What do you think should be the future of the Phantasy Star franchise?

These past few weeks we have been talking quite a bit about Idola Phantasy Star on SEGAbits. The game seems to been met with a lot of negativity and it isn’t just from a whiny SEGA fan like yours truly. I think one of the more shocking things about the mobile game is that the director basically came out and said that Idola Phantasy Star Saga will be the future of the franchise and they want it to replace Phantasy Star Online 2. That means that they want Idola Phantasy Star Saga to be out for at least half a decade, considering that Phantasy Star Online 2 came out way back in 2012. I’ve seen a lot of people reach out to us on Twitter and tell us how they wished SEGA handled the Phantasy Star brand.

But here at SEGAbits want to hear from YOU, the reader. How do you wish SEGA would handle the Phantasy Star brand moving forward?

But maybe you want to read mine?

Phantasy Star Returns to console JRPG roots

The team behind Phantasy Star IV said in an interview that the game was meant to close up their series. We didn’t hear much about the franchise here in the West until we got Sonic Team’s reboot of Phantasy Star Online. I actually do appreciate that SEGA respected the wishes of the developer this time and put the franchise to rest, but I’m also happy that they thought up of a clever way of bringing it back with a fresh new idea. But a part of me always wants to have a new classic, well designed Phantasy Star JRPG.

I would love to see a entry into that old school JRPG formula that embraces the world and style from the older games. I think there has been a raise of classic JRPGs that where met with smashing success like the Dragon Quest re-releases (soon Dragon Quest XI), Bravely Default series, Octopath Traveler, and I Am Setsuna. I think a new entry into something like this could be successful considering how interesting the Phantasy Star worlds could be and also think there is a market in Japan longing for some nostalgic 80s anime aesthetics. I mean, there was a time, less than 5 years ago, that SEGA didn’t believe a SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive style Sonic the Hedgehog game would be able to sell. My only rule would be not to name the game Phantasy Star V, give it its own branding. Phantasy Star Saga would have been good, if it wasn’t taken by Idola…

Re-release Phantasy Star Online with improved controls

Sonic Team’s Phantasy Star Online game was a lot of fun in the early 2000s and saw several re-releases and expansions, the last one being on PC in 2004. Phantasy Star Blue Burst featured a brand new episode and the ability to talk to people across servers. Of course it ran for awhile and SEGA shut it down. You can always play these games on a private server, as well, but I think we deserve some sort of definitive versions of these Phantasy Star Online games. I always felt that the biggest market for Phantasy Star Online was the console players and most of them didn’t get to experience Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst. But I also think some of the games controls need some improvement, especially ranged characters. Having a new and classic control set-up would be a big improvement for a re-release like that considering it will welcome new players with a more modern control scheme. SEGA could even add more dungeons and missions as a new episode.

One of the issues Phantasy Star Online games ran into was funding the server, moderator and other costs that come with an online game. Maybe if SEGA doesn’t want to support the online servers they can just make it peer-to-peer and even allowing users to host an open lobby on their connection for them to hang out when they aren’t doing hunting missions. Who doesn’t want to play Phantasy Star Online lobby soccer? Not to mention with new consoles like the Nintendo Switch they could allow users to play offline with a group of friends.

I feel this is a better direction than a gacha mobile game that looks little to nothing like a Phantasy Star game.


15 responses to “What do you think should be the future of the Phantasy Star franchise?

  1. Bertodecosta says:

    Phantasy Star Gaiden and Phantasy Star Adventure would have been good name too. But it’s already taken by gg versions that never make it to the west.

  2. Dennis Livingston says:

    To be honest, I mostly only care about PSO, since I never played the single player games, so I’d want more of that mostly.

    But I suppose a new mainline Phantasy Star could interest me, as long as it’s more modern and not hearkening back back to the old MS/Genesis rpgs.

  3. Randroid says:

    Just to chime in, my dream phantasy star game would be a complete remake and 3d modernization of phantasy star 4.

    Same characters, plot points, etc, but fully modernized in the vein of xenoblade chronicles or the latest star ocean.

    In regards to this article, no mobile game should be entrusted as the future of any franchise.

  4. Dhezz says:

    I’m sympathetic to the fact that they ended the original games properly, but this doesn’t mean that they couldn’t remake them. Japan got some pretty nice PSI and PSII remakes on the PS2 (available on Japanese PSN). Sadly, they never got to PSIV. Argh.

    There were also several sidestories that could be remade: Phantasy Star Gaiden and Phantasy Star Adventures on the Game Gear, for example, or the Phantasy Star Text Adventures, would work great on mobile platforms. Or they could make other gaiden games in that universe.

    Or they could expand on the Phantasy Star Online lore. I think everyone familiar with the original PSO trilogy agrees that it had the best world and mood of any of the modern Phantasy Stars. It had so much potential. We got a glimpse of it in some of the quests (East Tower, Seat of the Heart, etc.) . They could have just made this new Phantasy Star game in that world as an independent story. There are even two official PSO novels in Japanese!

    It seems unlikely that we’ll get this new Phantasy Star game anyway, but with such a rich legacy, it seems like there’s a lot of wasted potential.

    For some reason, they still haven’t released Phantasy Star IV on mobile.

  5. Albert says:

    After playing PSO2, going back to the first PSO would feel incredibly awkward considering how clunky and dated it is. Nah, leave PSO where it is.

    Just localise PSO2 and make a single player mode for it and it’s good to go.

