July 27, 2022 at 8:01 pm #42675VictarParticipant
Destiny Connect is an RPG with turn-based, menu-driven combat, released for the Switch and the PS4. Its base price is $40. I played the PS4 version; the Switch version allegedly has some framerate issues.
Destiny Connect tries to evoke nostalgic memories of childhood RPGs, and has certain similarities to the classic Super Nintendo RPG Earthbound (side note: Earthbound is currently available both on the 3DS/Wii U eShop, and on the Nintendo Switch Online service). The protagonists of Destiny Connect are all adolescent children (except for the robot Isaac); there’s a quirky professor; there’s a seemingly modern-day setting; and there’s time travel. Perhaps the strongest connection to Earthbound is the story’s focus on the bonds of love between family members, especially parents and children.
However, Destiny Connect lacks Earthbound’s most standout qualities. Earthbound has a quirky, off-the-wall sense of humor, both in story cutscenes and in dialogue with almost every NPC. Earthbound also pushes the boundaries of the bizarre; some of its most memorable parts are surreal, mind-bending situations. Destiny Connect doesn’t have either of these aspects.
Destiny Connect has a nostalgic story that gets emotional and surprisingly dark at times. There is no voice acting, but the music is extremely high quality and complements the story very well. The story and music are the highlights of the game, because the gameplay unfortunately gets repetitive and tedious. There are almost no puzzles to break up the gameplay loop of navigating mazes and fighting monsters.
Encounters aren’t random, but when an enemy spots the player, it will pursue relentlessly. Dodging enemy encounters can get quite difficult, especially in narrow corridors, and the punishment for getting ambushed (or failing to run away) is severe enough that the player is better off just fighting most battles. Defeated enemies can and will respawn fairly quickly.
There is a limited array of options to customize one’s party in Destiny Connect. Level grinding comes very easily, and the player can become overpowered just from fighting regular encounters. Skills can be upgraded through a rare-drop item. The robot Isaac (who is required to be in every battle – it’s Game Over if Isaac is KO’d) can take different forms, each of which can be customized with collected gears and in-game currency.
The sum total of Destiny Connect’s content is lacking in variety. The one thing a player can reasonably do to justify a replay is to change up their chosen battle team, since the total roster is five playable characters, three of which participate in battles.
Destiny Connect is fairly short, and can be finished in twenty hours or less. There isn’t much optional content, other than assorted optional bosses or a completely frivolous hunt for hard-to-see sparklies that can be turned into costumes. Neither of these tasks is even worth a trophy. All of Destiny Connect’s PS4 trophies are awarded either for progressing the story, or grinding out pointless, repetitive goals; perhaps the most ridiculous trophy is for losing 20 battles.
I enjoyed Destiny Connect for its story and music, and turn-based RPG gameplay is a favorite staple of mine. Still, Destiny Connect is such a short game, with such a padded-out onslaught of difficult-to-avoid regular encounters, that it’s very hard to recommend.
If you’re interested in Destiny Connect, then wait for it to go on sale. I purchased my digital copy on sale for about $12 and have no regrets.
Favorite RPG of all time: Journey to Kreisia (by Exe-Create)
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