CAPSLOCK of Europe (sorry: SEGA) is encouraging people to download the full version of Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst for the PC and take part in an open beta.
Anybody interested can download the 500MB-odd installer for the game and play it as much as they like between now and the game's retail release in Europe on June 9th, when a monthly subscription fee of EUR 8.95 (still TBC according to SEGA) will be levied on those who wish to continue.
After that, SEGA plans to unveil "Episode IV" - "an original storyline featuring all-new content" - that will continue the tale of the Pioneers on Ragol that has been told through the game's previous releases on Dreamcast, Cube, Xbox and PC.
SEGA's Yosuke Moriya says the PC title "is the most graphically detailed, content rich version of our popular action-RPG". It's also more accessible; this time the player data is stored on the server side, so players are no longer limited to playing from one location.
Other improvements include a new team system and, convincingly, "better controls". Plus 33 new quests, more than 1,000 items in total and some extra modes called Battle, Challenge and, er, "Go Go Ball Lobby".