on January 16, 2011
The premise of the game is fairly interesting: you start off dead and have to use your soul to possess and manipulate objects to accomplish goals. At first you are just trying to find out who you were and why you were killed, but as the story progresses you start uncovering bits and pieces of a bigger plot with national security implications (I kid you not). This game is from the creators of the Ace Attorney series, so people familiar with those games will probably see similarities here, mostly a good story with quirky characters, wrapping humor around a fairly tragic situation.
Story (spoilers will be highlighted): being an adventure game, this is the main selling point of the game and it does not disappoint. Since the game starts off with you dead and witnessing someone about to get killed, you can't say this is a slow starting game. The sense of urgency is also highlighted by the fact your soul will dissipate at dawn, so you really have one night to figure things out. As you go from chapter to chapter meeting more people and changing their fates, you slowly uncover a plot that can have national security implications for your country and you slowly change your motivations and your initial assumption of who you might be. The game even throws a little mystery along with its tutorial (who is the soul that is teaching you about your abilities?) that is revealed at the end of the game.
*** Spoiler alert ****
This is where the game will remind you of the Ace Attorney series. Everyone is connected to each other somehow, by an event that happened several years ago and that still has consequences on the present. In this case, it was a meteor fall that occurred 10 years ago and prompted someone to seek revenge over everyone else involved on the story. This meteor's alien radiation is also the games explanation to some ghosts having powers and others not and the object of desire of the foreigner country involved on the plot (the bad guys that are the "national security" threat. They are all blue, Capcom must have been burned by the racist allegations on Resident Evil and picked a non-realistic skin color this time). The final chapter is fairly epic, with you and your friends stuck on a sinking submarine and the final fate change (for everyone really) taking you to 10 years ago, to the moment of the meteor fall. The final explanation of who you are and the reveal of the soul that was helping you in the beginning is Capcom's signature tear jerker before the happy ending.
*** Spoiler ends ***
Game mechanics and controls: your initial ability is possessing objects and manipulating them in a limited fashion. You also have limited range, so several times, to cross a room, you have to mess around with objects to create a path. This takes care of the puzzle portion of the game and at least to me, it actually seemed more logical than most adventure games (I love Ace Attorney, but sometimes the puzzle solutions made no sense at all, I did not find an instance on Ghost Trick that made me feel that way). You also can travel over the phone (the equivalent of long range transportation in this game and on some chapters, a decision point as well - "Should I stay or should I go?") and the most important one, story wise: when you get in touch with a recently deceased person, you can travel back in time, to 4 min before their death, and change their fate by manipulating objects in the past. It's a limited set of abilities but the game developers use it in very creative ways. At a later point on the game, another ghost is introduced with the ability to swap similar objects and you tag-team with it on several chapters to solve puzzles. The DS touch screen and stylus are a great fit to control the game and you can rewind time an unlimited amount of times, allowing you unlimited chances for trial and error.
Characters, art style, animation, etc...: the game is full of interesting characters, like the dancing detective or the singing fried chicken restaurant chef, my favorite being Missile the dog (yep, a dog is one of the main characters). Even minor players, like generic guard A have lines delivered with personality and actually makes you wonder what is their background (Panic Dancing Prison Guard comes to mind). The art style is very unique, all angles and strong colors, which I really enjoyed. The game looks great in motion, by the way, the first time I saw the Dancing Detective, I was surprised at how fluid the animation was. Music is very good, just like in Ace Attorney, it fits the mood of the moment and builds up the pace when things are getting serious. Even the save game melody reminds me of Ace Attorney :)
Final thoughts: Ghost Trick is a very good adventure game and any fan of the genre should give it a try. It has a great story with great characters delivered in a very unique package. At this moment it seems my review is the first one (almost 1 week after the game released), which makes me a little sad that the game is not selling well. I really hope that, like Ace Attorney, this game is slowly discovered by adventure game fans and builds up sales overtime.
on January 21, 2011
You know how there are those games that you are in awe over and get excited every time you turn it on? This just had to be one of those for me.I have not enjoyed a game this much in quite awhile.
When I had first heard about this lovely title, which was actually a few days before it was released, I was instantly intrigued by it and patiently waited for the soon release. And so when I finally got my hands on it, oooh boy... Let me tell ya, I'm definitely glad I stumbled across this gem. It almost makes me angry that it was not advertized well enough.
