Phantasy Star Universe confirmed for US

Sega's RPG will be released in North America and Europe in spring 2006 on the PC and PS2.

Last month, Sega announced that Phantasy Star Universe would be released in Japan this winter. American fans of the series wondering if and when the game will make it across the Pacific needn't rack their brains anymore. Sega today announced that the game is headed to the US and Europe next spring. The game is being developed by Sega under Phantasy Star Online creator Yuji Naka and will be available for both the PlayStation 2 and PC.

Previous renditions of Phantasy Star have been either online or offline, and questions about Phantasy Star Universe arose shortly after the game's official Japanese announcement. It turns out that whether gamers are wired or not, they'll still be able to adventure around the role-playing game.

"Phantasy Star has a rich history, both as a single-player RPG franchise and as an online multiplayer series," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of entertainment marketing at Sega of America. "By fully supporting both gameplay modes in one package, we will be able to provide gamers with a fantasy role-playing experience of unprecedented depth."

The single-player campaign is expected to clock in at roughly 40 hours of play, with three planets to explore and new enemies to fight. Gamers will no longer have to walk on foot--the game will include player-controlled vehicles. Ethan Waber, the game's protagonist, is a cadet who must save his planet from the nefarious entities known as The Seed.

In the game's online mode, players will create their own characters from a selection of races and power them up in a world populated by other gamers' characters.

Phantasy Star Universe will be the first new Phantasy Star title to appear on a Sony console. Ports of the original Phantasy Star games found their way onto the PlayStation 2, but Universe marks the first time a game in the series was made specifically for the PS2.

For more information on Phantasy Star Universe, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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