Title: Idola Phantasy Star Saga
Where to get: IOS and Android
Language: English text with Japanese voices
Publisher: Boltrend Games
Release Date: 09/16/2020
Overview: Phantasy Star has long been one of my all time favorite JRPGs ever since the Sega Genesis. I rented Phantasy Star 3 so much from my local mom n pop video store that they eventually let me buy it. I also loved Phantasy Star 2 and 4 and the original Phantasy Star Online. I haven’t played Phantasy Star Online 2 yet although I know after like over a decade of waiting it finally got an English release this year but this post isn’t about Phantasy Star online or the classic console games. No, this post is about Phantasy Star Saga, a new mobile game. It is quite different from the rest. Idola Phantasy Star Saga does offer a lot of nice gameplay features along with full voice acting and an amazing soundtrack with some lovely 2D graphics. It’s worth checking out especially since it’s free to play.
Overall Score: 60/80
Geeky: 3/5 Eh it’s a mobile game and like most it’s very pay to win. I’ve had enough free stars to do ten pulls on the Gacha about seven times and I only have 2 5 Star characters without paying anything. Only one came from the Gacha. The other was a launch promotion. There are a lot of promotions and free stars and you get stars for completing quests or story elements. In the end it’s no different from the myriad of other Gacha hero collecting games. There are some unique gameplay elements that I’ll get into soon and the music and voice acting and 2D graphics are very high quality.
Sweetie: 2/5 Story is a little weak but I’m only on like chapter 3. I see choices sometimes but am doubting the impact of those choices. There is a law and chaos system. The characters’ costumes and skills might change depending on their alignment. There is a section in the game where you choose their alignment. Once chosen I don’t think you can’t select the other one. There are cute pets and some other things that add to the cute and girly factor of this game.
Gameplay: 8/10 Gameplay offers a lot of things to do. But ultimately like all mobile games it feels repetitive quickly.
Gameplay includes the following modes of play:
Quests: There’s storyline quests, side quests, daily quests, and limited event quests. In a quest you’ll read story and battle through various scenarios. This is the main mode of play.
Arena: as it sounds you will fight other players and get rank points for rewards. Arena is reset at different seasons and so the objective is to be one of the highest ranked players in that season.
Idola battles: Sometimes powerful enemies known as Idola will appear. Defeat them within the time limit to gain rewards.
IdolMag: This is a cute pet raising system. Your pets can help in the quest mode of the game.
No matter which mode you play, a few things remain consistent. Combat is turn based. You can have two parties, one law and one chaos party. The two parties will fight together. A character cannot appear in both parties at the same time. Characters’ alignment also determines which parties they can join. You gain new characters and new weapons via Gacha and can level up the characters and weapons via crafting and disassembled shards. These materials are also earned in Gacha.
Overall even though the gameplay has many different sections all of those sections feel kinda the same and the combat and gameplay in and of itself just isn’t that interesting.
Story: 6/10. I feel like it’s not that great but I’m only in chapter 3. You play as a young sailor who doesn’t know his parents. You meet a young girl who wears a mask she is a leader of a chivalry unit. Her guards, especially her mother, seems to know you or your parents and hints at things from your past about how it reminds her of back then. There’s a lot of foreshadowing that she knows more than she’s letting on.
Characters: 6/10 Characters are cute and some interesting and eccentric personalities. But their story development seems to suffer from the weak story.
Graphics: 8/10 I like the character designs and the idola boss fights and the cute idolamag pet systems.
Music: 10/10 A lot of great orchestra and symphony tracks including several vocal tracks.
Voice Acting: 10/10 full Japanese voice acting and great casting
Replay Value: 7/10 There will be new limited event characters and costumes but the game just isn’t as fun as I’d hoped and with so many similar games… I’ll play this one time to time but not every day.
Overall Score: 60/80