Fans of the quirky original Xbox card-turn-third-person-fighting game Phantom Dust now have more than just the re-master’s updated 16:9 aspect ratios and support for 1080p or 4K resolutions to look forward to. Aaron Greenberg – head of Xbox Games Marketing at Microsoft – has announced that the re-release will be making its way to PC and Xbox One as a Play Anywhere title on May 16th. and it will be free.
The catch is it’s free only for tomorrow. The upside is that it’s free to keep forever, and supports the play anywhere feature.
Watch the 19 minute feature by Polygon below:
To summarize the gameplay:
Phantom Dust is a video game that combines elements of third-person shooters with collectible card games. The players takes the role of the unnamed protagonist, an Esper that can control the Dust that covers the earth to use in combat. The game is divided between combat stages, and non-combat gameplay that includes interactions with non-player characters, reviewing and optimizing the Skills in their Arsenal (the equivalent of cards in a collectible card deck), and obtaining missions that lead to combat situations. The player may have the opportunity to select a non-player character to assist in combat from allies.
In combat, the player, their ally, and their opponents use various skills powered by Aura that is collected around the level as the match proceeds to try to take their opponents’ health bar to zero. Skills typically require 1 or more Aura points to activate. The player starts with minimal Aura, but can increase their maximum capacity by collecting and using Aura Particles from their spawn point. When a skill is used, the Aura is temporarily drained from the player but will recover slowly up to the maximum capacity.
Skills include both attack moves, defensive moves, restorative elements, and buff and debuffing skills. Skills themselves fall into 5 Schools describing the type of damage or effect they do, and the amount of damage that they deal or protect against; each School has general strengths and weaknesses to other Schools. Skills are generally one-shot; once the skill is used, it is removed from the combatant’s loaded skills and lost for the rest of the match. However, some skills have two or more uses and other skills can be used indefinitely.
If the player falls in combat, they will have to retry the mission. Surviving combat can earn rewards such as in-game money that the player can used to improve their Arsenal. An Arsenal has a maximum of 30 skills and will have a limit on the number of Schools represented by the Arsenal; for example, a player will start the game with an Arsenal limited to 2 Schools, but can later gain Arsenals that can utilize more Schools.