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Gather round children for another edition of story time with Zombie. Our tale begins way back in the mid 90’s, it was an unruly time full of boy bands fighting for dominance and Genesis did what Nintendon’t. Zombie was but a youngling in this bizarre society with parents who would spend their Saturday’s playing sports…ball…things. After the game…match…round… We would go back to a cousin’s who played on the same hit…wicket…run…thingie team as my Dad. Now they would occupy the living room and partake in some adult beverages while I was placed in a bedroom and left to my own devices which was awesome! This particular cousin had a bit of a gaming collection for Nintendo and also a big chunk of VHS tapes full of classics, it was my first introduction to the likes of Star Wars, Ghostbusters and the like. I am sure we all have a story like this… Unless you weren’t even born in the 1990’s in that case a VHS tape was like a DVD but came in a huge box and if a movie was much longer than 2 hours it’d be put on multiple tapes. Now I have a sneaky suspicion that the Developers behind Doom & Destiny; Heartbit Interactive, grew up with some similar circumstances. Gaming, movies, D&D and pop culture have a heavy influence in the game which they have dubbed as an IRPG, Italian Role Playing Game. Doom & Destiny, which I shall refer from this point on as Do&De is on its surface a very typical 90’s inspired JRPG particularly those of the 16bit era like Final Fantasy 3-6, Chrono Trigger and Phantasy Star 4. The game was originally made back in 2011 and has appeared on pretty much everything but was released to the Switch in February. Your story starts off very typically, there is crystals, 4 heroes, multiple coloured themes, classes and turn based combat, for most instincts will kick in and you will know exactly what you need to do. Get a quest, complete it, become a hero and that is where I will it for a general overview as there are many quirks that appear to twist the myths on everything you know or have learned over the last 20 years of gaming and finding noticing them is half the fun. The gameplay is fun, it’s smooth, it’s fluid, it’s simple and most importantly it works. Your 4 main characters follow the base classes, Warrior, Mage, Rouge and Cleric/Pirate/Paladin of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, each represents one of the games 4 stats and early one you will choose one who will act as the groups leader and grant bonuses for the party. For example if you pick the Warrior he can grant them extra strength or extra HP. While small there are many slight options for each character to focus on different aspects allowing for a sense of customization for each play through. Depending how you spend points towards powers or stat boosts the game can deliver a fair challenge, always easing you in but never really holding your hand once the ball starts rolling. Do&De’s greatest strength however is it’s sense of humor, it is just a genuinely funny game which is no easy feat to accomplish. Most other games tend to have a wink and a nudge with its humor letting you know it is in on the joke too while Do&De doesn’t care. Here we are given a game from a group friends who like hanging out and making each other laugh and that feeling bleeds through from its core. The characters aren’t the most fleshed or rather fleshed out at all but that’s ok as we learn everything we need about them from their chemistry with each other. One is the resident goofball, another is the more serious older brother, the mage is the immature one, while the last is just having a ball hanging out with his friends and that works perfectly. Nothing seems forced with the jokes and references and there is always a nice counter balance to all the parody so it never feels overwhelming. Yes I have done nothing but gushed about this game because it deserves it, the game is nothing but fantastic and I adored it for all 40 hours. Doom & Destiny is just a good time, its fun, never takes itself too seriously, knows what works, knows how to work it into the game and is pretty damned cheap, though I gladly would have payed double with no regrets. It isn’t going to blow you away and make you rethink your life but with a save anywhere feature it will definitely have you feeling like your commute to work is nothing but hanging out with good friends and defeating Battle Pigs. Zombie reviewed a retail copy of the game and has zero regrets, life well spent.
Kotaku has reported that Bungie has splits with Activision, keeping the Destiny IP. This is interesting news as Destiny continues to be a loved game from a story and game-play aspect, but most people have been angry since the first games launch with money making policies. The future should be interesting as these policies are usually publisher determined. Will Bungie go down a game friendly route, or see the value in the golden goose themselves... only time will tell.