I spent some time this weekend in the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis “Closed” Beta. Closed to those, it seems, who were willing to not only install the Xbox Insider App but risk downloading PSO2: NG from the Windows Store again.
It was just around this time last year that I was looking forward to playing PSO2. From the lack of follow up posts, I can tell you I didn’t stick with it very long. I wanted to like the game but I found every time I logged in I was bombarded with information and decisions that had to be made. After a few weeks, I never found my groove with it, uninstalled it, and never came back.
I didn’t have much interest in New Genesis for the longest time either. I thought it was just a re-release of PSO2 with updated graphics. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I went back and figured out it was a different game entirely. That intrigued me. And the fact that it was open world instead of lobby based. So I got my Xbox insider app, signed up for the beta, and marked my calendar.
After spending a few hours on Saturday with it I’ll say I’m impressed. New Genesis is the exact kind of Phantasy Start game I want to be playing. The game looks and runs great on my machine. The movement feels almost as good as Warframe. And the open world is giving me a bit of Guild Wars 2 vibes. Most importantly, I felt way less anxious starting this game up than I ever did with PSO2. The little guided quest line was enough to get a feel for the game, a feel for the class, and left me wanting to play more. I wasn’t constantly reading tutorials and having system upon system thrown at me and I appreciated that.
The first character I made was a C.A.S.T. Hunter. I played through the initial quest line with him until I got to the end and was tasked with talking to a bunch of NPC’s for some more side quests. At that point I was around level 10 and had been to enough zones to know that I wanted to continue playing the game but I also wanted to try out the rest of the classes while I could. I didn’t want to spend too much time with it and sate my interest prematurely.
You’re limited to 3 character slots per server but you can buy more. Thankfully, I had 20,000 of the premium currency on my account when I logged in which was plenty to unlock three more slots and create a character for every class. While I enjoyed the Hunter class a big sword seems a bit boring flavor wise for me. My top three classes are Techer, the melee and magic hybrid class, Force, the all magic class, and Fighter, a melee class with fist weapons. Ok, honestly, I just want to be a big robot that punches things with that last one….
Time will tell how much I’ll latch on to New Genesis. My friends are interested which is a huge plus. I’m excited now and I’m hoping that excitement carries into June for the release. Maybe by then I’ll figure out where it stashed my screenshots……