Phantom Dust

Microsoft turned to an unlikely source of inspiration last year at E3 to help boost its credibility among the fans of Japanese games. The Phantom Dust reboot somehow snuck onto stage at the Xbox One’s press conference to make a guest appearance, but since then, we’ve seen very little information regarding the project.

At last though, we finally have something from Microsoft Studios Creative Director Ken Lobb who states in an interview with Inner Circle Podcast that the game will be “about a 30 hour JRPG.” In this time frame, the developers will retell the original’s dark and twisted apocalyptic storyline, which was praised by Lobb as “one of the strengths of the game.” It is important to him to retell it because “only like 60,000 people ever saw it.”

For those who don’t remember or who missed it, Phantom Dust was an original Xbox game from Panzer Dragoon Creator Yukio Futatsugi. To say the game is unique would be a bit of an understatement, combining elements of card-based RPGs with that of a third-person shooter. The story was decent enough, but I walked away from it enjoying the multiplayer and arena battles more than anything, which Lobb also addresses.

“One really big flaw: if you started playing this game, you had no idea it was an arena game until you played three to six hours.”

A lot has been speculated on the pricing of this game, and Lobb would not commit to anything concrete. He did mention that “gamers might not want to go out and take a sixty dollar risk,” so perhaps Killer Instinct’s free-to-play model would “make sense.”

What do you think? I’ve been skeptical about the Phantom Dust reboot ever since I laid eyes on it, thinking it was something Microsoft just wanted to use in front of cameras to boost its niche appeal, but if it is going for a full-package, 30 hour RPG, it could be an interesting way to revive this tragically overlooked gem.

Phantom Dust (2)

I still don’t know how I feel about the character art and models though. The original was stylistically hideous, but this new one?… woof!

No word yet on a release date, but Phantom Dust will be released for the Xbox One.