• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Nov 10, 2009

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Easy online access, fulfilling single-player experience. Fun action with RPG elements makes the hunt for gear in an interesting world a real treat. If you own a DS and you care about quality entertainment, then you need this game.
  2. Aside from that, Phantasy Star Zero is a fantastic RPG on the DS and one of the first that's really nailed a lag-free online experience for four players.
  3. Phantasy Star Zero will not disappoint those Phantasy Star Online fans who aren't still tired of its immutable concept, but how many of them are out there? Moreover, this is probably the worst among all episodes, mainly due to a chaotic combat system and poor AI. Still, it's not so bad and will guarantee your daily dose of grinding and looting.
  4. Impeccable online role-playing. Great for fans of the original, simple enough for newbies. [Apr 2010, p.67]
  5. While fans will no doubt rejoice at having a new PSO game to play making it their new 'habit' others may nofind it quite as 'compelling' but make no mistake, if you have the time to put into it this is a game that will keep on giving for a long time.
  6. Longtime fans of the series will appreciate how much loving care has been put into this product and, if you can find the friends, will provide countless hours of an addicting multiplayer adventure to take with you wherever you go.
  7. It's a shame that the developers squandered the chance to really build upon Phantasy Star Online, but there's no denying that when you have a few friends at your side, Phantasy Star 0 is just as much fun as its grandpa used to be. [Dec 2009, p.82]
  8. 80
    It is worth it to give Phantasy Star 0 a shot, and it is just hard to recommend across the board.
  9. 80
    It's not a game for everyone, but those who are fans of "grindfest" games like Diablo will have a blast with this game, especially considering you can play it while waiting in the line at the DMV.
  10. Succeeds in delivering Phantasy Star Online to DS, but niggling flaws and missed opportunities tarnish an otherwise great online RPG. [Mar 2010, p.62]
  11. Fans of the original Phantasy Star Zero will enjoy the RPG remake. After all these years, the gameplay and complexity of PSZ still rock. Unfortunately the bad camera hasn't changed as well.
  12. Intriguing and deep, this Action RPG is a perfect tribute to the original Phantasy Star. Visual Chat and multiplayer options make it a damn good online game.
  13. Phantasy Star 0 does have plenty of problems, with the troublesome camera and uninteresting and repetitive single player scenario standing out as the most damning. However, thanks to one of DS's more solid online offerings and the very addictive nature of seeking newer and better loot, Phantasy Star 0 ultimately emerges as more than merely mediocre.
  14. Phantasy Star Zero is one of those games that some will fall completely in love with while others just won't get it.
  15. Phantasy Star Zero is just as much fun as its original version used to be. Longtime fans of the series will appreciate this job.
  16. Phantasy Star Zero is a good MMORPG for the Nintendo DS. There are some flaws like the camera or the slower combat system, but the game knows its limits, and it fares rather well on the handheld.
  17. Accessible, rewarding and rammed with action - but only if you're playing with friends.
  18. Phantasy Star Zero is the perfect RPG for newbies in this genre, but also the fans of this series will have a lot of fun with it. The only thing you'll miss are good graphics. So please, SEGA, notice this for the next part of Phantasy Star.
  19. While the presentation is somewhat outdated and the single-player element is weak, Phantasy Star Zero nevertheless manages to distinguish itself with some incredibly entertaining multiplayer action.
  20. 70
    Phantasy Star Zero is a great action RPG and uses the DS' online capabilities well in spite of Nintendo's limitations, but it is let down by its inconvenience for portable play.
  21. The inclusion of innovative features such as Visual Chat, the abundance of action, some witty dialogue and the presence of many traditional Phantasy Star elements help to secure this a decent score, and there is a lot to enjoy.
  22. There's plenty not to like here, but equally, if you've got a couple of friends and a few hours to spare then Phantasy Star Zero will serve as a great time multiplayer RPG.
  23. Phantasy Star Zero is a good roleplaying game with a powerful online multiplayer and a lasting main adventure.
  24. 67
    It looks fantastic as far as 3D games on DS go, and I'd rank it among the better loot treadmills currently available for the handheld. Just don't go in expecting a flawless -- or particularly modern -- experience.
  25. Phantasy Star Zero gives DS owners a taste of everything that made Phantasy Star Online great nine years ago--and also what makes it seem dated today.
  26. Phantasy Star 0 doesn't quite live up to the memory of Phantasy Star Online from 2000, which if nothing else, highlights just how far the genre has come in the last ten years.
  27. If you're a big fan of the Phantasy Star franchise you might find something to enjoy in this entry for the Nintendo DS, but for everyone else there are few interesting features to be found here. The ability to experience the adventure with friends online is the one saving grace that elevates this title from utter mediocrity.
  28. Phantasy Star Zero is a nice game that adds little new. It's easy to get a feeling that the whole product is quite old. All thought it works quite well, it prevents the game from being memorable.
  29. As it is, Zero is far too hampered by Nintendo's handheld to be worth a hearty recommendation.
  30. Phantasy Star is too much a larger than life trademark since the 8 bit era to accept a mediocre game like this, with a silly A.I., no depth, no story and problematic controls. Only the huge fans of level grinding and loot collecting will have fun with it.
  31. The oldest online role-player on the block is definitely showing its age, particularly on the DS.
  32. It's sad to say that it's just not worth persevering through the tortuous controls. The story is not particularly gripping, and the decisions that affect the progression aren't provoking.
  33. Once those rehashed maps and frustratingly straightforward missions rear their repetitive heads, the limits of Phantasy Star 0 become apparent.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Jun 1, 2013
    What can i say, i bought Phantasy Star Zero with the idea of getting a mini version of Phantasy Star: Online. What did i get was far more then i was expecting, Phantasy Star Zero is in many ways far more advanced then PSO. Classes are far more balanced and the action is more fluid then ever. The graphics and the music is just mindblowingly good for Nintendo DS, it looks equally good as PSO. Also there are new weapon types, classes, features and very good story mode. To keep this short i just say this...BUY THIS GAME if you are a fan of Phantasy Star games. Also this game is great way to introduce yourself to Phantasy Star serie. Full Review »
  2. May 9, 2012
    This is by far the worst game I have ever played, which comes at an extreme surprise considering how strong the Phantasy Star series of games has been since its inception.

