Offline play?

Discussions about Phantasy Star Universe

Offline play?

Postby skymandr » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:55 pm

How is it? I'm not sure I'd have the time to play online really, but you can get it really cheap[1] now, so I might get it for the offline mode if that is any fun.

SO, is the offline part fun? Story any good?

----
[1]: So cheap that I don't really consider it a problem that my computer will run it just as likely as not. ;)
User avatar
skymandr
Scorpius
Scorpius
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby Anza » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:02 pm

Okay lets just do a quick run down.

1. The story is crap - and honestly PSO's storyline is better then PSU's and it's ME saying this, IE the person who has gone beyond apeshit on how much I hated PSO's storyline.

2. The characters are rejects from PSO's storyline

3. The voice acting is bad enough to make you crindge

4. Playing the game is vastly to easy and enemies drop insanely quickly and you level like you've got cheats on.

5. Playing through chapter 4 in order to unlock the extra mode (offline freeplay basically creating a character and exploring the PSU worlds) is a chore in itself but the free play itself is shallow and you are FORCED to use the crappy AI characters from the main game if you want to party up.

6. The ally AI is HORRIBLE, your allies will do absolutely crapshit to help you, honestly your better off soloing.



I could list another 4 reasons why you should absolutely not bother with the story/offline mode but I think I made my point after the first one and just couldn't help myself anyway XD
Formally gm2987, maker of the now nonexistent PSV fan game.
User avatar
Anza
Locusta
Locusta
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:01 pm

Postby Sinue » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:03 am

1. The story is crap - and honestly PSO's storyline is better then PSU's and it's ME saying this, IE the person who has gone beyond apeshit on how much I hated PSO's storyline.


I would disagree in that PSU's storyline is much more coherent and far more developed than PSO's ever was. It's easy enough to follow, rather than having to hunt for it, and it doesn't have any uber-stupid contradictions such as the whole "Dr. Montegue, a Numan, created the Numan race".

However, on the downside - PSU feels less like an epic mix of Star Wars and H.P. Lovecraft like the previous games were, and more like a sci-fi Naruto. If you like 4-Kids storylines, you'll love PSU's storyline. The entire affair is trite and cliche, and you're only getting 1/4th of the storyline (Ep II and further expansions will build more on it in a very .//hack-ish style) so it feels very incomplete.

Time will tell on this one.

2. The characters are rejects from PSO's storyline


Some are, many aren't. By and large, many of the important characters are twisted corruptions of their classic PS counterparts... such as Izuma Rutsu who (thus far) has shown himself to be rather weak of character, cowing over to the Divine Maiden and irrationally uncoorperative. Lutz wouldn't help Alis until he recieved a letter from the Governor informing him of the danger that Algol faced. He could care less about her quest for revenge or the toppling of a temporary despot. Rutsu, on the other hand, faces the very clear destruction of all civilization in Gurhal - and instead chooses to protect his precious Divine Maiden.

3. The voice acting is bad enough to make you crindge


Some is, and some is quite good. Karen, Ethan, Tonnio, and especially Hal are horribly bad. Most of them, like Dr. Tomrain, Leo, Lou, Maya, etc, are average. And some of them REALLY shine, such as Hiru Vol, Magashi, and Kou Taragi.

If you've ever played Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, know that PSU's voice acting is far, far better. So you don't really have much to fear from bad voice acting. And honestly, most of the problem is the directing rather than the voice actors. If you play through a chapter a second time, you'll get an alternate episode preview which is just voice - no graphics. The VA's have much more room to be fun and fullfill their roles without worrying about pacing in synching up the lip movements. They're actually quite good and humorous.

4. Playing the game is vastly to easy and enemies drop insanely quickly and you level like you've got cheats on.


This is true. At no point in the game should you die, even as a totally inept gamer, except on the odd occurance of 1-hit kill Megid or being frozen just before being slammed by like 8 or 9 high level Bartas.

