Contrary to popular rumor, the Best of Community feature I've been plinking away at is still alive and kicking. I had to shelve it for a little while for various reasons, but I have two reviews that need to be posted tonight, and once those are in the can then I'm going to focus my full attention on getting the first installment of Best of Community up and running.

In other news, I never saw this one coming but the PlayStation Portable's Phantasy Star Portable has been getting the majority of my playtime lately.

One reason is that I've been on the go much more than usual lately, so the "portable" aspect has a lot to do with it. That aside, it's been a while since I played a good level-grinding loot-fest, so this one is fitting the bill. It's not one of the genre's best and it's certainly not as good as it could be, but it definitely has a certain charm. I'm not going to do a review due to time constraints, but here’s a quick breakdown after getting about 3/4ths of the way through the story mode:

Pros

  • surprisingly deep character creator
  • fits in well with the established Phantasy Star series' recent entries
  • levels are relatively brief and easy to digest in short sessions

Cons

  • gameplay is very simple with no variation
  • not enough crazy weapons and clothing/armor
  • story is on the weak side

I assume that people interested in a grinding hack-and-slash/shoot-fest in the first place probably won't mind the repetition or weak story, but the relatively slow trickle of fancy weapons and appearance-changing outfits is a little bit of a bummer. Even so, I'm still having a good time with the game and I'm glad I took a chance on it despite being disappointed in the past few Phantasy Star efforts.

It would never fly in its current state as a console game, but on the PSP it works.

Find more on the Drinking Coffeecola blog.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
Brad Gallaway

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