Anyway, here is my review split up into segments:
Gameplay - The ability to manipulate certain objects and to travel through them is very unique, and immensely fun. And the way the objects interacted with one another was pretty cool too. While some of the puzzles WERE a bit frustrating and took some time to figure out, that never kept me from playing it, I'd find myself constantly rewinding time to the beginning, and going through the entire span of the 'four minutes' just to change one little thing at the end. It still did not interfere with my enjoyment. The ability to save the characters lives is fun, though for certain characters, it got a bit annoying having to save one repeatedly *cough*Lynne*cough* :P
Story - I found the premise to be very interesting; playing as someone who just died, then sets out to solve the mystery that is his death. Sure, the whole 'I have amnesia, I can't remember anything' bit is played out too much, but Ghost Trick is such an exception. In fact, in most of the game, you're trying to solve other characters' mysteries rather than your own. As the player progresses further into the game, the story becomes more complex, but never too difficult to understand, and similar to Ace Attorney, there are plenty of tweeests!
The characters are very, very quirky, but quite memorable, some more than others, such as (an apparent fan-favorite, and mine especially) Missile, the loyal and adorable Pomeranian. Fortunately, he became a VERY important character, so we got to see more of him.
Towards the end (no spoilers here), the story becomes heart-tugging, but it all works itself out in a happily, tear-jerking end. And I have to say, I REALLY enjoyed the ending, both in how they presented it and how they wrote it out.
Art/presentation - I'm very big on art in video games, seeing as I'm an artist myself, and I will have to say that I enjoyed the sort of edgy anime portraits. They provided a specific style for the whole game that truly made it unique. The character designs are obviously quirky and even humorous, but this added to Ghost Trick, and did a good job of going along with the overall of feel of the game. And the animation...My gosh! I was so surprised by the impressive animation -- it was beautifully fluid!! It was almost like watching a little play, what with the 2 dimensional backgrounds. Speaking of the backgrounds, those were very well-rendered too! The style reminded me a lot of Out of this World, but much more detailed.
Music - Similar to the Ace Attorney, it's still pretty good. It does a good job of conveying the emotions and feelings that are going on in certain scenes. Some of them are pretty catchy too, like the main theme. I really liked the soundtrack for the most part; although probably one song became very repetitive while I was 'ghost tricking'.
I've played some of the Ace Attorney series, but I enjoyed this game much more. Don't get me wrong, Phoenix Wright is fun, but Ghost Trick is one spectacular adventure game and that needs to be played by everyone with a DS! :] I'm seriously hoping that Ghost Trick gets the attention that it deserves, it really needs it!
on January 17, 2011
You just woke up...but, wait! You're dead. So begins the story of your character, Sissel, and the night of his murder.
The game pretty much begins with you lying dead, just discovering you've been murdered. Now the only question is why were you murdered and who killed you? As Sissel, you decide to find out. Because it turns out you only have one night to do so. Luckily upon your death you have acquired some "ghost tricks" which allow you to manipulate non-living objects within the game. This is also how you get around, by moving from object to object. It is actually a very cool concept once you get the hang of it. It is fairly simple. With your ghost tricks in hand, you set out to find out more about your story.
I like how the game gets started right away. The first chapter is essentially a tutorial on how to play. You will learn how to use your ghost tricks. You decide to use them to help others so that you may find out more about your own death. Each chapter consists of your character trying to avert the fate of a would-be murder victim. You have to go back four minutes before that person died and attempt to manipulate objects to save them from death. You may have to save one person several times. You are timed, but you can try as many times as you like. This game is sort of like a puzzle and logic exercise...you really have to think about which object to use to help your victim survive. What I do is I try all the possible manipulations with each object and then I go back and figure out how I can put them together to save the victim. It is a very fun way to play and its pretty original, too!
Along the way you will go between the present and past. The game advances in present time; you only enter the past when you go back in time to try and save the dead. While in the past, you can speak with the dead you are now trying to save and they will give you hints about your life and who you were. They may even have a connection with you. They will also work with you to help you save them. This is one very Ace Attorneyish part of the game. Just as Phoenix gives you little hints in the courtroom, so Sissel gives you hints to try and save the victim. I am only in the beginning, but so far the hints have been helpful without just giving you the answer.
The way you travel from place to place is rather unique. Apparently the dead can only travel by phone line, so to gain new places you must possess the phone and listen in on people's conversations to find out where the person is on the other line. This way you gain new locations and can travel throughout the game world. Anytime you want to move, you just possess a phone and manipulate it and the address book pops up. Just choose where you want to go and zap, you're there!
