When it comes to Nippon Ichi Software, you never quite know exactly what type of game they will be working on next. For many years the developer has dabbled with many uniquely stylized games with even stranger gameplay styles. Even then, when the company announced Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers, many were quite surprised as the game looked outside of the company’s wheelhouse. Along those same lines, many veterans of RPGs have had years of experience examining all different kinds of mechanics so with Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers taking a more simplistic approach, is this one worth checking out?
The town of Clocknee may not be the largest in the world but that won’t stop them from celebrating the new millennium with the best of them. One of these residents happens to be the young girl Sherry whose spunky attitude rarely lets her feel down, except when it comes to her father. While she has a great mother and her grandmother runs the local cafe, Sherry’s father rarely ever has time for her when he is home and this time around he hasn’t been home for over half a year. That’s why Sherry is heartbroken to learn that despite his promises, her father will not be making it home for the celebration. Not one to stay down for long Sherry and her mother venture out to celebrate with the rest of the town.
Things quickly become strange as the height of the celebration comes to a screeching halt as all time around Sherry and her mother comes to a halt and various appliances and other machines come to life. After being separated from her mother in the ensuing chaos, Sherry returns home to find her father’s mysterious lab and an even more mysterious robot who claims to not only know her father, but has been ordered to protect her. With the robot, Isaac, by her side, Sherry must find her family and find out just what has happened to the town. Though she will have some extra help along the way as this journey sees her traveling not only the current frozen time, but to the past and future as well.
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers plays things fairly light when it comes to its storyline. Sherry has struggled with feeling like her family is a whole unit for years and when her mother and the town she loves falls into danger, she only grows more concerned about those around her. This allows the game’s focus to be spent more on the various characters and developing the relations between them which is where the game can be at its best since the actual plot is a bit too simple to really hold itself together on its own with humor that is childish even by this game’s standards. Instead what we have is a fairly solid storyline that remains light in nearly every way, including its own runtime.
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers plays like a fairly standard RPG where players will travel throughout the map where enemies are seen wandering around. When an enemy sees Sherry and touches her, or if the player sneaks up to them, combat will be initiated on a seperate screen. All battles are handled in a turn based fashion with sneak attacks giving player’s the first strike, surprise battles allowing enemies to strike first, and normal fights running through the standard gambit. The turn order is clearly presented and players will be able to make use of standard attacks, skills that vary depending on the character, items, defend, and run if possible on their turns. Skills require “SP” that recharges through battle by doing basically anything and every character has their own role to play with Isaac being the most unique in this regard as his robotic form allows him to assume numerous roles in a fight the further the player gets in the game.
Oddly enough, rather than worrying about the entire party the player has to keep their eyes on Isaac the most in a fight. This is because while the player’s whole party can usually fall in combat and result in a Game Over in this game if Isaac manages to die then it will result in an immediate failure no matter how well the rest of the party is doing. Thankfully this rarely is an issue as not only does the game allow players to avoid a number of fights should they choose to but also take on as many battles as they please while training their party to take down any threat with little cost to their resources.
That being said, considering the game’s already low difficulty ceiling, grinding is almost entirely unnecessary. Along those same lines the challenge of actually taking on enemies is nearly non-existent outside of a few boss battles and it is a nice touch that the developers included the option to slightly speed up combat animations to make the slog of battle go a bit quicker as even standard attacks feature a separate simplistic animation that tends to drag as the game goes on.
Players can choose to power up Sherry and the rest of the party with various pieces of equipment as well as mods for Sherry’s “blaster” and scrap to power up Isaac’s various abilities. A fleshed out elemental strength and weakness system is there to be taken advantage of and the game doesn’t try to hide any information when targeting a foe’s weakpoint making combat a breeze should the player focus on elemental targeting.
Perhaps the biggest sign that Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Traveler is intended for a bit of a younger audience, at least mechanically, is that the game features tutorials for basically everything. Whereas even the standard RPG may feature some tutorials for unusual mechanics or at least provide only a few at the beginning this game features tutorials for everything from camera movement and walking to how to equip items and use skills. This may be great for young players but a bit of an annoyance for anyone who’s played an RPG before.
Visuals & Audio
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Traveler features a very unique art style from Nippon Ichi Software with the developer taking a more Western “Pixar” like approach to the design of the world. The character models are nicely detailed with the characters having a solid amount of expressions in cutscenes and Isaac’s appearance changes can be a real blast. Even the enemy designs are unique enough though things do become a bit repetitive once the same designs end up reappearing with slight variations.
Oddly enough Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Traveler does not feature voice work of any kind. This doesn’t take away too much from the story but cutscenes that lack even the smallest reaction noises from the characters and even combat lack a bit of impact thanks to this choice. On the opposite side of things, the game’s soundtrack happens to feature an amazing collection of background music that fits perfectly no matter what type of event it is paired with.
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Traveler feels like a game designed with a younger audience in mind and tells a lighter storyline with that in mind with combat that is simplistic enough that it doesn’t truly provide a challenge but has some nice depth to it should the player choose to delve into it. This results in a fairly short RPG that may not be complex enough to really hold an older player’s attention but it does offer a cute little game that works well as an entry point for newer players or those looking for something of a palate cleanser.