    The story is nonsensical, the graphics are terrible, the animations are lazy, and overall the game feels as if Sega did not even attempt to create anything worthy of the Phantasy Star name. Sega has never made a game worse than this.

    If you couldn't tell from the trailers, this game is pretty much a "reboot" in that there really is nothing familiar for anyone who's been a fan of the series, sans names for character classes, consumable items, and magic techniques. There's also a surprising amount of dialogue between characters that plays out in fairly inanimate Character Portraits against a still background using 2-d art. Thankfully there is a "skip" feature where by holding down X, the text will fly away. The story is extremely uninteresting and can be actually unappealing altogether at times, making the skip feature a very nice thing to pass over the unimportant chatter to get back to the gameplay.

    Unfortunately, it seems the very large amount of character dialogue was added to simply give the player "something else to experience." The actual mechanics of the gameplay are extremely limited, with such undoings as poor hit detection, unbalanced difficulty with the advantage to the in-game enemies, and the complete lack of a "quick" menu that was available in Phantasy Star Online, which this game attempts to emulate but gets every aspect wrong by doing so. The quick menu from Phantasy Star Online (accessed with holding your "secondary action palette button" then pressing the top button) was completely forgotten for Phantasy Star Zero, and the bottom screen provides no logical use aside from displaying your action palette and telling you the name of an enemy or item targeted. Most of the menu screens available take place on the bottom screen, including changing equipment, using items not in your palette, and viewing the map. While accessing these menus, the ability to control your player is forfeit so the directional pad can be used to navigate, and face buttons used to confirm or deny. This is only worth noting because of the lack of a quick-menu, which means that if your teammates fall in battle or you need to use an item that you don't have assigned to your action-palettes (6 individual actions total), you must stop all character movement and be defenseless in the heat of battle so that you can bring up the menu, scroll to your items, then scroll through the item list to use a Moon Atomizer (Phantasy Star's "resurrection") or any other item. Furthermore, since the chat function of PSO (which used to occupy the top-face-button, in the case of the DS, the X button) is replaced with the picture message function accessible by a touch-screen button on the lower screen, the X button actually goes unused while exploring the world and fighting enemies. To say it's completely worthless since a function was not implemented with one of the four face buttons is to go too far however, considering the only thing the X button does is, when held and combined with either the left shoulder or right shoulder buttons, allows you to rotate the camera around your character.

    This feature, if it can really be called a "feature," is entirely moot considering the left shoulder button by itself is the "lock onto enemy" button (as well as "center camera directly behind your character" button), and all special Boss Battles automatically have the camera centered on the giant boss enemy at all times. There is literally no reason for this camera rotation feature to exist, especially when there is so little in the game to actually look at or observe as it's worthless function would imply.

    They removed the X button as a useful button which would have improved the action palette for a total of 8 individual actions instead of 6, which could have helped with the lack of a quick-menu by adding otherwise unimportant items like Moon Atomizers to your available one-touch actions rather than having to stand in the middle of a battlefield completely defenseless in a panic while navigating menus. There is also a surprising amount of white-space on the bottom screen during the missions which could have been filled with touch-activated shortcuts for actions.

    Overall, Phantasy Star Zero seems like it was made by someone who looked at a recorded video Phantasy Star Online for 5 minutes and that was the maximum amount of reference material they ever had. Phantasy Star Zero so vaguely represents anything that the Phantasy Star series has established that it may as well have been a fanfiction story written by a bored and lonely teenager.

    The game is horrendous and an abomination not only for the Nintendo DS, but also a detrimental stain on the name of Sonic Team, Sega, and the Phantasy Star brand.

    It's not worth money.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 8, 2011
    this game has a nice storyline which is the only reason why i continued playing it.the battles aren't so hard only when its a boss battle.you can make 3 diffrent characters with diffrent races and with diffrent battle styles.and you have this flying species(i forgot the name) that travels with you,it evolves when you feed it items.i stopped playing this game because of the final boss battle it was so hard that i decided not to play but all you have to do is level up which i am too lazy to do.and you can go online and multiplayer in this game.i've only tried multiplayer because when i got this game it was already an old game but not too old,so that's whyi could'nt play online.anyway im sure you'll find this game worth your time. Full Review »