Another AA aspect would be the music! Seriously if you loved the AA music, you'll feel right at home in GT! It is that same fast-paced music in the courtroom when you advance in this game, that exciting "you did it" music. The graphics are a little different this time around. They look somewhat cartoonish but still with a real-life feeling. It isn't the anime-type drawings of AA. However you will be able to tell that the producer of AA made this game, because the ambience and format is very similar, but still unique.
The way I see this game going is each chapter you learn a little more about yourself from the dead. Each time you have four minutes to save the current victim using your ghost tricks. You travel to different locations to use your tricks to save the dead. At the beginning of each chapter Sissel recaps where you are in the story, which is nice. Like in AA, you meet new characters and gain new locations and information as you advance. Time is passing quickly though, so you have only tonight to find out who you really are and what you got yourself into! Use your ghost tricks successfully, and you might find out before you disappear! Have fun!
Side note: if you are a fan of Ace Attorney I highly recommend this game you will feel right at home:D
on March 25, 2011
With 3DS fever on the horizon, many developers are focusing their efforts on Nintendo's new 3D handheld. Some companies, however, have not given up on the original DS just yet. Ace Attorney director Shu Takumi has created a fresh new game that will possibly go down as one of the greatest DS games ever created. That game, is Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.
You play as a man named Sissel. The thing is, though, is that you're dead. Sissel has just woken up as a ghost and has no idea who he was or how he was killed. He has one night to figure out the mystery of himself, or else he'll fade away into nothingness by dawn. Along the way, he'll meet countless of other characters including a red-headed detective named Lynne, an adorable Pomeranian dog named Missile, an eccentric inspector named Cabanela, and many more.
He'll also have to stop other murders from taking place. Sissel has many "Ghost Tricks" that he can use to his advantage. His spirit can move from object to object and cause them to do certain actions. He can also move through phone-lines to get to far-away locations and can also go back in time 4 minutes to stop murders. Much like Professor Layton and Ace Attorney, the gameplay is run on a point and click interface. The control with the stylus is easy and fluid and will appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers. It should be noted though that Ghost Trick is also largely a text-based game. If you don't like reading, then it will be difficult for you to sit through the hours of in game text.
The story is extremely well written. There are many plot twists added in and gamers will likely be scratching their heads until the very end. The story, though, makes the game feel extremely linear. There is only one answer to the many puzzles in the game, lowering the replay value considerably. Graphically, Ghost Trick couldn't be better. The art style is colorful and fits the personalities of the characters perfectly. The animation itself deserves special praise. It is simply some of the best 2D animation on the DS. The animation is buttery-smooth and rivals even some of the better cartoons out there. Audio wise, Ghost Trick doesn't disappoint. Ace Attorney composer Masakazu Sugimori was able to return to Capcom to compose the soundtrack. The chiptune-style music creates a subtle atmosphere and adds a new layer of depth to the game. The game itself will likely last you about 10 to 12 hours at the most and possibly longer depending on how long it takes for you to solve the puzzles. The only problem is that after the game is completed, there's little reason to return to it again.
Overall, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is one of the most satisfiying games I have ever played. It combines a well-written story combined with intuitive gameplay. Could we see Sissel and his friends in a sequel? Could we possibly be using his tricks in 3D? I'm not entirely sure. With the ending given, perhaps this game is better off by itself. But with Capcom, you never know. When Trials and Tribulations came out, we all thought it was the end of Ace Attorney but soon we got Apollo Justice. Pherhaps we will see another Ghost Trick in the not-to-distant-future. Anyways, whether you're living or dead, I'm sure that you'll enjoy Ghost Trick. Although this game has come out late in the DS's life cylce, its proven that the handheld isn't dead yet and that it still has a few "tricks" up its sleeve. If you enjoy point-and-click puzzle games like Ace Attorney, Secret of Monkey Island, or Professor Layton, then I definatly recommend that you pick this one up.
Lasting Appeal: 7/10
on February 7, 2011
First off, I have never played any of the Phoenix Wright games. I know about them but just have never played them. I also like puzzles. Now that that's out of the way...
I loved this game! I bought it during a sale and the only thing I knew about it was that it was what I read from the brief description. I knew nothing about who developed this game (other than it comes from Capcom. I hardly considered that this was a puzzle type game though I assumed as much from the description and title (tricks?!). This game was fun! The puzzles were actually not too hard but a few were a bit challenging. Just read the clues and try again and I didn't mind trying several times. I loved the characters. All of them! Part of me kept trying to hold off playing it as I knew it would eventually come to the end. I'm glad I made this purchase. It was definitely worth the price.
