NYCC: Phantom of the Kill Demo and Discussion with Developers
by: Mohamed Mohamed
edited by: Anthony Zangrillo
At New York Comic Con, The Motion Picture Club received an opportunity to play the new mobile game phantom of the kill, as well as talk to one of the game’s developers. Phantom of the Kill is a Japanese RPG tactic based game akin to Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem. It is a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, set to release in the U.S. sometime this winter (Though the game will not support Fire OS devices, and a representative did state that one maybe in the works for the future).
The story of Phantom of the Kill shows great promise. The U.S. version of the game is a prequel to the Japanese version, which has already been out for a year. In the Japanese version, warriors are called Killer Princesses. These characters are incarnations of certain weapons, such as swords, axes, or lances. Interestingly, the Japanese version has an all-female cast, while in the U.S. version, both male and female characters are playable. The U.S. version will eventually explain how all the Killer Princes disappeared 100 years before the events of the Japanese version. Due to fact that these Killer Princes and Princesses are the embodiments of weapons, they must constantly fight to protect humanity from monsters and ultimately, the evil of the world. So, in contrast to the Japanese version, there will be men included as playable characters. Even though these warriors are just souls of a weapon, these characters have their own personality and feelings which will evolve as users progress through the story, “where Heaven and Earth intertwine.”
As mentioned, this game is for all iOS and Android devices. There is even a way to transfer saved data between devices using a Facebook account. As a result, players can resume their story, while retaining access to all of the warriors earned on any device at any time. This “Turn Based Strategy Game” will feature more than 60 different characters, and the game provides variants for each of those characters. These variants can result in a higher starred character, different stats and abilities, or even different cosmetic appearances. Different looks and outfits manifest within the gameplay itself. For example, a more defensive-oriented character will actually excel in defensive situations on the battlefield. Moreover, a vast array of weapon types allows variety in character equipment. In fact, these weapons follow a similar method to Fire Emblem in which swords beat axes, axes beat lances, and lances beat swords. The other three weapons include bows, magic guns, and magic staffs, yet they do not have a similar hierarchy of weakness.
Characters use weapons in combat, gaining proficiency, which will eventually allow users to equip higher rated weapons. This mechanic shows the game’s potential to be more complex than nearly all of the other mobile games on the market. As users continue playing, their character gains experience, which in turn levels the character up. However, the user as the player can also be leveled up. Story missions can take about thirty minutes per map and when the game is released there is expected to be about four hours of story. In addition, there are plans to release missions about once a month in addition to more chapters for the story to keep the game fresh. Current release plans will also include story and seasonal events that will provide a varied challenge to users of all skill levels. Multiplayer will not be included when the game launches but is planned for early next year.
Interestingly, the development team emphasizes “Intuitive ‘one thumb’ controls to help you wage epic battles with ease.” Undoubtedly this game aims to combine “user-friend[ly] and deep gameplay…for the ultimate portable experience.”
This game looks like no other mobile game I have ever seen. There is a great attention to detail that reminds me of some console games. The chapters are all beautifully designed and the choices you make have actual consequences within the game. Additionally, there is something here for everyone. The characters are cute and chibi when in battle. However, in the menus, you can see their non-chibi forms demonstrating how badass they appear. I also relish in the freedom to play this game however I want. There is an auto level up system, which allows users to level up characters, while not playing. If you don’t have the time to fully dive into the deep combat system, this is a welcome feature, which will keep you in striking distance of devoted players. However, if you want to grind, the game has many different side missions to keep the game new and fresh. Shockingly, the amount of customization in the game is truly expansive. Users can level up different characters and then combine them to make them into an even stronger, higher rated character. Users can also reset a character to level one, while keeping the character’s stats and abilities, in order to eventually raise the character’s stats even higher. All of this seems time consuming and a lot to take in. However, you don’t have to utilize this system. You can play how you want to play. The last thing I want to discuss is the micro-transactions within the game. These micro transactions are similar to Hearthstone, where you pay for packs of Warriors that vary in rarity. I was assured that all of these warriors can be earned within the game, and you do not have to buy any packs in order to play or stay competitive within the game. I can honestly say that I am excited to get my hands on this game and it is refreshing to see a console-like game experience within the mobile market.