A good old-school RPG.
I really liked the simplicity of the game. Really, modern JRPG's are great and all, but there's something to be said about a game as simple as Phantasy Star. You go out, kill stuff, go up in levels, rinse repeat. You also do down dungeons to get some good loot.
Really, that's pretty much all there is to Phantasy Star, and I loved it. That's why I played the game, and I got what I wanted out of it. To enjoy Phantasy Star, you need to know exactly why you're playing it. You're playing it to sit back, fight, and fight some more.
The graphics look great for a game this old. The colors are vibrant, and the scrolling in the dungeons is impressive. But not all is great with the graphics..
Phantasy Star is old, and with age comes a lot of problems.
The graphics look great, but they're all static. There's barely any animations in the characters. All of the NPC's look like pieces of cardboard. They don't move their bodies, and they don't move their feet, hands or heads like NPC's do in other RPGs of the era. It gives the game a very..unlively look.
The story is barely there and that's a GREAT thing considering how bad the translation is.
Oh and, the ending really sucks.
Finally but not least, I personally feel that this game has some of the worst music of any RPG I've ever played. Only a few of the themes stand out, and they don't stand out because they're good, rather they do because everything else is so bad. The soundtrack just doesn't stand up to other RPGs of its time like Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior or the Ultima series. Really, it's that atrocious.
Of course, there's the extreme simplicity of the whole thing. This is NOT a game for modern gamers. Like I said earlier, there's barely a story, there is a LOT of random roaming, a lot of fighting. But then again, you shouldn't be expecting a storyline of epic proportions from a game made in the 80's.
The Bottom Line:
In the end, all of the problems in Phantasy Star stem from its considerable age. In 1987, this game would have been absolutely top notch. Even though I liked my experience with the game, it's far too simple a game for me to give it a high rating. It's really clunky and I feel is inferior to a lot of RPGs out at the time. I think Final Fantasy is better, Dragon Warrior I might not be better, but I feel it's more fun, and obviously there's Ultima IV and V, the latter being the best game of the bunch.
But really, if you like old school RPGs and don't need any modern fancy stuff to keep you interested, give this game a try.