Dislyte of mine, I'm gonna let it burn out
Dislyte is the newest big budget gacha RPG game to hit mobile phones (full release May 2022) and it's the most stylish game about cyberpunk gods fighting each other that you'll play this year. Developed by Farlight Games and Lilith Games, Dislyte checks all the boxes for me. Who in their right mind wouldn't give Dislyte a download when: a.) Its characters are gods pulled from a variety of cultures (Greek, Egyptian, & Norse just to name a few)
b.) Just look at that cyberpunk aesthetic
c.) Dislyte's music is a catchy af blend of electronic swing + hiphop
There are already tons of similar gacha games available for mobile (a genre that developer Lilith is no stranger to), so Dislyte certainly needs its distinct style to help stand apart from the crowd. While I downloaded this game for the sheer vibes, I found that the style/presentation just wasn't enough to carry me through. When you peel back the catchy music and awesome character design, you'll find that Dislyte does little to distinguish itself or keep your attention.
A JRPG with gods in it?! Has that been done before /s
Dislyte is a JRPG style battler where you'll need to use your character's skills to win a series of fights. Well that OR you can hit the "automatic battle" button and let the game play itself. There's a story which I tired of almost immediately, but it's nice that when you skip the story beats it provides a summary of what you missed.
As you progress through a straight line of story battles, you collect party members via a gacha "record player" (more on the gacha system soon). The battles use a relatively common weapon triangle system where characters of 3 different types have strengths and weaknesses against each other. If you've played Pokémon or Fire Emblem, then you'll be right at home with the rock/paper/scissors style system. While most players will just let the battles play out automatically, there's still plenty of strategy to be found when it comes to building out your party of 5. Beyond simply leveling up you can also collect and equip gear sets (called "relics"), increase characters' max level by sacrificing other characters of the same rarity, upgrade stat distribution between attack/defense/HP, and even check in-game reviews for the characters where other players vote on the best ways to use them.
If you're looking for a deep character upgrade system then you've come to the right place. That said, there are a lot of caveats to each mechanic once you dig in. Dislyte's gear (relic) system isn't too dissimilar from other gacha games, but the fact that your gear upgrades can fail with increasing probabilities is extremely annoying. I don't mind games where you have to grind, but I found Dislyte to be quite frustrating each time a character hit their level cap. In order to increase a character's level cap you need to sacrifice other characters of the same rarity, and it can take a long time to even find a handful of tier 4 or tier 5 characters. So while overall you're encouraged to use the higher rarity characters, once you hit their level cap you're going to have a difficult time trying to find other characters to sacrifice. I understand giving the player goals to work towards, but some of the character upgrade systems feel unnecessarily grindy/time gated (unless you want to spend real money).
Beyond the robust system for customizing your party, there are also a ton of different ways to battle beyond the straight path of story mode. You can play through trials that offer branching pathways/rewards, there's a bounty system with specific requirements to fulfill, a territory defense mode, and there's even a fun little music rhythm game. Dislyte provides a lot of ways to play, which by the way requires you to navigate a ton of menu screens, but in the end the gameplay is still a grindy JRPG battler.
When I first started playing, Dislyte seemed relatively generous. They give you one character of the highest rarity pretty quickly, but soon after that you'll realize the true difficulty/cost of this game. The gacha system's "legendary" characters (highest rarity) have a 1% chance of being pulled, and you're guaranteed to find one after 120 summons. This is not a game that I want to spend money on, so while I actually did somehow pull a second legendary character very early (maybe it was rigged?) it seems like it will take a long time to earn the top rarity characters for free.
Dislyte is also constantly throwing "deals" in your face when you log in. I understand the temptation to spend money and gamble for a chance at legendary characters, but with the odds being so low only found these "deal" pop-ups to be annoying.
Style and grace all over the place
Something that you'll notice immediately upon playing is Dislyte's sheer style at every turn. I can say what I want about the gameplay and unfair gacha mechanics, but this game has drip. I love the pairing of "gods + cyberpunk" and the overall character designs are incredible. That's why it's disappointing that some of the artwork is straight up stolen from other artists, which is apparently something that developer Lilith has done in their previous games as well.
At least the music of Dislyte is even better than the character designs. Almost every track is a banger, and I found myself actively seeking out the OST to listen in my spare time. I could listen to "Funky Summer" on repeat all day:
Verdict - The gods weren't enough
While I absolutely love the presentation of Dislyte, the music and character design are not enough to carry the game. It feels like a fresh coat of paint on an old and rickety sailboat. You can put all the flashy colors and lights on that sailboat, but if it has holes then it's still going to sink. Especially for a gacha game that has just launched at the time of this review, I would have expected it to be more generous with what it provides in its opening month.
If you're already into a different gacha mobile game then I'd say you can safely skip this. Dislyte doesn't do anything better than similar style gacha and JRPG games, but if you like the core concepts and grindy games about collecting/upgrading characters then it's absolutely possible to have a good time. I doubt I'll play much more of Dislyte, but the music will stick with me long after I close the game.
Presentation is through the roof
Great character design, pulling from different cultures and gods
Gacha system is too stingy
While customization/upgrading characters is fun, the actual battles are boring