Phantom Trigger is described as a hardcore neon slasher which is really accurate. Created by Bread Team, a team comprised of two people, and I have to say they did one hell of a job with this game.
Phantom Trigger is about Stan, a man who has just found out he is dying. Phantom Trigger is also about the Outsider, a ninja in an unknown land tasked with saving the creator of the bizarre place he has found himself in. It is hard to talk about the story of the game much more beyond that without giving too much away but the two stories intertwine and it gets good. There are multiple endings, the one I got was predictable but told very well.
I fell in love with the game right off the bat because of both the sound and the graphics. The pixelated style was great and it really shone for me in the character portraits of the sprites of some of the larger characters (a large talking bipedal crocodile is one such character). The level of detail in every rock, console, and fissure really brought the game to life and paired with the bumping trance soundtrack made for a great experience. Although there weren’t a lot of levels the scenery changed enough to keep you from being bored with the locale.
Combat is fun. You have three different weapons, a whip, a sword and a gauntlet all of which level up as you use them to unlock different abilities. The abilities range from a flaming dash, to sending out blades that return, to planting a bomb on the enemies. These abilities require a combination of moves such as sword, sword, whip to pull off so you couldn’t just mash buttons and succeed. The moves were fun to play with and switch up from time to time, though I found myself mostly sticking to one or two.
The game can also be very punishing. It gets hard as it goes too, with each level introducing new enemies that you have to try and work in the mechanics to beat them without dying while managing all the old enemies too. The last two levels in particular took me quite a lot of time to beat. However at no point did I want to give up because of frustration. Where the levels are difficult, the bosses for each level aren’t. This isn’t a bad thing, after fighting my way through a horde of enemies, it was kind of nice to have the game go a little easy on me for a bit.
Multiplayer was an interesting experience. With a shared health pool the game can feel even more difficult in some place since if both people are not being careful you are taking twice as many hits. The camera also only follows the first player so when you are dashing around like all good ninjas should, it is really easy for the second player to get lost outside of the screen. While this gave me the feeling that the game is much more a single player experience, we still had fun playing together.
I loved Phantom Trigger, every little bit of it. Sure the game was hard, sure I don’t think I’ll ever play through the whole game in multiplayer, but that does nothing to make me love it any less. It is the right amount of challenging and stunning to look at and I will certainly go back to it to try and get the other endings. For how much enjoyment I got out of it, it is definitely worth the price.