Sega is bringing Phantasy Star Online's first major successor to Western audiences.
Though there's no shortage of free-to-play massively-multiplayer games available to English-speaking gamers online, there's now another one on its way that may raise a few eyebrows. Just a few days after its official release in Japan, Sega has confirmed that it's bringing MMORPG Phantasy Star Online 2 to the West. The game, which first entered alpha in mid-2011, is heading to US and Europe in 2013 on the PC.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is the successor to cult classic Phantasy Star Online, released on Dreamcast over a decade ago. The sequel takes cues from the original, which combined action- and rhythm-oriented combat with a class system and included both offline and online play modes. The original classes and races are specifically returning to the sequel, as does a combat assistant called the MAG. You'll also see familiar creatures from the original, including those accursed but adorable Rag Rappies.
One of the new features Sega boasts is robust character customization - you can change the size and shape of any body part and your character's overall height and weight, unlike many contemporary games where only one basic character model is used per gender and race. The character creator even allows you to rearrange body parts if you're the robotic CAST race.
Although there are planned phone and Vita ports in Japan, there's no word on whether these will also be localized after they're released. There are also no details yet on exactly how the microtransaction system, called "Arcs Cash" in Japan, will work or what kinds of items will be on offer. Sega promises to reveal more details about the game in the coming months, which will likely appear on its new teaser site for the game.