SegaDoes Episode 22: Phantasy Star and The End of Gaming as We Know It

 

Holy crap and a peanut, it’s been awhile. Thanks for your patience!

On this episode, the long-awaited discussion about Phantasy Star. And some other games! But mostly Phantasy Star.

Sam and I also get our curmudgeon on to talk about how gaming has changed, and how we really don’t want anything to do with modern gaming anymore. Except for Nintendo. God save Nintendo.

Listen/Download the episode here! Subscribe to us over on iTunes! Leave us a review and we’ll totes read it on the air! Exclamation points all around!

And finally, lavish us with praise or tell us we’re wrong in the comment section below. We’ll read those on the air too.

 

DC

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14 thoughts on “SegaDoes Episode 22: Phantasy Star and The End of Gaming as We Know It

  1. Hey great podcast. I’m Suposed to be the curmudgeony old guy here. I think your death of gaming argument is a little dire. The problem is there is just so many games now. It’s hard to filter out the good stuff. And a lot of the Triple A stuff isnt made for us possibly. But if you look there are plenty of great games. I am not dying for good games to play. If anything I don’t have enough time to play all the good ones I do get. You can just ignore all that mobile noise.

    Loved the discussion on Phantasy Star. I don’t think it was as obscure as you make it sound. Plenty of people knew what it was. They had US TV commercials showcasing it. The problem back then is most people did not get more than one console. And since the NES had over 90 percent of the market, no one was going to go out and switch consoles at this point. It seems now people are more likely to own two consoles. Video game magazines talked about the game. Most people I know eventually played it. I mean we got the GBA release that Dylan had.

    Obviously Sam and I disagree on the quality of the SMS library. I really enjoyed a lot of the stuff that was covered so far. But Phantasy Star was only the first of my list of favorite SMS games covered so far. Some of my favorites will be coming up. I don’t think the library has really hit its peak.

    Also I realy enjoy like you said having a fresh perspective in the writing. That’s why I visit the site. I just think not having experienced it both firsthand some of the conclusions you draw are a little off. It wasn’t really about what Sega didn’t do so much as what Nintendo did. They used monopolistic practices to forbid any third partys from working on competition. And they also pressured retailers to not sell the competition. A lot of what helped the NES succed was the abundance of third party software. The NES had 10 times or more software available than the SMS. It was no competition. When Nintendo lost in court, that is really what opened the door for the a Genesis. It wasn’t just Sonic. It was also the rush of third party’s who couldn’t wait to get out of Nintendos stranglehold liscensing agreements. The Genesis had a great third party lineup and could finally compete on equal footing. The SMS really had no chance against Nintendo no matter what they did. I mean SMB3 could have came out on the SMS and would have not made a bit of difference after 1987. It’s also interesting because the SMS dominated the NES in the UK sales wise. It even dominated US sales. It and Brazil had a much larger market than the US and anywhere else for that matter. So it’s suprising to hear Sam make comments that not many people had heard of Phantasy Star. Brits Probrably played it more than anyone else. Or it could be that micro computers were so popular they overshadowed even the SMS success in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, no doubt some of the conclusions we draw are off. I expect that to some extent, which is why I try to make them sound like the speculation that they are. Don’t know if I always succeed, though.

      As for Phantasy Star being popular, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one since I was 3 when it came out. As a Nintendo kid who started relatively late (1990), I expect the game’s ship had sailed by then in terms of interest/sales.

      As for the Genesis, that is a valuable point about 3rd parties wanting to make games other than for Nintendo. Still, as a six year old when Sonic came out, let me tell you how important that mascot was to me wanting the Genesis. He meant everything, as I suspect he did to many young lings. Most 3rd party games that came out on Geny always looked/sounded better on SNES, but Sega’s franchises, and particularly Sonic, helped bolster the Genesis for years.

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      • When you get around to eventually reading console wars, you will see that it was really a multi pronged attack on Nintendo. From Sonic, to wooing 3rd partys, to EA and its sports games, to releasing more mature titles. Personally being in high school when the Genesis came out, most people I know switched to Sega because of the sports games and specifically Madden. Sonic was huge, but I don’t remember anyone at that age saying I gotta get a Genesis to play Sonic. I’m sure for the younger crowd that was absolutely the case. (Note I absolutely loved Sonic games back then but I was not the mainstream target but the Harcore gamer so to speak.)

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      • It will probably be awhile before I get to Console Wars, but was it Kalinske who helmed that attack? ‘Cause Sega of Japan sounded like they were clueless when it came to the American gaming landscape.

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  2. Listening to the podcast makes me wish I had grown up with a Master System and played the game. Sadly, I still don’t own a proper Master System console, though I do have a Power Base Converter and a handful of good MS games. I do have a bit of Phantasy Star experience, in the form of its sequel. When I first bought my Genesis, I was digging the platformers and shmups, but hadn’t had much experience with RPG’s. I had briefly played Dragon Warrior on the NES and didn’t get it, and had seen a friend play Final Fantasy on the NES, but that’s the extent of it. I bought Phantasy Star 2 based on great reviews and the promise of an “epic adventure”, but I didn’t have the right mindset for a turn-based JRPG at that point, and it didn’t resonate with me the way it probably should have. I enjoyed the graphics, music, story, and battle system, but the “dungeons” were complex, and I didn’t want to take the time to draw maps, so I gave up on it. Now that I have the “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection”, I have all 4 original Phantasy Star games at my disposal, since the original is an unlockable option. I’d like to go through, at some point, and play them all in order.

