On this day in 1987, SEGA released a science-fiction/fantasy role-playing game by the name of Phantasy Star for their Master System console in Japan. It was later localized in English and Spanish, ported to numerous systems, and spawned three direct sequels and several spin-off titles. Hugely successful and highly innovative for its time, Phantasy Star helped to lay the groundwork for the role-playing game genre alongside it’s contemporary, Final Fantasy, with both titles being released within days of each other. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important video games of all time, and has consistently been listed as one of the very best games of its kind.
SEGA is celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary with the release of the Phantasy Star Complete Collection, which is now available on the Japanese PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 for the price of ¥800 (approximately $10 USD). Phantasy Star, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III, and Phantasy Star IV are all fully translated and playable in English, so these titles should not be overlooked by English speakers.
Originally released for the PlayStation 2 as part of the SEGA AGES series, the collection includes the following titles:
–Phantasy Star (Master System)
–Phantasy Star II (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star II Text Adventures (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star Adventure (Game Gear)
–Phantasy Star Gaiden (Game Gear)
Phantasy Star II Text Adventures is a compilation of eight visual novels, each centered around one of the main characters from Phantasy Star II and was first available through the SEGA Meganet modem accessory for the Genesis/Mega Drive console, while the eight stories — made available in two separate compilations — were later ported to the console’s SEGA CD/Mega CD add-on. Phantasy Star Adventure and Phantasy Star Gaiden were both released for the SEGA Game Gear in 1992, just months apart each other. Adventure was the first Phantasy Star title to be released for SEGA’s handled and features a different gameplay style than other titles in the series, being a first-person text-based adventure game that takes place during the events of Phantasy Star II. Gaiden, on the other hand, is a traditional role-playing game in the style of Phantasy Star I, which Gaiden is an indirect sequel to. It’s worth noting, however, that according to series continuity both Adventure and Gaiden are considered non-canon.
No announcements have yet been made on the possibility of an international release, though anyone with a Japanese PlayStation Network account can purchase the collection in any territory.
UPDATE: A trailer for Phantasy Star Complete Collection has been released — be sure to check it out after the break.