PSO2’s Reborn: Episode 4 update is finally out! I was in Japan when the Episode 3 update was released in 2014. It was different to be excited for a game in Japan, where the game felt integrated into my life and I constantly sought after new info. For Episode 4, the upcoming changes just… seemed weird. But I wanted to keep myself open minded and continue to like this game, so I avoided seeing any pre-release info. Going in, I knew nothing other than the existence of a new logo, of the new Summoner class that uses pets, and of Earth as a new planet.
Initially, I didn’t like the new PSO2 logo design that will be implemented in Episode 4. To me, it felt like they threw out the space fantasy elements and went for an icon that seems to visualize an organization. Upon booting up the game and seeing the logo lit up and animated, it actually looked quite nice. I still desire more emphasis on stars and space though.
This is the new key visual for Episode 4. It appears that Bouncers got left out…
Alright, let’s log in and check out all the new stuff! I should mention that I won’t be talking about the story details, just my impression of the new content in this update. Also, as much as I would love to upload hi-def screenshots to drool over, the PS Vita version has quite the graphical downgrade compared to PC.
First is the new operator, シエラ! She seems like a nice girl, which is good since an annoying operator can really kill the mood.
After introducing herself and mentioning some background info, シエラ then takes me to the ship’s bridge, a new area and appears to serve as the space to use the Story Board for Episode 4’s story progression.
This is the Arks Ship’s bridge. Below are some different angles around the space. Note that the area looks way wider and bigger in the screenshots.
I actually like the bridge area quite a bit. Not only does it feel like special treatment for one’s character, but the lighting and certain elements of the space were designed really well to set a distinct atmosphere.
Moving on, I dived into the new missions since I am excited to see the new field and the enemies on it. So I was aware that the new playable planet was Earth, but I didn’t know that the specific location was Tokyo. I had totally imagined some generic city or something similar to the Arks Ship’s city field.
It didn’t take long at all for this map to become one of my favorites. It only took a few steps actually, as I freaked out the moment I touched the Dash Panel, a glowing ring that accelerates your character into a sprinting frenzy.
I don’t think words can express just how much I love the speed. The dash fits well into the combat too, because you can charge right into enemies with an awesome Dash (
Regarding the brand new 幻創種 enemies, they are quite amusing. I honestly didn’t expect zombies, bears, helicopters, dinosaurs, or giant train dragons. In addition, the Emergency Codes unique to this field were just really cool. In Chase, you chase down cars around the map and kick them down. In Quick, you can either kill enemies or go collect energies like how you would collect rings in a Sonic game.
Since this place is Tokyo, if you look towards the corners of the map, you can see the Sky Tree…? I don’t remember it looking like that. The Tokyo Tower is also there, and looks great at night since this map actually has day/night cycles.
An interesting thing about this field is that sometimes it will have a park. Looks like a great location for in-game photoshoots. The benches there are also interactive and you can sit on it.
The music is also very unique in this field. Not the ambient background music in other fields but actual songs, which I would normally argue against, but these songs sound great and does not get boring. There are two songs that alternate according to day or night.
Overall, not only is this field just amazing in many ways, but all the elements combined, I think that it demonstrated the super human nature of Arks and their difference with Earthlings. An Arks casually dashing through the streets on Earth at crazy speeds, jumping effortless in parkour style, kicking zombies in the face with cool music playing in the background? Yeah, I love it.
Oh right, the new Summoner class. It didn’t appear to be my play style, but I had intended to at least try out and mess around with it for a bit. Then I noticed that pets get registered to the player, and I did not want to permanently bind a pet to me. So unless I know for sure that you can get rid of the pet completely, I don’t want to touch Summoner.
There were a bunch of other updates, such as inventory expansion. The system update that was number 1 for me though, was the new adjustments that you can make in character creation. You already got a taste of my first Episode 4 appearance in the screenshots above. Next time, I will go into more details and how my avatar changed throughout the game.