Back when Sega was releasing games like Sonic the Hedgehog [$5.99], Sonic the Hedgehog 2 [$5.99], and Streets of Rage [$2.99] wrapped in their Genesis emulator we were increasingly critical of the poor performance and mediocre controls. These types of games were built to be played at a high frame rate, with gameplay that basically requires the precision found in the original physical Genesis controller and just flat out didn't work that well on the iPhone. With every one of these games that Sega released, people posted in comments and on our forums asking where in the world Sega's massive back catalog of RPG's and other games that would work phenomenally within the constraints of the emulator.

Sega finally responded by releasing Shining Force [$2.99], an effort that was hard to say enough good things about in our review. Tonight they've released Phantasy Star II [$2.99], and much like Shining Force, the slow pace of the game completely negates any performance issues of control inaccuracies and instead just provides an awesome classic RPG in your pocket.

Phantasy Star II is the sequel to Phantasy Star, a Sega Master System game which didn't see another release in North America until it appeared on the Gameboy Advance and then the Wii Virtual Console. Playing the first is by no means required to enjoy the second, as the plot of Phantasy Star II follow the now entirely cliche story of ridding the world of ultimate evil while the backgrounds of the various characters that make up your party develop. Phantasy Star II has made it on to several greatest games of all time list, and it really should be played by any fan of turn based RPG's.

Really the only thing I could ask of this port is some further refinement to the emulator. Phantasy Star II badly needs a way to speed the game up as your movement is more than a little slow by today's standards, a "problem" other PC emulators have solved by allowing you to crank the speed of the game up. I somehow doubt Sega would ever implement these kind of tweaks, but enough complaining did get them to release two fantastic RPG's so far, so who knows.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Loner

    Best RPG series ever and I personally thought PSII was the best in the series. If any of you plan on playing this game get ready to do a ton of grinding for cash to buy better weapons and also having to grind out a ton of levels.

  • Mister Ed

    It is fantastic to see this game resurface on the iPhone. The first 4 PS games are absolute classics. Sega is on the right track after Shining Force and now this. I wonder if there's hope for a Landstalker port in the future...

    • Tristen

      Landstalker is amazing and if they could get the control issues taken care of, it would be a definite purchase for me, but i managed to bust a regular genesis controller when i first planed that game on tv.

  • Stormchild

    We don't actually know that they released two RPGs in response to "complaining". It's a lot more likely these games were released due to their popularity. Shining Force, in particular, has already been brought to several other platforms. I have the GBA release.

  • ecco6t9

    I think it was more related to Sega just putting out Genesis games on another platform. Hopefully we get the other 3 Phantasys.

  • Seth

    Now, I can actually hope for a release of Phantasy Star 4. Which is one of my favorite RPGs of all time.

    I also really hope they give us Shining Force 2 some time soon.

  • booch138

    Best RPG Series evAr. I love the Phantasy Star games, every single one of them. From PS1-4 to the days of PSO (I played PSO rightously). I love it all.

  • Allan

    Is it possible to remove that virtual interface at all?

    • Nicho

      There's a CHANGE VIEW option where the game screen becomes smaller and it creates kind of a border around the screen for buttons. I personally like it a lot more than the zoomed-in invisible-button set-up seen above.

  • Klopfdreh

    In the european store it isn't available, yet. I can't wait playing it 🙁 Does the toucharcade team know what is going on? Is it still in approve progress?!

    • Bjrn

      I second that question

  • RMXO

    The dungeon chute system drove me crazy and I stopped playing because of it.

    • klopfdreh

      The game is of the year 1989 / 1988 so the dungeon system is quite simple structured as of the technical limitation. I love this game and I'm a little afraid that it isn't still available in the european store! >:(

  • John Hood

    Looking forward to playing this after the Bank Holiday weekend!