS; that’s it arriving before the end of the year in Japan, however, is clearly the result of some incredibly astute forward-thinking by the company.

   Electronic Theatre Image         For it’s Japanese launch – currently scheduled for December 25th 2008 in Japan – Phantasy Star Zero will be accompanied by all manner of promotional flavourings, including an official theme recorded by a popular Japanese artist, celebrity voice-actors and anime scenes directed by Gonzo.

            The game will launch on a huge 2GB Game Card, complete with extensive Multi-Player features. Both local and online Multi-Player for up to four players is supported, and a party is not just limited to either/or. Not only can a party mix and match between local and online, but also allows for those who haven’t exchanged Friend Codes to join parties of players who have, taking steps to keep the spirit of the original Phantasy Star Online alive.

            Players can communicate via an in-game interpretation of PictoChat, referred to as Virtual Chat. With this, pictures or messages are displayed above a players head, moving to the side if this screen when necessary to avoid obstruction. In addition, players can save their input and add it to a Shortcut Menu for ease of use.

            Without confirmation for a launch outside Japan currently, Phantasy Star Zero is a title with which European fans of the series will be quick to take on any information available. With graphics that are quite clearly pushing the NintendoDS hard and some of the most advantageous uses of online play the system has yet seen, Phantasy Star Zero has expectation riding high.








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