Samba De Amigo Version. 2000 was released for the Dreamcast yesterday in Japan, with many new songs and modes, such as a "dance" mode, where you have to dance with the maracas. They've also created this brand new desktop wallpaper on their site for the occasion, download it: 1280*1024 (1250KB) or 800*600 (470KB)
Phantasy Star Online has been reviewed by Famitsu Weekly of Japan, given a 37/40 mark, with a Platinum award, here is what those wacky Japanese said about the game, thanks to DC.IGN.COM:
1ST GUY: If you can handle the price of the phone system and the game itself, you should definitely buy it. Simply communicating over the system is fun. It's possible to chat in real-time without any stress. When you're in the room, you can become a new person. I felt like there were wonderful possibilities! When you play off-line, it's an average action-RPG. - SCORE: 9
2ND GUY: You can play the game off-line single-player. However, you can go on-line to play as your own character. You can defeat your enemies, share the items you earn, and cooperate with your buddies via the chat mode. It's fun to experience the adventure with real-life people. If you dare to give candid advice, there may be some problem in cooperation. - SCORE: 9
3RD GUY: The underlying system is fairly simple. As you defeat enemies, your player's level slowly goes up. Single-player mode gets tiring. Why do the multi-player modes become so interesting? Talking with people while you fight is too much fun! You can't feel any time-lag, either. People who are connected to the net will want to try it. - SCORE: 9
4TH GUY: This is the first really complete consumer network game, and I applaud its perfection. You can enjoy the game with people you've never seen before, or play the game by yourself thanks to the decent gameplay system. It feels more like Diablo, but the game really shines because of the Yuji Naka touch. - SCORE: 10
SegaWeb have recently had the pleasure of watching both a new SA2 video, and a PSO video, heres the link. This is what they concluded:
- A new character seemed to exist. He appeared to have Knuckles' skills, such as climbing and flying, but this character was white. Super Knuckles, perhaps?
- A robot character, much like E-102 was seen in the footage. This robot was playable, and was racking up insane combos with its laser.
- Sonic Team did not really demonstrate the online play from the game; they focused mainly on the interface and the single-player gameplay
- To summarize: It kicks ass ^__^
- Sonic Team guided the character from the outdoor areas to the main lobby section, which allowed for a great demonstration of the games menu interface.
- The Menus are VERY important to this RPG's Gameplay, if you don't know Japanese, don't bother importing :)
- everything in Phantasy Star Online seems to be customizable. The character was shown equipping armor and weaponry, and it looked like he not only was able to select from a truckload of items, but he was also able to alter the color/designs of the items themselves.
- Sonic Team then showed off the motion capture from the game, and how it played a key role in making Phantasy Star Online's characters more lifelike. They also displayed several icons that exist in the chat features of Phantasy Star Online, among them being Doraemon symbols (A fat, blue cat with a magic pocket.. also it has no ears :), NiGHTS symbols and Sonic symbols. Perhaps these are Sonic Team's versions of smileys? :)
- Sonic Team apparently wants to make Phantasy Star Online have date-specific downloads. Much like Sonic Adventure had its Christmas Square, Sonic Team wants Phantasy Star Online to have a special graphical alteration done to it on Dec. 25, three days after it is released.
The Super Sonic Zone has reported although Famitsu gave PSO a 37/40 rating, Famitsu Dreamcast, it's sister magazine, gave it a perfect 30/30! The game will come out around about the 27th of January in the US, and about a month after for the PAL release.