Ok, so this is long overdue, but I have to tell you about Destiny of Spirits. I’ve been playing it since March, almost daily! When it was first announced as a Free-To-Play title, and they showed some screenshots, my first reaction was, PASS. It just didn’t look like something I’d be into. Then when it came to the PlayStation Store…who can pass up free, right? Even just to try it. So I did just that. Downloaded it, just to see what it was all about, I mean, it wasn’t costing me anything. Low and behold, it was addictive fun that I made part of my daily gaming routine.
Destiny of Spirits is very much like Pokémon, or YuGiOh, except without the cards. You have this collection of creatures (though in this game they’re spirits) and you take them into battle to defeat other spirits. You start on the world map divided up into squares. Each square represents a battle arena of sorts. After selecting a location, an enemy icon is displayed that when tapped, reveals the mission at hand. This screen shows you what elements the spirits you will face are, their level, and how many fights you will need to overcome in succession before winning the battle. By tapping on “Prepare for Battle” you are taken to the party select screen.
Here you can choose from your Spirit Collection, which ones you will take into battle. Each spirit has a “party cost” which varies based on their rarity. Rarities range from Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Super Rare. You start off the game with a relatively low total party cost, but that cost limit rises as you beat area bosses. (Other bonuses are gained after beating area bosses as well, like higher friend list limits, higher total spirits allowed in collection, etc.)
Once you have added as many spirits to your team as the party cost limit will allow, you are taken to the Select Supporter screen, which allows you to “rent” someone else’s spirit for use in your battle. (Renting spirits costs Spirit Points, which drop during battle.) This is a really cool feature, because each time you rent a spirit from someone, not only are you buffing your party with a strong spirit, but the real live person you are renting it from gets a bonus from you using their spirit in battle. Likewise, if someone rents your spirits, you receive this bonus as well. These bonuses are allocated at the start of each new day, along with the opportunity to perform a Destiny Summon. Destiny summons are essentially a free summon at the start of each new day, every day.
Once you have formed your team, rented any additional spirits, and confirmed your final party, you’re off to the battlefield. Battles have a maximum of 3 spirits on each side of the field at any given time. As time passes, each spirit has an action ring under them, which represents their wait period until attacking. Attacks occur automatically, but by tapping on a spirit you can direct their attack at the opposing spirits however you wish.
Go 1 vs 1, if elemental attributes match up for strength/weakness, or go 3 vs 1 to take down a tough boss. Each spirit has a unique ability for use, once a meter at the bottom of the screen fills enough to use it. This meter will refill again and again, until the battle is over. So, make sure to pick team members that support your battle strategy. I like using one spirit that boosts attacks, one that provides a time-stop ability, and another that has some sort of shield mechanic. Oh yea, when selecting your team, the spirit in the first slot, is considered the Team Leader, and is denoted with a Crown icon. The team leaders’ special ability is transferred to all allies for as long as he lives during battle.
Should one of your spirits die in battle, another can take its place if it was added to the party during preparations. When a spirit dies in battle, it will have a 15 minute wait time before it regenerates. So that spirit will not be able to participate in future battles until that time has passed, plus the time it takes to regenerate all of its health. So it’s a good idea to avoid death if at all possible, even if that means fleeing. Once you attain victory, the battle results screen displays how many Summing Stones and Spirit Points are awarded before moving on to the next fight.
There are two main currencies in the game, Summoning Stones and Spirit Points. Summoning Stones are used for summoning more spirits, and Spirit Points are used to merge spirits together for upgrading their stats. There seems to be a pretty decent rate of acquisition for both Stones and Points. Also, each new day brings with it a fortune. “Great Blessing” fortunes mean higher drop rates for Summoning Stones, while “Bad Luck” fortunes raise Spirit Point drops. You’ll still get both sources of currency throughout each day, but some days you’ll be gaining one more than the other (another incentive to play each day).
When you’re not slaying spirits in battle, you’re summoning new spirits and merging old ones to make even stronger spirits for future fights. Summoning appears to be completely randomized, as to whether or not you get a Common spirit or a Super Rare spirit. On the summoning screen you have the option to summon a regular spirit for 300 Summoning Stones. This may seem high, but after just a few battles, you amass a few thousand stones.
There are two other options on the Summoning screen. One is the Advanced Summon and the other is Rare Summon. The Advanced Summon basically has a higher rate of gaining a Rare or Super Rare spirit. The Rare Summon option is really cool, as each month the game features summon-able spirits from different games. Examples include characters from; Knack, Gravity Rush, Doki Doki, and this month, Soul Sacrifice. The only catch is, both the Advanced Summon and the Rare Summon require the VERY RARE “Destiny Orb” currency.
This is where the micro transactions come into play. You can still obtain Destiny Orbs through normal play, but you’re lucky if you acquire 20 in a month, so don’t plan on getting many of the Rare Summons. But hey, you can always buy 35 Destiny Orbs (enough for one Advanced or Rare summon) for $2.99. Me, I’ll just try my luck through the regular summon feature. I have 30+ Spirits and they are now all Rare or Super Rare, 90% of which came through the basic summon feature.
I personally stay FAR FAR away from this aspect of the game. I’ve gotten tons of hours of fun from Destiny of Spirits, without spending a penny. I summon some spirits, merge some others, fights some battles, participate in Raid Boss Events, and repeat. As is common in the free to play market, everything is setup on a “time” refresh rate. Let’s say your party gets wiped on a high level arena boss fight and you were just 50 hit points away from winning. Well, you can pay 15 Destiny Orbs to revive, right then and there. Or how about if you’ve exhausted all of your top spirit fighters in battle during the last 20-30 minutes and they are all on the “revive timer” of 15 minutes (plus approx. an hour to replenish the health to full). You can pay 3 Destiny Orbs to revive that character (just one character) immediately to full health. Another source of micro transactions is connected with the Raid Boss Events. In order to fight a Raid Boss you have to have “Raid Points” available to attempt the fight. You start with 5 Raid Points each day, and one is used for each Raid Boss attempt. Granted one point replenishes every 30 minutes, or…you guessed it, you can pay Destiny Orbs to refill it immediately.
Despite the pesky micro transactions, Destiny of Spirits has so much to do, and really is more fun than the still image screenshots can convey. I’ve had a blast with this game daily, and highly recommend you give it a shot. It is free after all. You’ll be addicted in no time and have plenty to do, even without paying a cent. If you prefer, you can save a lot of time, and get a ton of Super Rare Spirits, by purchasing Destiny Orbs. But, if you’re like me, and don’t want to pay all the little fees, you really can get hours of enjoyment out of the game during each sitting.
Summon spirits and hope for a Super Rare. Fight mission spirits in a run up to the area boss. Take on raid bosses by yourself or with the help of some friends. Hunt down spirits as you move from place to place in the real world via near. Trade spirits you no longer need with friends, to get the ones you’re really after. Spend some time merging lower level spirits and watch your Super Rare’s break their level caps! If you haven’t tried Destiny of Spirits yet, you really should see what you’ve been missing.