Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Ver.2 Preview – Let Your Creativity Soar

It’s been a little over two years since the initial release of Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, or NGS for short. And the journey so far has definitely met a lot of criticism and development complications, especially with the novel coronavirus pandemic putting a wrench on many things. But that changes with the first-ever major overhaul update known as New Genesis Version 2, stylized as Ver.2. I recently had the opportunity to try out this new version early, so let’s talk about what it has in store.

The star of the show, or I suppose I should say, space, of this update, is the titular Creative Space. Unlike the Personal Quarters from the original PSO2, which are for the most part situated indoors, a Creative Space is, quite literally, a blank field slate that you can decorate however you want, which you can access from any Ryuker Device on the field. To unlock Creative Spaces, you also must have completed Chapter 1 of the main story, or at least, enough to reach Aelio City. You also do not need any sort of access ticket, or an active Premium Pass, though the latter will give you special benefits.

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Through the Creative Space interface, you can place down Build Parts. There’s a bit of a learning curve here, as the sheer amount of UI prompts and buttons at your disposal may be a bit too much at first, and I’ve found that, because placing parts is dependent on your camera, it can be a bit hard to really nail structures sometimes.

Furthermore, there is also a load limit, but after doing some “extremely scientific testing”, I can confirm that it takes some effort to cap out that limit. Editing privileges can also be given to other players, allowing for collaborative builds. This sheer amount of customization means that all sorts of crazy structures can be created, provided you have the time and patience to get everything just right.

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You can make crazy builds such as this recreation of Dark Falz Aegis!

The next feature is the Connect System, which allows you to set interactions with the various Build Parts, such as switches, doors, and other animated apparatus. This system is definitely complicated to understand at first, and will take a long time to even grasp, because even while messing around with it, I couldn’t get it to work 100% of the time. Still, I blame this on myself, and my lack of skill.

To obtain Build Parts, Star Gems, as well as a brand-new currency, Genesis Points, are utilized. By exchanging either of these, you can obtain new types of furniture and tile structures that you can use to build. Like Star Gems, Genesis Points are obtained from Limited-Time Tasks, and you can also get a rather generous amount from Arche, the Creative Space NPC, if you complete her tutorial. There’s also a tree called the GP Tree, which will give you Points once every day.

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But even if you’re not interested in the Creative Space, there are plenty of quality of life improvements coming in Ver.2. The first is that, up until now, PC players always had to download both NGS and the base PSO2 data, which takes a colossal amount of storage space. However, you can now choose to install only NGS’s data, which reduces the installation size to roughly 60 GB. This excellent feature was present in the Japanese version and console releases, but it’s definitely a plus to see it finally coming to PC.

Next, we have the feature to skip gameplay by using tickets. These can be purchased from the Class Counter, and as their name implies, they allow you to skip content in New Genesis. There are three types of them. The first will allow you to upgrade any class to LV 70 instantly, and you’ll also earn class-appropriate equipment alongside it.

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The second is the Trainia Ticket, which will flip the completion status of all the Cocoons and Training Towers as completed, granting you the necessary Skill Points to upgrade your class. And finally, the third one will skip available story content, letting you explore all the regions as soon as possible. All of these tickets require Arks Cash, which is only obtained through in-game purchases, and while I can think of a few use cases for them, I would recommend against doing such for those new to the game.

The next feature was that you can now apply cel-shading to your player avatar. This can be customized via the Salon, and you can adjust the outline emphasis, as well as the shadow density. The applied setting will take effect on not only your own avatar, but also certain NPCs as well. As someone who enjoys cel-shaded artwork in general, I look forward to seeing how my avatar will look with this new filter.

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The last thing are Portable Holograms, which are sticker and 3D-like structures you can place in the overworld. At first, one of my biggest concerns when this new feature was showcased in the NGS Headline was that players could spam these anywhere, effectively bogging down certain places with all their holograms, but as it turns out, there’s a very low limit to them, and if a player gets far away from their hologram, a system message will trigger, telling that their hologram has been deleted.

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While my time with the Ver.2 update wasn’t long, there were many new features that I saw. It is looking to be an amazing update for the creative types who want to create their own designs and buildings with the Creative Space. Furthermore, there are also multiple quality of life improvements that personally make the game experience significantly better. Ver.2 will be coming to PlayStation 4, XBOX One, XBOX Series X and S, and PC on June 7, 2023.

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