In the annals of console video gaming, Sega's Phantasy Star II is considered one of the greatest role-playing games ever made, which is why it feels like something special to play it on an iPhone.
Granted, Phantasy Star II was a great game for the early '90s and late '80s. It's definitely dated, using an old 16-bit graphical look that is very much from its time period. PSII hasn't been updated in any meaningful way for the iPhone. But for a phone game, the feel of the classic is completely preserved, and fans of old-school RPGs will definitely dig the ease of play on the iPhone.
The game already was available for various platforms, including as a downloadable title for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. But the iPhone version has one great additive the others don't: It can go anywhere you do.
PSII, like many of its contemporaries, is pretty long and involved. Players travel through the game, talking with townspeople, gathering and buying weapons, and fighting enemies in a menu-based combat system in which each side takes turns. It emphasizes strategy rather than reflexes.
RPG fans will know what to expect, but newcomers will find comparable games in the Final Fantasy series, for example, on various game consoles. RPGs like Phantasy Star II can be really tough, and they play at a slower pace than many modern games, so be warned.
That said, Phantasy Star II is like a piece of gaming history, with an engaging story and a style from another era – a worthy purchase, especially at $2.99.