The developers behind Phantom Dust Remastered are pumping the brakes focusing on the “remastered” branding, for good reason.
Ever since roughly half a year after the Xbox One launch, fans were promised a Phantom Dust gaming experience for Microsoft’s latest console. Of course, things were looking down when the reboot was canceled, but at E3 2016 last year Microsoft announced a re-release of the 2004 Microsoft Japan game.
The idea of re-releasing a 2004 video game with original assets upscaled up to 4K resolution is finally starting to rear its ugly head, as Polygon has exclusively released 19 minutes of Phantom Dust gameplay footage. It becomes quite clear after a few minutes that yes, this is just a decade-plus-old game with a bit of polish for a new generation as an Xbox One console exclusive (also available on Windows 10).
The fact that this game is even coming out is nothing short of miraculous, as developer Cody Mystics found out there was no final source code available to them. They had to reverse engineer and crack open the game’s code in order to make its 2017 changes, including native resolution (1080p screens = 1080p game, 4K screens = 4K game) and 16:9 aspect ratio.
This being an action game mixed with skills via digital cards, the Phantom Dust re-release will also store card data via Microsoft servers, allowing the developer to fix the game’s balance on the fly. Additionally, both free and paid DLC is planned for the game, with the paid DLC supposedly not changing the balance of the gameplay to incentivize spending.
“We haven’t changed anything about the way that the original game worked; we’ve just added this as a convenience thing,” Isgreen told Polygon. “So if people want to grind and they want to play exactly like they did when the original game came out, that is all in place. Everything about how the game works and functions is there. We really wanted to allow people to jump into multiplayer and play immediately.”
There will be a certain intrigue factor that comes with a re-release of a cult classic from Microsoft’s Japan wing from the OG Xbox days, but I’m not certain many modern players will overlook the dated visuals and the niche style of gameplay. However, as part of the Play Anywhere initiative, it would certainly provide a good reason to pick up an Xbox Game Pass, should Microsoft Studios place it on that platform.