5. Playing through chapter 4 in order to unlock the extra mode (offline freeplay basically creating a character and exploring the PSU worlds) is a chore in itself but the free play itself is shallow and you are FORCED to use the crappy AI characters from the main game if you want to party up.


I never felt forced to reach chapter 4 (chapter 5, technically, since you don't get it until Chapter 4 is done) in order to unlock extra mode. There's nothing in Extra mode, really. It's like playing PSO v.1 online on a completely empty server, and no quests, no NPCs, no storyline, nothing.

6. The ally AI is HORRIBLE, your allies will do absolutely crapshit to help you, honestly your better off soloing.


Yes, the AI is below even below average. I wouldn't even say they're better than PSO's NPC's. In PSO your NPCs would attack regularly, but with only a single strike. In PSU, your NPC's can do combos, heal you, use attack PA's, etc... the problem being that they spend 5 minutes circling the monster and eating damage before they do anything. They're also highly likely to just run in circles, stop moving, or get lost. They still make good distractions and hate pullers though. In a way, it's good that they're so bad, because if they were competent you wouldn't even need to play the game. It's so easy, you could just walk forward and let them slaughter everything.
Image
Sinue
Xanafalgue
Xanafalgue
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:01 pm

Postby BenoitRen » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:35 pm

It's easy enough to follow, rather than having to hunt for it

There's something to be said for having to piece the story together instead of it being spoonfed to you a la Final Fantasy. PSO's storytelling was refreshing.
it doesn't have any uber-stupid contradictions such as the whole "Dr. Montegue, a Numan, created the Numan race"

Note that this contradiction was only introduced with all the other nonsense that is in Episode IV.
Get Xenoblade Chronicles!
User avatar
BenoitRen
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3091
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Belgium

Postby Sinue » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:37 pm

Or spoonfed to you ala Phantasy Star IV? I agree that the scattered story of PSO was a bit unique and enjoyable, but what it really did was make the storyline completely inaccessible to anyone but the ones most dedicated to finding it. Most people didn't even know PSO had a storyline to begin with...

As for nonsense and contradictions - I'm sure Ian will tell you all about Episode III's addition to these. PSO was never really designed to have the storyline carry much past the Ruins, and perhaps Gal De Val. Everything else they just kinda made up on the fly and threw it together with little rhyme or reason. At least the original PS series had 1,000 years between each game in which some of it's changes could be explained away.
Image
Sinue
Xanafalgue
Xanafalgue
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:01 pm

Postby BenoitRen » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:59 pm

I agree that the scattered story of PSO was a bit unique and enjoyable, but what it really did was make the storyline completely inaccessible to anyone but the ones most dedicated to finding it.

I disagree. Most that never found it never bothered looking for or thinking about it.
As for nonsense and contradictions - I'm sure Ian will tell you all about Episode III's addition to these.

Sure, but that's not where the contradiction you mentioned came from. ;)
Get Xenoblade Chronicles!
User avatar
BenoitRen
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3091
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Belgium

Postby Del_Ian » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:13 pm

PSO's EpI and Ep2 were actually quite consistent internally, with the story being perfectly accessible - One needed only read Rico's message pods and do the offline quests in Ep1; and Ep2 you only had to talk to Elly and access Olga's remaining terminals for Flowen's logs, along with a couple of online quests that added to the story.

The thing that throws everyone off is that it's not the neat linear RPG where everything is gradually spoon-fed to you until by the end you know everything. PSO gives you bits and pieces and leaves you to fit them together, and you by no means learn all that is going on. I personally find it much more realistic. You're a Hunter, taking missions to earn money while you investigate the situation on Ragol for the government/Lab, and you never do manage to find out the entirety of the truth. You fight Dark Falz, but you don't really know more than the vaguest of things about how it got there or why, only that it wiped Pioneer 1 out. You know that just about everyone is up to something, but not exactly what it is. You learn, perhaps, the most about the activities of Pioneer 1's Lab, but even then you don't know all that they were up to. All you know is what you're able to find out through your own investigations. Nobody tells you the full, true details of anything. It's a nice change.