    An interesting side note is that I bought my copy of PS2 used, and it had a couple game saves on it. One of those happened to be at a spot just before the final boss encounter with the “Mother Brain” computer. I’m not sure if the characters weren’t powered up all the way, or I just didn’t know what magic, skills, weapons, etc. to use, but I tried 20 or 25 times to beat the boss, just to see if I could, and I never did. Perhaps the ramped up difficulty at the end of the first game carried over?

    P.S. My last name is pronounced “Deek-man”, but you can feel free to call my Dick Van Dykeman if you wish 🙂

    @MetalFRO or @GameBoyGuru

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I didn’t get RPGs either when I first played them. I couldn’t imagine starting with any of the Phantasy Stars as my first experience. I’d be doubly pissed if I paid $70 of my allowance money to buy them. So many chores for so much confusion!

      “Deek-man”… we shall get it right next time, though I do also like the alternate Dick Van Dykeman.

      Also, congrats to your leap into the Game Boy universe!

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      • Being my first, (Well second) RPG it just clicked with me. The systems were not too complicated. Maybe the underlying math made it appeal to me. I was pretty good at math. I embraced it full on despite it being like nothing else. It helped that the game looked better and was more polished than any game until the 16-bit era.

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    • No Phantasy Star 1 and 2 are just both very hard games. If you didn’t have the included hint book with Phantasy Star 2 even double so. It had all the dungeon maps (basic maps not totally fleshed out). At least you could use graph paper and make a exact map in PS. In PSII they are overhead maps that are much more difficult to map out. Playing with a map is almost required. Or late game you would be pulling your hair out.

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  3. This was still in the time period when the master system was being killed by micro compunters still, spot on. Sms didn’t really get big until the result 90’s really, I have never heard any one I have ever meet in person in my nearly 30 years in the UK ever EVER mention phantasy star.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That makes sense. I remember now hearing Jaz Rignal talk recently on the US Gamer podcast or it may have been on the site, that the SMS was actually really popular when the Genesis was out because it was so much cheaper. And the microcomputers were really big in the 80’s. And that the NES never really gained much traction there.

      Then again I always seem to hear lots of stories from people from the UK saying them and all their friends had SMS. Must have been at the later time frame.

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  4. Can anyone say, “Get off my lawn, you damn kids!” Yes, the video game industry has changed a lot but to look backwards with rose-colored glasses I think is a mistake. On the whole I would say games are probably just as good or bad as they’ve always been…just look at questicle for your fill of crap games from the past. And think about all the crap systems from the past! The industry is really exciting right now with e-sports developing and twitch changing how people consume games. It’s evolving. Sure some things suck…but don’t they always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking backwards with rose-colored glasses is almost always a mistake. Nevertheless, I’m astonished at how radically turned off I’ve become to the PS4/Xone era of gaming. Both systems are inundated with a slew of remasters of two year old games, some indie titles, and the occasional decent exclusive. Aside from Bloodborne and Sunset Overdrive, I can’t think of anything I want to play. I have changed, the industry has changed, games have changed. A lot of games sucked back then, but the industry they came out of was also newer, rougher. No excuse, perhaps, but then there’s even less of an excuse today for the game industry to be as boring as it has become. Games have had nearly forty years to become amazing, and outside of a few scattered across various platforms, I think the industry has actually regressed rather than pushed forward. If I were more optimistic, I’d say the industry is in transition, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere except to higher profits, further swindling of consumers, and less interesting games. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong.

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      • Well, we can agree on a couple of points. PS4/Xone are kinda weak at the moment with all the remasters and whatnot but it’s still early in their life cycle so we’ll see what happens down the road. And I can totally see the point that some aspects of the console industry are becoming a little stale (COD every year/ overblown, overhyped, underwhelming, buggy “AAA” games, etc.)

        But here’s a counterpoint to the staleness argument; in the 3DS we have a handheld system that displays 3D video without glasses (it’s a gimmick but it is pretty cool tech) that also allows you to play with anyone in the world via the internet…I have a hard time totally agreeing that the industry is regressing considering that system which I do own and love. And that system has moved millions of units so it can’t all be bad, right?

        Perhaps the industry is suffering from generational overload…companies are trying to make games/systems for people aged 8 – 48. That is a tough spot to be in…making toys that appeal to both kids and adults. I know I don’t get near as excited as I used to about games but maybe that’s because I’m in my early 30’s and my geritol prevents my heart from beating too fast.

        However, back to the main discussion…it may seem like things are not as good as they could be/should be/were/whatever, just sit tight…if the current systems aren’t your thing just wait until the next thing.

        Or go back and play some of the games from the last 30 years you missed.

        Good discussion. I’m glad y’all brought that up in the podcast.

        Liked by 1 person

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