Phantasy Star Zero reminds me of all the bygone, PSOne/N64/Sega Saturn era qualities best left behind, even as it fights to fill me with nostalgia.
The cartoon cut scenes are pretty, if brief, and the "get monster killing missions from the hub area" structure isn't out of the ordinary. This does not excuse for how heinously clunky the game controls - all of my near death experiences during play I can blame on a complete inability to lock on to anything for more than a second, and during that second it is just as likely that my slow as tar attack animation with allow the target to skedaddle away. You press the attack button to interact with items - have fun watching the attack animation a million times because your character won't focus on the glowy bobble you're trying to pick up. Also have fun looking like every other pile of low res legos you're playing online with. I understand this is an older game, but lets look at some of the others that came out in 2009... ah, Infinite Space. Low res, but you can tell that the spaceships are spaceships. Crystal Chronicles! Vibrant, fluidly moving and easily recognizable character sprites. Dragon Quest 9! Gorgeous looking, and doesn't ever fall into the "oops we've walked into a grand adventure based off of an easily corrected misunderstanding" that kicks off your quest.
I've seen far better (although in fairness, also far worse) from this franchise, and the DS library as a whole - I wouldn't completely condemn the game, but I'm certainly not recommending it.
the story mode is fantastic and the choice of charaters is huge. the online play is fun but with limited chat. the combat is kinda like dragon age with guns i seriously reccomend this to anyone who has a ds.