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Overview

Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution is the second GameCube release in Sega's Phantasy Star Online series. This

installment had card-based gameplay, making it unique among the games in this series. The game's storyline takes place 21 years after the previous episode's plot.

Story

The game's plot once again revolves around the people of the Pioneer 2 colony ship, which is still in orbit above Ragol. Instability in the government and on the planet's surface have delayed the planned

colonization. There has been a sharp decline in the amount of life on Ragol. The player creates a character in a similar process to the previous game and uses this avatar to carry out the story elements of the game. The main revelation in the years since the previous game is the discovery of a mysterious force called the 'germ', which originated somewhere on Ragol. The government of Pioneer 2 has harnessed this power and used it to create "C.A.R.D. technology", an economical way to store items and equipment. However, as the government moves toward developing the planet's surface using this technology, an early prototype is stolen by a man named Red (a leader analogous to Pioneer 2's Principal) who retreats to Ragol and starts a resistance movement known as the Arkz. The player picks a side, and must either pursue or aid this resistance while investigating the mysteries of Ragol. The card collection feature of the game created strong replay value, at least to play the campaign once more with the opposite faction.

Characters

Creation of the player's character was nearly identical to the system in the previous game, though it had less of an impact on gameplay. For

instance, your character will still receive a Section ID based on his/her name, but this has no bearing on the items you will collect as it did previously. This character is mostly used as an avatar to advance the story through interaction with other characters, while the actual combat is handled by your choice of NPCs from the faction you choose to work with. These NPCs have varying stats and abilities that make them ideal for use in different situations.

Hunters (Heroside)

Hunters are employed by Pioneer 2's government to track down the Arkz and enable development of the planet for colonization. They use the legitimate C.A.R.D. system to equip items from cards including weapons, shields and MAGs. The Hunter characters available in battle are:

Arkz (Darkside)

The Arkz wish to keep Ragol in its natural state and stop the people of Pioneer 2 from settling there and developing or altering the planet. Their bootleg version of C.A.R.D. technology features combat governed by summoning creatures to fight for them as well as using the character's base attack. The Arkz characters available for battle are:

  • Endu, HUmar
  • Rufina, HUnewearl
  • Hyze, HUcast
  • Reiz, HUcaseal
  • K.C., RAmar
  • Ohgun, RAcast
  • Lura, RAcaseal
  • Rio, RAmarl
  • Creinu, FOmarl
  • Peko, FOnewm
  • Memoru, FOnewearl
  • Break, FOmar

Reception

The game received mostly positive reviews that praised it for solid, if not exceptional, core gameplay. However, many journalists and fans noted that it was likely not what people were expecting from a sequel to PSO Episode I & II.

Online Play

Online play was priced at $9.99 a month, but if a customer was already paying for a Hunter's License for Episodes 1 & 2, there was no additional fee to play Episode 3 on the same account. Ep. 3 players could interact with players of the other version in the lobby but could not play together. PSO Episode III's official servers were shut down concurrently with Episodes I & II.

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