Metascore
64

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
  1. Action-based online RPG-ing, and nowhere near as intimidating as its PC-based cousins. [Christmas 2006, p.88]
  2. A decent hack 'n' slash action-RPG. Too bad the multiplayer game is too expensive for what it is. [Jan 2007]
  3. 80
    A throwback to the good ol' days of "Diablo 2"-style dungeon exploring, PSU is a value-packed, worthwhile action-RPG that finds its biggest challenge not in its modern-day peers, but in escaping the shadow of its predecessor: "Phantasy Star Online (PSO)."
  4. Personally, I was turned off rather quickly by the ancient game play and dated development decisions.
  5. Universe is a strong and worthy sequel to the 2000 Dreamcast classic, but key absences – specifically the offline multiplayer – make a very good case for waiting.
  6. Sure, I applaud Sega for attempting to transform the single-player experience into something meatier, but poor voice acting and clumsy storytelling lend the proceedings a cheesy B-movie vibe. [Jan. 2007, p.101]
  7. Phantasy Star Universe, in the end, is just more of the same thing: simple dungeon crawling. It's fun online; it's not fun offline. This is a hard one to rate, as it's pretty convoluted. It ultimately depends on what type of experience you're looking for when you load it up.
  8. Even clearly noticeable repetition and developer laziness can't fully erase what is in essence an almightily addictive and emergent base structure.
  9. Online is clearly the main event here, but nevertheless the experience proves as involving and deceptively deep as ever. Minus a few fairly bizarre design issues, it would score more highly. [Issue 14, p.91]
  10. Sure, the online world can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you've got to grips with communicating and finding your way around, you and your friends will be hooked. [Issue 18, p.84]
  11. Phantasy Star Universe was designed to be a console game, even more so than Blue Burst was, and doesn't relent in that position even slightly.
  12. It’s not quite as open-ended as genre titans like World of Warcraft, but there’s a lot to like about PSU; it offers a vast, engaging and personal online and offline experience – plus there’s just something blissful about hitting robot Ewoks with a giant sword.
  13. Phantasy Star Universe almost immediately feels dated, and the monthly fee is way too steep to justify, but at its core, it's still an enjoyable experience.
  14. But as it is, for the sequel to the forefather of online console RPG's--a game we happily sank hundreds of hours into on everything from Dreamcast to original Xbox--Phantasy Star Universe does only due dilligence without pushing the series past, say, 2003. [Jan. 2007, p.83]
  15. 65
    It's a simplistic and shallow game that by all means should make it one of the worst RPGs ever made. It has a player-base that's virtually non-existent, and will only be decreasing with time. The single-player mode, though improving on the originals, is pretty shameful when compared to others. And yet, just like the original, it's a blast to play and will surely keep some people addicted for a long time.
  16. A polished game that just isn’t that exciting. Series fans will appreciate what it has to offer, but those coming in for the first time may find the experience underwhelming.
  17. 64
    Simply adding new weapons and techniques, changing the environments and adding a few extras such as the bedroom isn't enough when the online RPG has become a fully blown phenomenon.
  18. 64
    It succeeds in tracing classic-but now dated-gameplay structure while offering an instantly accessible social online aspect that may well offer an avenue into MMO not usually accepted by those with more of a penchant for more immediate titles. However, it fails monumentally to accept the next-gen baton handed up hopefully by its Dreamcast predecessor.
  19. There is little doubt in my mind that Sega could create a great MMO one day, but truth is, they need a make a fresh start and take the concept in a new direction, take it back to the drawing board.
  20. Just about the only thing that is going for it is the online play, and even then $9.99 is a pretty steep price to pay for such an underwhelming experience. In the end, the game is a big disappointment due to its lackluster graphics, sound, and gameplay.
  21. For a game that trades a competitive level of complexity for more instant action-based appeal, it needs to be slicker in its presentation and explanations. [Jan 2007, p.80]
  22. While the hacks and cheats may be gone, they have simply been replaced by new chaos and a design disorder that does everything in its power to dissuade anyone but the keenest of sentimental subscribers.
  23. Phantasy Star Universe seems far too content to wallow in its mediocrity. The story kind of lumbers along until its conclusion, and while there’s fun to be had with character progression, the plotline never really grabs hold of you and demands your attention.
  24. The missions have a shocking lack of variety, mostly just forcing you to do the same handful of things, but with stronger foes.
  25. A Marmite sort of game – you’ll either love it or hate it!
  26. Phantasy Star Universe is still holding on to its roots and needs to be dug out and replanted. Online, or offline the Phantasy Star experience will end up feeling a little generic for today's standards of gaming.
  27. The single-player is a fun new addition but is plagued by frustrating design choices and idiotic AI, while the multiplayer is very hard to justify paying £6.99 a month for, especially as the game doesn't even come with a free trial period.
  28. On paper, expanding upon each aspect of the well-received Phantasy Star Online appears attractive, yet a shoddy execution lacks the finely-tuned balance the game was known for.
  29. 50
    A disappointment of near-epic proportions. Sega ripped out the very heart of PSO's legendary addictiveness, replacing it with a repetitive, tedious grind that shows no signs of ending.
  30. Nothing has been improved in the six years since PSO. Worse still, PSU actually managed to take steps backwards (level design, story, online play, mission counters, equipment, mags, etc) and ruin the memory of the Phantasy Star legacy.
  31. The overall package isn't too little, it's just way too late. The same kind of online content is free in other, better games, so the ten dollar fee is out of the question.
  32. It's a bargain bin game, for what it's worth plus a monthly fee. Not to mention, you can garner a thorough experience out of it within a couple weeks as a rental.
  33. There are better examples of the genre for sure, it's just a shame they're not on any console. We'll say one thing for it - it's miles better than "Final Fantasy XI." But then, that's not saying much, is it? [Christmas 2006, p.130]
  34. There’s just nothing there to recommend, beyond a reasonably decent plot. Best thing I can suggest, then, is to find a detailed guide somewhere online and read the story there – you’ll have more fun and won’t waste time and money on the game.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 5 out of 16
  1. DoubleD.
    Nov 27, 2006
    10
    This game is great! Far from perfect but, still a blast and much larger than Ep.1&2. Great game for 2-6 friends to have a great time shooting This game is great! Far from perfect but, still a blast and much larger than Ep.1&2. Great game for 2-6 friends to have a great time shooting and exploring and hanging out on voice chat. Full Review »
  2. Apr 26, 2014
    9
    Personally I loved it! Wonderful balance of social and action, with voice chat and lots of fun to be had. My second favourite MMO of all time,Personally I loved it! Wonderful balance of social and action, with voice chat and lots of fun to be had. My second favourite MMO of all time, after Second Life.

    So yeah erm, top notch! These days it might not be worth it though because the servers are offline :(

    The offline modes are ok though, and there might be a private server soon!
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2011
    6
    Story: 3
    Characters: 6
    Graphics: 7 Setting: 9 Multiplayer: N/A Soundtrack: 4 Audio: 7 Gameplay: 6 Re-Playability Value: 5 Fun Factor: 7
    Story: 3
    Characters: 6
    Graphics: 7
    Setting: 9
    Multiplayer: N/A
    Soundtrack: 4
    Audio: 7
    Gameplay: 6
    Re-Playability Value: 5
    Fun Factor: 7

    Score: 6.0/10 = C-
    Full Review »