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Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 30 - 2019

An entry level JRPG, complete with training wheels.

 
At some point in their upbringing, most children will fall off their bike. It is part of the growing up experience. However, to instil that confidence needed to balance on a two wheel mode of transport, many parents will get a bike with training wheels. Those little wheels allow the child to learn the basics and get the confidence with little or no risk to their own safety. Nippon Ichi Software’s latest title, which is a far cry from their usual fare, is the bike with training wheels of JRPGs. Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers will allow youngsters, or newcomers I suppose, to all the joy of the JRPG genre, without any complication or danger. It’s a worthy goal, a JRPG for kids, but can simple systems and a lack of threat really appeal to the gaming masses?

 


 
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers is a game with simplicity at its heart, and it is quite a big heart. Launching on PS4 and Switch, the game sets players into the town of Clocknee, a fairly standard town that is just getting ready to celebrate the beginning of a new millennium at the end of 1999. However, something is awry as everyone seems to freeze in place, and animated machines begin to cause trouble. Sherry, a young girl from the town, along with friends and a time-travelling robot called Isaac, will have to explore the town and surrounding areas, in various different times, in order to work out what is going on and how to get everything back to normal.

 
So far as setups go, it’s all pretty good. You have a mystery, an interesting cast of characters and a firm objective. Sherry is the main character, and she is quite charming and plucky, perfectly able to get to grips with this whole adventure business. Her friends are all very helpful, but the real star of the show is Isaac, the lovably cute time-travelling robot. Isaac also happens to be the most important member of the team as if Isaac falls during battle, then the battle is lost. I mean, it’s not really a big deal as this is a threat free game for the most part and players will just have to start the battle again. But while other members of the team may fall, they can be revived. Isaac is the glue that holds the adventure together.

 
Most of you reading this will have a rough idea of what a JRPG entails. Exploration, random battles, levelling party members up and a convoluted story that often gets very difficult to follow. As already explained though, Destiny Connect takes a simple approach in order to introduce players to the genre, and in this respect the game is very thorough. Tutorials will explain absolutely everything in the game, in great detail while keeping things as simple as possible. This is all well and good, but it really does go back to basics, ensuring that there is no chance that the player will come across something they don’t understand. For the youngsters, that may be well and good, but it does mean that things tend to move forward at such a slow pace, I would worry that they would lose interest.

 


 
Again, the story in Destiny Connect has been written so as not to cause too much drama. It is a nice little tale, but so obviously written for children that it can be a little difficult to take. Even the conversations between characters, which are all written as there is no voice work, are very basic and to the point. Speaking of that lack of voice work in the game, it does make for an unnaturally quiet game.

 
When it comes to the main systems in the game, aside from being very well explained, they are actually a lot of fun. The turn-based combat is a highlight, with a great variety of strange enemies to fight. It is all laid out with accessibility in mind, and while most encounters can be settled with simple attacks, there are a few options for a more tactical approach. One of these involve Isaac who starts out as a tank-like member of the party but can, further down the line, take on different roles, each of which come with their own look. There is some basic upgrading to get to grips with, which for the most part involves just improving skills and modding weapons. Again, Isaac stands out for having a more involved upgrade system, but even that is nothing overwhelming.

 
Many of the other things that JRPG fans would look for in their favourite genre have been simplified here. The map is much smaller than most games, and players will be revisiting the same places over and over. Even the length of the game, which comes in at less than 20 hours, could be called small by this genres standards. This may seem unappealing to the usual JRPG players, but I can’t really fault the game for catering towards its target audience, which are younger than usual players. The story could have been a little more exciting, and less quiet would have been nice, and the developers could have risked maybe increasing the complexity by one notch or so.

 


 
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers is a JRPG that has been designed specifically for younger players. In that respect, it works quite well. Cute characters, a fun story and easy to understand mechanics would make this the ideal first JRPG for a generation that is being brought up on much less suitable games. Sadly, for the older or more experienced gamer, Destiny Connect will struggle to please. But for those looking for a child-friendly JRPG, Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers would be worth checking out.

 

 ★★★★★★½☆☆☆ 



 

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