[Xbox] Phantom Dust - Now with a few demo impressions

The US version of this should be out next week and is only $20. This is isn't usually my cup of tea but I'm hearing some good things about it and i'm in the mood for something different so I've been thinking about giving it a try. A review of the imported japanese version got a pretty solid score from IGN so it seemed like a safe bet for $20.

Then I noticed today that Gamespot is running a $20 rebate on it. The $20 is a gamespot coupon but since I wanted this anyway and I plan on pre-ordering Jade Empire soon I figure this pretty much makes Phantom Dust pretty much a freebie.

I was *just* going to post this, good thing I saw the thread

It turns out there''s a hidden demo of this on the Dec 04 OXM disc so I have some impressions to share. Unfortunately they''re kind of limited as the demo is in japanese so I had to navigate it by guesswork and don''t have any idea what the hell was said. Fortunately once I got started the tutorial mission highlighted the buttons you needed to push and where you needed to go well enough that I could figure out the basics and play a few missions.

I didn''t do any card management but based on the battles I''d say that portion of the IGN review of the import is spot-on. They''re fast paced and the environment is destructable for the most part. During one of the missions I was battling in the atrium of an old building. My target was standing beneath the 2nd floor walkway when I fired a fireball at him that missed and hit the walkway support column next to him. The column disintegrated and a 30 foot section of so of concrete walkway came crashing down on his head I was also able to do some jump attack that sent me in the air for a few seconds and left a decent size crater in the ground when I came crashing down. Unfortunately I haven''t been able to land that one on an actually opponent yet.

Anyway, so far I think this is looking like a winner. The battles were a lot of fun and it looks great. The card management is still an if but as long as it allows you to customize your toon without horrific balancing issues it''ll pass. If it adds some depth like the review says and makes you think a little bit even better. I''m glad I pre-ordered, I think this would have been a steal for $20, throw in the $20 coupon on my next game and it''s a no brainer. Hopefully some of you besides Swat and I took advantage of this so we can get some live action going....