  6. Eck says:

    Not to make the big mistake of putting it near hardware with Nintendo logos on it.

    That was a big mistake the last time continuing from the Dreamcast, ideally Sega Dreamcast 2 would have been perfect but the next best thing should have been for it to continue with the Xbox platform.

  7. TDixpix says:

    Even if there’s only a moderate fan demand for the lore in the west, I’m sure that there is a large enough base in Japan that would be interested in the development of a story-driven Phantasy Star game that took itself seriously as a connection to the old games.

    Sequels that continue the stories of characters can be a little prohibitive for new entrants to the series, so why not take a page from the Star Wars playbook? Why not do a little universe building and find a way to link the original universe to the expanded one?

    I really think that there’s an original idea to be explored around Earth’s connection to Algol by way of PS2’s Earthmen, and PSIII’s ship arrival on earth at the end of Sean’s quest.

    Like in PSIV when the team finds the Palman ship derelict, you don’t need to make a literal connection to the old series a focal point of the story. Instead, dig deep into the nerdy stuff in side-quests and make the story of the people of earth ruining their own planet the main point.

    I for one would love to see the people from Earth as well-developed villains — it’s an angle that doesn’t get explored all that often.

  8. SkyBlue says:

    They should segment each Genre of Phantasy Star so we know they have a good focus on the IP:

    Idola should be a Mobile Spin off and nothing more.

    Phantasy Star Online should be on the PS4/XBO amd PC and make it a GaaS model for ongoing support.

    Lastly, the one on Nintendo should be called Phantasy Star Adventure and mix in some Sakura Wars Decision Making with multiple endings just to make it replayable. Keep the Classic Battle System but use the 7th Dragon Engine anf build on that with a New Retro Artstyle.

    A director saying this is the Future of the Franchise will only devalue the Online and Classic series and will upset their existing fanbase…if it flops then they can’t really backpedal without being ridiculed.

  9. Gell-oh says:

    I really want a return to its JRPG roots. In particular, I love how the first game struck the perfect balance between fantasy and sci-fi. Fighting Medusa with a laser gun is pretty damn awesome. I’m not interested in an MMORPG, bring it back to its origins and give us a new strong female lead too!

  10. Neal says:

    I love the original Phantasy Star on the SMS. I’ve played through it a couple times (both times with a walkthrough because, well, the game doesn’t guide you much), and it’s the crown Jewel of my modest Master System collection.

    I’d absolutely buy the hell out of a modernized remake of the game that started it all. There’s so much room for expanding the story and adding additional references and elements from the PSO/PSU games. It would be brand new, and familiar.

    I’d even take a 3D overhaul of the original games like the DS/mobile FF3 and 5(?) remakes.

  11. AfroRyan says:

    I’d like a super compilation of the online games. PSO Blue Burst, Phantasy Star Universe, a long with Portable 1 and 2, Phantasy Star Zero, and of course PSO2. It’s a pipe dream but it would rock. Might as well make it peer to peer, too; get rid of the lobby servers and just let us play with friends. Then they never have to shut them down.

  12. NB-DanTE says:

    I think remaking the originals with some plot changes or even explore the background of the other characters since the stories in the old ones were too lineare an less fleshed out, pair that with top notch graphics and a fighting system a la Resonance of Fate will be great but too risky since players aren’t really accepting new stuff easily unless it’s related to some big names like Sony and Square-Enix… redoing it in some pixel art style and preserving the anime look is also a good thing. Most people nowadays only know about PSO2 or PSU games which are more action oriented! a new Phantasy Star it’s a hard sell!
    replaying PS IV and man I’m more invested in it more than I did in the new GoW!! Rune <3

  13. Ikagura says:

    This is a complicated problem… I began to love Phantasy star thanks to PSO but I also like the classic serie (even if they are hard) and the PSU serie (even if I prefer Portable 2/infinity in overal). PSO2 was nice but I think I came too late to fully enjoy the first 3 episodes.

    I think the best thing to begin is to “remaster” the 4 classic game to make them more modern (turn by turn but with a gameplay like PSIV and less grinding to make it more bearable), adding a speedup button would be nice to make thing quicker (PSIII was slow as hell)

    Finally put the GG spinoffs as well to have the whole classic game serie in one compilation.

    And no PS 5 simply because the 1-2-4 trilogy was good with a great end in PSIV (yeah Generation of Doom is not like the others, not the same team made it but keep it for the legacy)

    PS: there was a turn based spinoff PSPo2 on mobile called PS Eternal Hunters and Eternal Planets, it looked nice and closer to the classics

  14. Dave says:

    This is the worst possible thing they could have done to Phantasy Star.

    Make Phantasy Star Mania, release Phantasy Star Nova on Switch and do PSO HD, also keep having M2 release the classics. If they’re interested, maybe they would be a good studio to work on Phantasy Star Mania and have Reiko Kodama supervise.

    Literally IDOLA is trash and I would rather to just keep getting ports of the old games and never make a new PS again if this is the direction they are moving the series into. Hopefully this will just be a diversion like that Valkyria mobile game that bombed in Japan a few years ago.

    WAY worse than what they did to Shining.

  15. Ikagura says:

    I would love if they released a crossover spinoff (either a strategy RPG like Fire Emblem or even a turn based action RPG a la Sword of Vermilion (check it out on Genesis)

    I mean I would love to make a dream team with characters like Wren, Kireek, Nagisa and even Lisa (yeah I like Casts)

    I mean doing that would promote every sagas in a better way than PSO2

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