Differences Between the Saturn and PlayStation 2 Sega Ages Phantasy Star Collections

Last year, I wrote about the Sega Ages Phantasy Star Complete Collection for PS2 (which had recently been made available on the Japanese PSN for PS3). After years of pining for the Saturn Phantasy Star Collection, I recently, while on my honeymoon in Japan, found a complete copy for a cool 1300 yen…

IMG_2429[1]Turns out, there are a few differences between the Saturn and PS2 collections. First off, the obvious- the PS2 collection is far more fully-featured. The options M2 added are simply staggering. Take Phantasy Star I for example. On Saturn, your options are, well, hiragana or katakana text.

IMG_2422[1]On PS2 however, you can choose the Mark III (Japanese) or Master System (English) version, and tweak the difficulty, gameplay, and performance.

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The PS2 version also includes way more games, like the Game Gear releases and the text adventures. For the most part, the PS2 collection also has more in the way of illustrations in the gallery, such as this Phantasy Star III “Present and Contest” flyer scan:

IMG_2405[1]For the first three games, the PS2 collection has a ton more in the gallery- largely due to the inclusion of the Japanese game manual scans and the North American and European box art. There are 10 illustrations in the Saturn gallery for Phantasy Star I, but 58 in the PS2 version (Phantasy Star II: 15 Saturn/50 PS2, Phantasy Star III: 23 Saturn/89 PS2).

However, things are a bit different with Phantasy Star IV. The PS2 collection sports a respectable 56 scans in the gallery, but the Saturn boasts a whopping 167. Some of the additional PS IV illustrations in the Saturn gallery are part of the “Product Review.”

IMG_2413[1]There are lovely illustrations…

IMG_2419[1]…what seem to be cutscene storyboards…

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…and more!

There’s also at least one thing that maybe the developers thought twice about including a second time:

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Yeah um, hmm…

There are few more advantages the Saturn version has over the PS2 collection. Like this totally charming gallery menu:

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There are also wonderful remixed versions of classic Phantasy Star tunes that play when browsing the illustrations on Saturn (the PS2 version is silent).

The last advantage to the Saturn version is the movie gallery.

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Even though the gallery only consists of one Japanese TV commercial per game (easily find-able on Youtube), it’s still pretty cool.

So which version of the collection should you buy? Well, if you are buying to play the games, in English, in the most player-friendly manner possible, definitely go with the PlayStation 2 collection. Overall, it’s without a doubt the more complete package. However, if you are a diehard Phantasy Star fan, the Saturn collection is well worth the (now pretty reasonable) price. Not only do you get the great packaging, manual and original maps, but it turns out you get Zio’s Dark Phallus as well.

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