"Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution" is the second game on the market – following the 2002 release of "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II™" – designed to allow Nintendo GameCube players to compete, cooperate, and converse in an online environment. "C.A.R.D. Revolution" wraps up all narrative strands left unresolved in "Episode I&II" while introducing players to a new conflict erupting on the surface of the planet Ragol: The development of C.A.R.D. technology. This technology allows objects and creatures to be captured on data storage units the size of playing cards. Now, warriors on both the Hero side and the Dark side of Ragol's warring factions can unleash powerful beasts and weapons during battle using strategically compiled card decks.
The turn-based gameplay offers a greater level of depth and challenge than prior franchise entries. "C.A.R.D. Revolution" rewards players who think several steps ahead during competitions and carefully manage their decks before heading into battle. The new setup allows the play mechanics to remain fresh even after 100+ hours of online gaming (the average Japanese player logs an incredible 250 hours/month on "C.A.R.D. Revolution").
"‘C.A.R.D. Revolution' represents a bold new direction for SEGA's venerable RPG series," said Scott A.Steinberg, vice president of entertainment marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "This final installment broadens the appeal of the Phantasy Star universe, allowing players the option to challenge human opponents around the world in true player-vs-player arenas.The game also offers a solid stand-alone offline mode that is competitive with all the other strategy card games on the market."
Gamers can sign up to play "Phantasy Star Online Episode III" over the Internet using a dial-up modem or broadband adaptor for the Nintendo GameCube. The online service carries a monthly service charge of $8.95 and is available through Sega.com™. The price includes a hunter's license and access to online-exclusive content, including seasonal quests, downloads, special in-game items and more. Those who already own a hunter's license on Nintendo GameCube do not need to buy a second in order to play the game, and if a license is purchased, the user can play "Phantasy Star Online Episode I&II" without paying additional monthly fees. Players can also challenge their friends and trade cards offline in a variety of exciting multiplayer modes.
To accommodate international play, "Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution" features a universal translation system that lets gamers chat online, whether they speak English, German, Spanish, French or Japanese, through a series of hundreds of pre-programmed phrases and expressions.
"Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution" is rated "T" for Teen and is available at retailers nationwide for an MSRP of $49.99.