Play Phantasy Star Nova even if you don’t know Japanese

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Last updated on February 16th, 2015

I was always a bit envious of people from the US when I was a kid. They were getting all the good games from Japan back then and we had to go through several hoops to play them as well. Console modding, importing the games for a fortune and playing all the stuff in English wasn’t so easy when you’re a 10 year old boy. My kindergarten friend had a Super Nintendo. Or rather his father had one, the we were allowed to use it as well. We used to hang out every day after school, playing Street Fighter or Yoshi’s Island. And between Mario Paint sessions we discovered Star Ocean which his dad brought back home when he visited Japan on a business trip. The typical cliché, right.

We loved the cover and the space setting but had obviously no clue what we were doing there. Did it matter? No, we werer happy with everything that moved on the big screen. Years later I still haven’t really played Star Ocean even if it’s always been a title that I’m especially interested in. During the PSP era I didn’t touch one of the many sequels. Don’t ask me why though. But now on to the once infamous Phantasy Star series.

I played a little bit of Phantasy Star 4 when I got the Sega Mega Drive Collection for my PS3 but it’s one of those games it’s fairly hard to get into after years from the original release. Dungeon Crawlers just don’t age very good if you don’t have that certain hardcore motivation. The series moved on from its classic RPG roots to the Hunter genre with PSO and the new Vita only entry of the series Phantasy Star Nova follows suit. I get one or two Japanese games each time for Christmas and beneath Dungeon Travelers 2 (played the demo and loved it) this will be my second Christmas game. It’s a convenient one because I can finally play a modern Phantasy Star game and get a little Star Ocean feeling while doing so (Tri Ace who was in charge of developing Phantasy Star Nova did Star Ocean as well). At least it makes waiting for Yakuza Zero to finally release in March a lot more easy.

Get to know the basics and a lot more

I found a great guide over at Critical Damage which explains some basics things like how to set up your character, different classes, weapons etc. which will come in quite handy if your Japanese isn’t up to speed (or you’re struggling with the Kanji).

Bumped did a starter guide as well with some lovely screenshots and a very comprehensive list of skills.

Another great website I already discovered a couple of weeks ago is Waji no Kiseki. It’s completely in French and run by a Sen no Kiseki enthusiast. So if you’re interested in these very text heavy roleplaying games from Falcom just head over there. He recently started a great list about all the items you can find and use in Phantasy star nova, just look at his list. It’s pretty incredible how much effort he put into it. Will hep a great deal when I finally received my own copy from Nippon Yasan.

Start playing

Thanks to all the hard work these guys put into making handy guides for us you can even play Phantasy Star Nova without understanding a lick of Japanese. Can’t wait to join you guys.

  • Buy Phantasy Star Nova at
    If you buy the game through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome stuff for review. Thanks for your support!

PS: Will take some proper pictures for you once I finally received the game. And a day later it already arrived.

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