Phantasy Star Zero DS

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Nov 10, 2009
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 38
  2. Negative: 6 out of 38
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  1. Jun 1, 2013
    10
    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 asWhat 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. Expand
  2. GatchamanE.
    Jan 30, 2010
    9
    This is a great game! Sure the story isn't all that grabbing and the customization could be a little better. But the gameplay and the multiplayer makes this a very rewarding experience. If u have a DS, this is a must-own!
  3. bobs
    Nov 30, 2009
    10
    Some of the negative reviews I have been reading about this game surprise me. The reason I say this is most of the complaints are based on them not liking the style of the game. (which lets face it is repetitive grinding, and character customization with friends). And while I can totally understand this type of gaming turning some people off, what I really don't understand is why Some of the negative reviews I have been reading about this game surprise me. The reason I say this is most of the complaints are based on them not liking the style of the game. (which lets face it is repetitive grinding, and character customization with friends). And while I can totally understand this type of gaming turning some people off, what I really don't understand is why THOSE people are reviewing the game? I mean shit you would have had to be living in cave to not know what type of game this is before reviewing it...and if you don't like those types of games you sure as shit shouldn't be reviewing it in the first place. Just like I would never review a football game for the same reason. Even if its the best football game ever made, I would still bitch about how bad it is to no end. IF you like the DC style PSO games, you will simply LOVE this game. If for the simple fact you get to play a game as robust as PSO on a portable gaming system like the DS (and being able to play with friends online might I add). For this reason alone it is honestly my favorite in the series right now. Having my grinding addiction with me at all times is simply amazing. There are downsides to this game for sure. The menu system could have really took advantage of some touch screen functionality, and also the online missions with "randoms" limits communications, and missions. But if you play this game using the "friends" mode..it is a blast, and honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had with my DS. Expand
  4. RobertoM
    Nov 17, 2009
    8
    This game a lot of things from both PSO and PSU in order to make it work as well as it does. The strafing and Photon Arts (minus the tedious leveling of PSU), while using the best looting system in the series. Sadly there are no online lobbies even though you can play WIFi as well as system to system. Here's the final breakdown: Pros: 1.Mags are back (no need to explain if This game a lot of things from both PSO and PSU in order to make it work as well as it does. The strafing and Photon Arts (minus the tedious leveling of PSU), while using the best looting system in the series. Sadly there are no online lobbies even though you can play WIFi as well as system to system. Here's the final breakdown: Pros: 1.Mags are back (no need to explain if you're a fan of mags from PSO). 2. Photon Arts are better used in PSZ then in PSU. 3.Best drop system of the series. 4. Level cap of 100 (I found the level 200 cap of PSO to be too much). 5. A lot of replayability Cons: 1.Online needs some work. 2. Graphics are decent at best. 3. The DS really does need analog stick. 4. The CPU AI in story mode is not great but not the worst. Wish there could have been a deeper AI tactics system. Expand
  5. Seek
    Dec 12, 2009
    9
    The negative reviews are mainly because the journalists need to cater to the general audience. However if you're a fan of PSO or other online dungeon crawler action RPGs that fit the Diablo mold you'll enjoy having this portable version at your side.
  6. JesúsM.M.G.
    Jan 5, 2010
    4
    Some character customization, a good amount of races and classes, quite decent garphics, an a less than average history, all thos combined with a repetitive gameplay, limited advancement of the classes and a linear gameplay makes his game a BIG delusion for the gamers, I like PSOnline, and tought PSZero was a good choice for my portable console, but in less than 2 hours I had saw it all Some character customization, a good amount of races and classes, quite decent garphics, an a less than average history, all thos combined with a repetitive gameplay, limited advancement of the classes and a linear gameplay makes his game a BIG delusion for the gamers, I like PSOnline, and tought PSZero was a good choice for my portable console, but in less than 2 hours I had saw it all at the 4 hours I was soooo bored, with the frustrating and linear game, I finished it up in less than a week, between work and free time, and discovered it had sooo litle replayability value a BIG failura in the PStar series, mine is in @bay but I can't blame 'ny one if I cant sell it. Worth just a look in the mall, or a weekend rent if You are a PStar fan. Expand
  7. JordanL
    Dec 19, 2009
    1
    Almost completely unplayable. I can't tell you how many hundreds of hours I spent on the Phantasy Star series, going back to the original Master System game 20 or 25 years ago... The problems with PS0 are rife... No analog stick makes it hard to control your character. The DS controls are too small for the usual "Right Trigger to view action palette #2." The graphics are bad even for Almost completely unplayable. I can't tell you how many hundreds of hours I spent on the Phantasy Star series, going back to the original Master System game 20 or 25 years ago... The problems with PS0 are rife... No analog stick makes it hard to control your character. The DS controls are too small for the usual "Right Trigger to view action palette #2." The graphics are bad even for the DS which has never had good graphics. They're a throw-back to the Sega Saturn or Playstation 1. The animated cut scenes are nice, in the style of the Lunar games, but the bits you actually have to play are just terrible. Pass until it gets ported to a real game system. Expand
  8. CallumE
    Jan 12, 2010
    9
    I wish The Onion review would be taken off. It ruins the metascore of a excellent game. It's story is a bit weak but the online mode makes up for this. Great for Phantasy Star fans and it's a nice game for newcomers to start with.
  9. DavidV
    Nov 17, 2009
    9
    A must have for PSO veterans, and enjoyable for newcomers as well. The storyline in a bit on the weak side, but the fantastic online experience more than makes up for it. Grab a few friends and prepare for hours of fun.
  10. Jun 8, 2011
    10
    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 bossthis 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. Expand
  11. May 9, 2012
    0
    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
    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.
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Awards & Rankings

#16 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#21 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Nintendo Power
    80
    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]
  2. 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.
  3. Once those rehashed maps and frustratingly straightforward missions rear their repetitive heads, the limits of Phantasy Star 0 become apparent.