Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver & Phantasy Star Online – Missed Opportunities

I only own 23 games for my Dreamcast but it feels like I own many more. Most of my games are RPG’s or action adventure titles that require multiple hours of gameplay to really dig into and eventually complete. Since I didn’t own a Dreamcast during its original run and only picked one up after it was discontinued, it was never my primary console. At the time of purchase I was playing PS2 and Gamecube games when I wasn’t retro gaming with my NES, SNES, Genesis or Atari. This is basically my long-winded excuse to say that these two titles, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Phantasy Star Online, have gotten very little love and playtime in my Dreamcast.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is an action adventure game in the Legacy of Kain series. Your character is a ghostly vampire-like creature named Raziel who looks like your run of the mill late 90’s goth. You’re on a revenge mission and hacking and slashing your way through the fictional world on your quest. The game itself looks great and has interesting game play mechanics and plot but I haven’t spent enough time with this title to properly assess/review it. It’s an overall well received game from the era and will need to go on my list of DC games to play…..one of these days.

I purchased Phantasy Star Online brand new at the tail end of the Dreamcast’s life cycle solely because I recognized the series from the Master System and Genesis. I must admit I was never into online play in the late 90’s/early 2000’s during its infancy or now for that matter so the “online” aspect of this game didn’t intrigue me in the way that I’m certain it did many others. Like the other games in the Phantasy Star cannon, its an RPG but unlike the earlier 8 and 16 bit iterations, PSO isn’t a turn based RPG. Instead, you will be fighting your enemies like you would in any other action adventure game. As with other Phantasy Star titles, PSO is science fiction-fantasy based in terms of environment design and plot. My basic understanding of the differences between playing the game online vs offline are minimal with missions varying between the two and option to play co-op online. I’m certain there are individuals that will read this that lived and played PSO during it’s heyday and can explain in great detail what the differences between online/offline play are but I am not one of them. I started an offline game recently to just get a feel for it and I can definitely see why the game was so popular and highly regarded. In some ways I regret missing out on the online gaming experience via the Dreamcast but as an 80’s and 90’s gamer, online gameplay never seemed important to me and still doesn’t. Nevertheless, Phantasy Star Online will hold a special place in many Dreamcast owner’s hearts and memories due to its innovation and embracing of the world wide web as an open world playground.

Currently in my collection:

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – game, manual, case

Phantasy Star Online – game, manual, case

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