Episode III loses that consistency. It almost entirely ignores EpI&II, and what it doesn't ignore it retcons to make things it wants to do fit. Endu's a cute, but horribly trite and overdone, idea that simply does not fit EpI&II as presented within themselves, so EpIII makes up some retarded crap stolen from some lame Shounen manga to try to explain it away and it falls horribly flat.

I've actually never played EpIV as I lost interest in PSOBB before it came out in the US version, so I can't comment on any BS it might or might not pull.

The inconsistency Sinue mentions, Montague creating newmans, along with a date inconsistency - You are, within the game, given the timeframe from Pioneer 2's departure to its arrival at Ragol as two years; it's later given outside the game as one year - These are found in English on the PSOBB website. The original source of these is actually the Episode I&II materials collection, amusingly.

These can, IMO, simply be laughed at - Earlier games trump later games for canonity, games trump artbooks. If there's an inconsistency, the earlier, more canon source overrides the latter - Thus EpI&II's failure to mention anything about Falz and Olga repeatedly coming back, even in situations where it would be helpful to do so, even in quests late enough to actually *mention* EpIII BS(Blue Star Memories, anyone? There's a quest to have someone mention it, if anyone ever was, but Break and Orland go on about the Four Heroes like they're the only ones ever to do it, and news gets around the Hunter's Guild like crazy, so if it did come back multiple times, everyone would know about it), overrides EpIII's BS; EpI's in-game reference to timeframes overrides an EpII artbook's timeline; Montague's existance in EpI as a newman overrides the ludicrous idea that he created them.

PSU just throws crap at you and expects you to care. There's no involvement with figuring it all out, it's just given to you. Tried and true, yes, unfortunately what's thrown at you is horribly cliched and involves characters you largely don't give a crap about. We get more background info on Karen Erra than we ever do on, say, Elly Person, but Elly's the one who captures my attention. XP PSIV has your typical stock RPG plot, but the characters and their interactions make the ride worth it. PSO has the usual conspiracy theory BS, but not all of it is conspiracy theory BS.

Mmm, there's another thing PSU doesn't do to add atomosphere. PSO showed us the pain caused by everything - We know everyone on Pioneer 1 died by the end. We take Matha down to Ragol and learn of the death of her family's butler searching for her parents, leaving her alone. We're there when Elly loses her best friend that she clearly has feelings for, and we later learn what Calus had to go through afterwards as a result of the Lab experimenting with him. We see what happens to Ult, to random people in the Ruins, to Shino, to people affected by both Falz's actions and the actions of humans. Everyone in PSO is worried, and not that their husband is cheating on them. They worry that they'll never set foot on real ground again. They worry that their friends and family are dead. There's no place to go, either forward or backward, and the government tells them nothing.

People in Gurhal, on the other hand, aren't that worried. They're safe enough in their cities on their happy little planets that aren't going anywhere. They worry about their relationships and their wives finding out about them cheating. They don't know what's going on either, but most of them seem not to care. Civilians in PSO were worried, they wanted to to know what was happening, some of them even hired you specifically for that purpose. In PSU... Yeah, too much sunshine. Episode 2 gets darker, but people still don't seem worried, for the most part. (Then again, Episode 2 is even more disconnecting from events than Episode 1 is. Your character is largely ignored in conversations, all story events are handled in cutscenes and the only time you actually control anything is when you fight monsters. You don't even get to talk to wandering NPCs like you did in Episode 1 with Ethan. PSO did a much, much better job of the whole silent protagonist thing. Supposedly they're re-working it for AoI offline to be more like that, which will be welcome, as sitting through it currently is like watching a movie that isn't all that good. >_>

...Damn that got tl;dr. Oh well.
Rawr.
User avatar
Del_Ian
Locusta
Locusta
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:11 am

Postby Anza » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:51 am

Honestly you people post to much for me just to counter with PSU sucks and I hate it with a bloody passion.
Formally gm2987, maker of the now nonexistent PSV fan game.
User avatar
Anza
Locusta
Locusta
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:01 pm

Postby Del_Ian » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:20 pm

Anza wrote:Honestly you people post to much for me just to counter with PSU sucks and I hate it with a bloody passion.


