Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 1 Phantasy Star Generation: 1

Original Title
シリーズ Vol.1
スター Generation:1
Playstation 2
Official Website
Sega decided to kick off their extensive “Sega Ages” PS2 series with this, a thorough remake of what’s listed on the box as “The RPG”.
Naturally the graphics have been completely redone. Dungeons are now in true polygonal 3D (still with tile based movement) and all the 2D artwork has been greatly improved. Battle graphics now include not just monster graphics but also show the backs of the party and attack animations, much like Phantasy Star 2 and 4. Event scenes are now full screen affairs with copious amounts of all-new artwork.
While the game is obviously very similar to the original Master System Phantasy Star game it’s also different enough that a walkthrough for the SMS version won’t work; events occur pretty much as they did in the original, however this version has a lot more dialogue and a lot of back-and-forth chatting between NPCs to move the plot forward.
There are additions as well as changes – crystals can be bought and equipped on characters (a maximum of two at a time), certain combinations of crystals when attached to particular types of weapon can create powerful spells or perform useful buffs such as healing the entire party. They do have quite limited uses though, meaning they’re best left for sticky situations and bosses. Another useful tool is taken directly from Phantasy Star 4 – the ability to let the party chat amongst themselves at any point and give the player some hints on how to proceed.
While permanent saves are limited to towns, a suspend save can be performed at any point allowing the player to jump back in where they left off even if they don’t have the time to complete a quest in one go. After finishing the game the player can save a clear file – this is used with Phantasy Star Generation 2 and helps unlock a much-requested fan easter egg in that game.
The binder was only available with this game, and is used to house the cards that came with each subsequent release (they stopped creating these cards a little over halfway through the run, somewhere after Fighting Vipers (Vol. 19) but before Gunstar Heroes (Vol. 25). The cards generally show the original official artwork on the front and have some basic information on the game on the reverse. While Sega did eventually stop the cards they created a pin badge for every game in the Sega Ages series. The first few releases seem to have given the badges away in batches, while in later releases they were included individually (for Sega Direct customers only). The badge for the final game in the series, Fantasy Zone Collection, was given away with purchases of Phantasy Star Collection as at that time Sega Direct was closing down and they didn’t want fans missing out.