Phantasy Star II is considered a marvel for its time. I personally am curious as to why. I say this because if I were to have purchased thisPhantasy Star II is considered a marvel for its time. I personally am curious as to why. I say this because if I were to have purchased this game back in 1989, I'm not sure I would have played another RPG again, or at least until much later. Don't get me wrong, from a design perspective this game did a lot of cool stuff. I had a lot of fun with the random encounters and leveling up my party. However, my issue is with the acclaimed “amazing story,” and the overall pacing for the game.
I have no problem with getting most of the story through talking to all the townsfolk throughout each city. However, between that and the actual story telling through major events, you are left filling in the blanks as best as you can. It is like pulling teeth trying to get a good idea for the story. I understand that the hardware creates memory constraints for the developer, but compared to Final Fantasy II, (released a year before) shows that they could have done better with story telling. I couldn't finish the game because I got fed up with the pacing, but did finish reading the story online. Knowing the ending, I'm actually glad I didn't invest the time to finish this game, as it would have annoyed me to no end.
The pacing is my second issue. Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy a complex maze-dungeon. However, researching that most players finish the game with around 40 hours invested, it became clear that is because the dungeons were too long to attempt to try and figure out without the use of maps found online. The first dungeon took me 2-3 hours to complete, and the 2nd around the same time. I really do enjoy grinding levels out, however, the intent for the design became clear that they wanted you to spend (x) amount of time per dungeon. Even with the use of maps, it took a significant amount of time to work my way through.
The game is definitely worth experiencing if you are curious how the RPG genre has evolved, but I personally would recommend PS 4, if you want a more story oriented game. I am going to try PS 3 next, to see if what kind of improvements they made. I only started this series as I have always loved PS4, and thought I'd try its predecessors. If you want to try this game, I'd recommend virtual console for 800 coins. At the time of this writing, a loose cartridge-only listing for this game is going for around $16 + S&H.… Expand