Lasting just shy of a decade in the MMORPG space is no small feat. Launching afresh after you’ve been running steady for so many years? That ain’t no walk in the park, either. After making it big in Japan following its 2012 launch, Sega’s sci-fi action-RPG Phantasy Star Online 2 finally makes its western PC debut in May. For North Americans. Sort of.
PSO2’s PC arrival is a footnote in an announcement for the eight-year-old MMORPG’s Xbox One launch, following open and closed betas on the console. Right at the bottom, past the cafe redesign and buck-wild $60 Sonic The Hedgehog collaboration, and there it is – Phantasy Star Online will hit the Windows Store by the end of May.
Notably, these new PSO2 localisations represent a long-awaited North American release. Sorry, Europe – at time of writing, there’s no sign of a localised edition for us. The NA version won’t be region-locked, mind. If you want to play PSO2 in English, without relying on fan servers with community-sourced translations, it’s right there to grab – American or not.
I’m only really familiar with the first PSO myself, picking it up as a wean with utter disregard for the “Online” part of “Phantasy Star Online”. See, my folks had canned out Xbox Live sub after catching me overhear some unsavoury language in a Halo 2 lobby, so my time with Phantasy Star was startlingly barren – walking lonely fields, tapping my laser sword against giant dogs. Good times.
Self-proclaimed PSO2 regular Dominic Tarason, who wrote on the game’s incoming PC arrival last year, is who you’d wanna ask for deets on the sequel – an “over-the-top anime Diablo or Destiny, with scads of loot, a powerful character creator, and lots of very different classes to play”, wrapped in a ludicrous plot that bounces between high-fantasy, space mecha, and contemporary Earth-locked shenanigans.
PSO2 hits the Windows Store for free next month, with full cross-play support between PC and Xbox Players. Still waiting on word of that elusive European release, or any hints of a PC launch on Steam or otherwise.