Phantasy Star Portable PSP

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 3, 2009

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 38
  2. Negative: 5 out of 38
Buy On
  1. 70
    Despite its problems, including a terribly lackluster story, poor AI and imperfect lock-ons, Phantasy Star Portable is really satisfying, especially if you enjoy collecting loot and seeing your deliciously fashionable robo-wizard level up.
  2. The story presentation isn't so hot, and the gameplay can get repetitive, but hunting for items, weapons, and gaining experience is addictive.
  3. Phantasy Star Portable teeters on the edge of being too complicated but its innovative controls ensures the action RPG always stays playable.
  4. It's destined to remain a niche product in Europe, even if, for those who do fall for it, its depths as a handheld multiplayer RPG ensure it may never be forgotten.
  5. Whoever fell in love with Phantasy Star Universe will certainly like this porting, for better or for worse. The franchise however needs nowadays a severe update to be more attractive: combat is definitely out-of-date and gameplay becomes repetitive soon despite of the multiplayer mode. Nevertheless, fans of the genre or the series will like this portable installment of their favourite dungeon-crawling.
  6. Games Master UK
    One for longtime fans or those for whom hard work is its own reward. [June 2009, p.78]
  7. Phantasy Star Portable’s arenas offer loads of loot if you’re in need of satisfying a role-playing craving. The problem is that it’s designed for extended sessions rather than portable play, and you’ll spend as much time talking about a rabbit-eared robot’s feelings as you will slaughtering legions of monsters.
  8. Phantasy Star Portable takes the better things of the two previous PS Universe games to offer a handheld experience with huge possibilities, especially in its multiplayer mode. The visuals look so good and the combat mechanics are rights but sadly the game contains a poor AI and an empty story. A good classic role-playing game, now on PSP.
  9. games(TM)
    We'll be waiting for Phantasy Star Zero to see if that instead can re-awaken the RPG magic the series once held above all others. [June 2009, p.116]
  10. While some Phantasy Star fans will lament the stripped down nature of the game - from SEGA's point of view, this was unavoidable - overall it's complete fan service. The lack of online play (something that may be rectified by the PSP's linking with the PS3) is a disappointment, as is the overall sense that it's not quite as triple-A a product as it could have been, but as a PSP game it's certainly up there with the best of 2009.
  11. The Phantasy Star Online legacy still goes unfulfilled, as the portable version treads water.
  12. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Ask yourself: how much do you care about fictional weaponry? [June 2009, p.95]
  13. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Same situation, same mistakes all over again – Phantasy Star will bore you with stereotypical missions during the first hour of gameplay... and will not stop until you give up. [May 2009]
  14. In the end Phantasy Star Portable will only appeal to people who can play it with friends. As a single player game is feels rather mediocre as you traverse through the dreary story.
  15. Overall, weak production values hurt a game that had a lot of potential. Hardcore RPG fans will find something to enjoy but won’t get overly excited about it, while the average gamer will find this game to be interesting at first and then the tedium will set in. Clearly, if you like RPGs this is worth a try but otherwise I would pass on this one.
  16. Despite some notable flaws, Phantasy Star Portable is an addictive hack 'n slash.
  17. The entire mechanism can become tedious in a short term, but if you have the chance to play with three or four friends, then all this becomes a much better experience.
  18. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Above-average Rogue-like space RPG action. More-ish. [June 2009, p.71]
  19. PSM3 Magazine UK
    You could do a lot worse. [June 2009, p.76]
  20. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    If discovering, collecting, and equipping oddly designed loot is your passion, then Phantasy Star Portable is your type of game. [June 2009, p.81]
  21. 68
    Those who've always wanted a portable slice of Phantasy Star will find hours of content to enjoy, especially if they have a like minded friend or two. The rest of the world however may find it more of an acquired taste.
  22. For all its many graces, Phantasy Star Portable is the latest in a series that’s still trying to ride on its claim of being the first online console RPG, clumsily forgetting the last nine years ever happened.
  23. A really enjoyable game to play, despite it's flaws.
  24. Overall Phantasy Star Portable will only appeal to fans of the franchise. There’s simply not enough to entice most to play, mainly to its repetitive nature and the depth it requires to get the most out of the title.

Awards & Rankings

#31 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Aug 16, 2012
    This game is good for mindless entertainment. The story is cliched and relatively boring. The characters are horribly voiced and lack depth.This game is good for mindless entertainment. The story is cliched and relatively boring. The characters are horribly voiced and lack depth. Your choices sort of matter but the game is only really good for the dungeons. However, you better be ready to see the same dungeons over and over again. I was entertained only because of the nice music, loads of weapons and excellent graphics (for the psp). Lastly, this game has a fantastic customization system for a portable game. Full Review »
  2. VagrantW
    Mar 17, 2009
    My history with Phantasy Star has been storied; I loved the first four games, they were wonderful. Phantasy Star Online I hated at first, but My history with Phantasy Star has been storied; I loved the first four games, they were wonderful. Phantasy Star Online I hated at first, but I warmed up to it slowly, I played it for a little while and it was fun but an easily forgettable game, not really Phantasy Star at all (it would've fared better had it had another name). So I'd pretty much given up on the franchise until I caught wind of Universe. I gave Phantasy Star Universe a try and that seemed very promising, but the 'kewl kid' I had to play as, Ethan Waber, was more boring than the Houses of Parliament on a dull day, that coupled with the painfully bad voice acting of some of the characters (especially the Neuman female) realy put me off it. And at the end of the day, that's sad because I saw some real potential there. I tried Phantasy Star Portable not really expecting anything special, but I was interested because it was the same sort of thing as PSU but I would no longer have to play Ethan Waber (huge bonus), I could play my own character instead. What I found I was pleasantly surprised about, quite so indeed. The gameplay is exactly the same as Universe, and that's a good thing because it's a nice little Diablo-style dungeon romp, that's what the gameplay elements are, and they do that well. What was great about the game though was outside of that. The storyline was a little on the predictable side, but the characters were handled very well, especially the CAST named Vivienne whom it'st he player's duty to help evolve as a character. The charming interactions between the characters made the pedestrian storyline come alive, and because of that it feels like the most 'Phantasy Star' game to date since IV. All in all, Phantasy Star Portable is what I would consider the first point of logical evolution from Phantasy Star IV in the current generation of technology, and if Sega plays this right then they could easily have a cult classic on their hands. I'm already eagerly looking forward to Phantasy Star Zero and hoping for more of the same. One thing I am going to snark at though is the poor Games Radar review, which actually complained about the characters having depth. So... what, a handheld RPG has to have shallow characters to be enjoyable? I don't think so. Just because it's on a handheld doesn't mean a game has to be instant gratification, that's not at all what Phantasy Star Portable is about. And in fact, this only more proves my point that it's more true to the originals in that it has decent characters. These young reviewers have no idea what the original Phantasy Star was like. So to fans of Phantasy Star (I through IV), I'd say give this a look. The gameplay is no longer the same, it had to evolve to keep up instead of remaining stuck in the past, but the feel of it is there, and if you're willing to give it a chance, it'll grow on you. Full Review »
  3. MarlonB
    Mar 15, 2009
    An amazing port of an awesome game. Ugh, but no online multiplayer?! Still the best PSP game by far.