Amusingly enough, I agree with you. It's a decent enough time if you're drunk and have low standards from that, but it's a pathetic insult even to the legacy of PSO, nevermind how much of an insult it is to the original series...

And yet I keep buying it. I even pre-ordered the Japanese version of AoI. I guess it's some kind of vain hope that if enough support is shown for the PS name that they may just eventually throw us some kind of bone. :-/ Combined with a heavy dose of what must be masochism.
Rawr.
User avatar
Del_Ian
Locusta
Locusta
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:11 am

Postby BenoitRen » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:13 pm

Isn't that bad logic? According to the model of supply and demand, you buy what you like, and show your disapproval for things by not buying them.
Get Xenoblade Chronicles!
User avatar
BenoitRen
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3091
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Belgium

Postby Anza » Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:38 pm

BenoitRen wrote:Isn't that bad logic? According to the model of supply and demand, you buy what you like, and show your disapproval for things by not buying them.
Bad logic? I was thinking it's outright stupidity.
Formally gm2987, maker of the now nonexistent PSV fan game.
User avatar
Anza
Locusta
Locusta
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:01 pm

Postby skymandr » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:24 pm

BenoitRen wrote:Isn't that bad logic? According to the model of supply and demand, you buy what you like, and show your disapproval for things by not buying them.


Well, neo-liberal economic theory isn't a very accurate model of our society... =)
Besides, in web 2.0, aren't we supposed to take an active part instead of just being passive consumers?
User avatar
skymandr
Scorpius
Scorpius
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby Prototype #6 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:04 am

skymandr wrote:
BenoitRen wrote:Isn't that bad logic? According to the model of supply and demand, you buy what you like, and show your disapproval for things by not buying them.


Well, neo-liberal economic theory isn't a very accurate model of our society... =)
Besides, in web 2.0, aren't we supposed to take an active part instead of just being passive consumers?


Why don't you all send an email to sega telling them what you don't like and what would you like? I mean, it IS possible... [color=cyan][/color]
Prototype #6
Xanafalgue
Xanafalgue
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:26 pm

Postby BenoitRen » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:33 pm

I finished Story Mode 1.5 weeks ago, in just a week. Two chapters each day. I enjoyed it very much. Yeah, the story is not that special, but I'd say it's decent, and it is a nice change from PSO.

People seem to like to gripe about voice acting in any video game ever. Some say it's crap, others say all are crap except for Ethan and Karen, and yet others will like other voices like Sinue.

Me? Unless a voice is obviously bad (Mayfee in Baten Kaitos) or inappropriate (X in Mega Man X4), I don't care that much. I do notice quality, though.

I will agree that the AI is crap, though. Damn it Maya, stop running into that wall!

I've started playing the Episode 2 missions, and am eager to find out more.
Get Xenoblade Chronicles!
User avatar
BenoitRen
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3091
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Belgium

Postby thriwren » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:05 am

BenoitRen wrote:I finished Story Mode 1.5 weeks ago, in just a week. Two chapters each day. I enjoyed it very much. Yeah, the story is not that special, but I'd say it's decent, and it is a nice change from PSO.

People seem to like to gripe about voice acting in any video game ever. Some say it's crap, others say all are crap except for Ethan and Karen, and yet others will like other voices like Sinue.

Me? Unless a voice is obviously bad (Mayfee in Baten Kaitos) or inappropriate (X in Mega Man X4), I don't care that much. I do notice quality, though.

I will agree that the AI is crap, though. Damn it Maya, stop running into that wall!

I've started playing the Episode 2 missions, and am eager to find out more.
If ya get a bit confused there is a moving comic to fill in a number of gaps. http://www.phantasystaruniverse.com/downloads_comic.php
Image
Thriwren - Lvl 140 - Fortegunner lvl 20
User avatar
thriwren
King Rappy
King Rappy
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:55 pm
Location: Ragol

Next

Return to Phantasy Star Universe

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron