Tuesday May 12, 2009
In addition to spending my time promoting games I dearly loved in my youth, my actual job here at SEGA is as a GM for Phantasy Star Universe. While duties of a GM include updating our message boards and keeping the banhammer polished, we do occasionally get to actually play the game. I actually adore the Phantasy Star series, and enjoyed the game quite a bit before ever becoming a GM, but official duties tend to take precedence over getting to run casual missions and level new characters.
For those unfamiliar with the Phantasy Star Universe story, the game plays out the conflict between the GUARDIANS of the Gurhal system, and the vile SEED-form, a kind of hivemind alien infection that takes over the 3 planets where the game takes place. The game has been out for several years now, and the story continues to unfold–both in story missions and in special events.
The current special event is called Shred the Darkness: the event dovetails with the story from Phantasy Star Portable, and features a variety of missions that further the Phantasy Star story: SEED-form monsters are attacking crucial installations around the Gurhal system and players must defend them; this is paired with a unique story mission that evolves and opens up new paths as the event progresses. This is tied with a kill counter tracking player progress–the more monsters players kill during the event missions, the more rewards they unlock.
So even though I get less time to play than I’d really like, I’ve made it a point to play more during the Shred the Darkness event. This is Phantasy Star Universe at it’s best — a lot of people running missions together, grinding out kills and lavishing in great drops and generally having a bang-up time of it.
The missions are relatively short, and even challenging if you’re not playing with a maxed-out character. There have been terrific crowds for the event, making it easy to get a group together, and the missions offer a pretty good rewards:work ratio.
Mostly, I was happy to get a chance to wade into the fray & run missions with players, on both PC/PS2 and XBox 360. In addition to the single-player story mission, there’s currently three team missions available, including a nifty “defense” mission where players have to keep wave after wave of SEED-infected monsters out of a designated area.
The community has almost reached the 100,000,000–that’s 100 million–kills milestone for the event. Also, during the last stage of the event, there’s the “GUARDIANS Boost Road“, a special set of bonuses gained for running the Shred the Darkness missions.
And: become a fan on Facebook (and see more Shred the Darkness event pics)!
Lastly: There’s a lot more images up from the event, both on our Facebook page (above) and our Flicker page!
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