Happy 15th anniversary, Phantom Dust!

Article by · September 22, 2019 ·

You might be wondering: “what is a Phantom Dust”? Well if you didn’t notice my good looking profile picture on Twitter and other social media platforms, I’m a massive fan of the Phantom Dust IP. Today, the 23rd of September marks the fifteenth anniversary of Phantom Dust. This if we consider its original release date which was on the 23rd of September 2004. The game released first in Japan published by Microsoft Game Studios. Majesco published the game in Western regions such as the US and Europe.

So what is Phantom Dust?

Phantom Dust is a Japanese developed action game directed by game creator Yukio Futatsugi. Futatsugi was previously working on games such as Panzer Dragoon. His more recent work includes games such as Crimson Dragon. Right now, Futatsugi is involved in Swery’s next game called The Good Life.

The unique selling point of this game is its implementation of Card game elements in its core arena focused gameplay. Just like with any card game, you can build your own deck. These decks are called arsenals. You have multiple variants of cards: short, medium and long range attacks, defensive block manoeuvres. Besides the basic stuff, you also had special cards such as levitation, rooting an enemy, . You could deal a whopping full health (20) damage to your opponent depending on how low your health was. There was a huge focus on risk and rewards in Phantom Dust’s gameplay.

Phantom Dust consists of two parts: the story-driven campaign and a PvP-focused set of gamemodes. The multiplayer has a cult following and still has smaller scaled events to this day. 1v1, 2v2 and battle royale (1v1v1v1) are all supported and there is even four player splitscreen.

The campaign consists of battles against enemies and of course boss battles which require different arsenals in order to survive. Story-wise, the game had an amazing narrative direction going on that deal with elements such as faith and isolation.

The soundtrack stands out from other action games as well. It is for the most part a mix of classical music that has been tweaked around a bit. More popular classical pieces of music such as Nocturne or Moonlight Sonata are for example remixed.

Cool stuff but can i still play it?

So “what now?” you might be asking yourself after reading this article. Well in case you didn’t know, the IP was supposed to be brought back after an initial announcement back at E3 2014. It’s a shame that the project had to be put on hold for a while, but there’s still a chance for you to try out this cult classic. On Xbox One and Windows 10, the original game is available for free: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/phantom-dust/9pcdnbhr11mr?activetab=pivot:overviewtab

The re-release even features my favourite achievement list to date. And that’s not all, unreleased concept arts are being used as the achievement arts. Some of these arts are pure wallpaper material and i recommend you to check them out.

Having faith in Xbox Game Studios.

I’m hoping, from the bottom of my heart, that we ever see this IP make a return via a new game that builds upon what made the original game so good. A Phantom Dust (reboot/2) that builds upon the original combat mechanics and adds refinements such as better animations, tighter controls and additional game modes would make me play nothing else (besides Gears, don’t worry i’m still a Gears fan to the end).

The Xbox Game Studios Publishing team has shown enthusiasm for this IP in the past. In the upcoming generation with a service like Game Pass, which allows you to focus on all sorts of genres including more nichefocused audiences.

The IP had and still has a lot of potential. I hope we get to see the day that a new Phantom Dust gets revealed. I know the people at Xbox Game Studios has it in them to make a proper and faithful sequel to this cult classic.

Happy birthday, Phantom Dust!


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