(4 Stars for fun?!)A downside is that I do wish some puzzles were harder (but I like trying to figure out things) and that we got to see more of the crazy characters that were introduced! Also, I felt like this was too short! Saving...when you save it didn't matter because you restarted from the beginning of that Time Frame (from which you save in the first place). Overall these did not hinder my entire experience though.
Buy if You:
Like a good story
Don't mind reading and re-reading dialog
Want a short game that is a little challenging
Want to feel good about the game after you played it
Do not buy if You:)
Want to rush through this game
Do not care for the story line
Have no patience
Are not fun to be around
Cannot read (game won't be fun nor the same)
Don't like guys with sunglasses who wears them at night
on January 22, 2011
How fare thee, lovers of story and action; lovers of adventure and puzzles? It seems you've found a new game. This game tells a polarizing story that is on par with other great stories such as 999, Hotel Dusk, and Phoenix Wright. The twists and turns will keep you guessing, and a shocking revelation at the end conjoins all the pieces of the puzzle. This game will give you about the most entertainment you can get on the DS, during your time playing it. I strongly recommend that you play, perhaps not buy it since it is short and without replay value, but it is a must play regardless. Five outta five for fun.
on February 2, 2011
I bought this game on a whim when I saw a deal here for buy two NDS games and get one free. I hadn't heard about this game until I saw it in the list of eligible games for the deal - so I decided to look it up for basic info, especially the premise and mechanics of the game. I was quite intriqued, so I bought it immediately.
Upon receiving the game only a week later (all the way in Afghanistan, I'm very impressed with Amazon's shipping!), I quickly fired it up...and have not been able to do anything else during my free time in the last two days.
The mechanics and concept of the game is amazing and intelligent. Like the other reviews state, you start off dead. You can take possession of certain inanimate objects in the world, within a short range of your "spirit." When you come in contact with a recently killed person, you can rewind to 4 minutes before their death to relive that 4 minute time period, and then look for ways to avert their fate. Using the objects, you can manipulate the world to change the course of events to save other people's lives, and ultimately solve the mystery surrounding your death.
The game does not try too hard to be overly realistic or believable - and it notes that itself, that in the "world of the dead," some things are that way just because.
Beyond the meat of the game, the frosting around the edges pushes the game over the top. The animation is in a very colorful and cartoony style, with smooth movements and pleasing aesthetics. The characters are incredibly distinct and funny. The controls are easy to use - the stylus is used to control where your spirit goes, and the buttons do the rest. The game is not hard to learn, but the puzzles involved become increasingly challenging, sometimes requiring split-second timing and precision. Beyond just fun game play, the game will train the mind in attention to detail and logical problem solving. It may be frustrating for younger children, but I highly recommend this for both older children and adults.
on March 18, 2011
Ghost Trick Phantom Detective is a fantastic game. A lot of the other reviewers already go over the awesomeness. Refer to them for the details, I'm dropping this review here to let everyone know that this product satisfies. The gameplay and storyline are both extremely good. In fact, they were both so good that this game is the only one that had the power to draw me away from Pokemon Black. Some the plot developments were enough to make me go, "No way. No waaaay!" And the ending really ties everything up.
The characters are also fantastic. I have a couple favourites. You'll probably enjoy their personalities, too.
Remember, B skips through dialogue (Just in case you fail to solve a puzzle). And when I say puzzle, I don't mean a Layton puzzle. More like possessing and manipulating objects to change the outcome.
Oh, and try learning what the word kismet means. It's your destiny to find out.
on February 22, 2013
Remember when Capcom was one of the people that helped the industry making new IPs, new genres and cared for the consumer? This is one of the last games where Capcom decided to take a risk and make a new unique IP.
Ghost Trick is a game like no other. You play as a man named Sissel who is already dead when you play the game. He then sees a girl with red hair name Lyn who is going to be killed. The only way he can save her is to turn back time 4 minutes and manipulate the objects around him in order for Lyn to escape. Sissel only has 24 hours after saving her to figure out who he is or he'll disappear forever.
As expected, the entire game takes place in one night. This game is unique because the game requires timing as the most important key when trying to save a person's life and the game really empathizes on trial and error to save the person. Fortunately, the game is lenient toward you and you can whine time back as often as you like when you mess up.
The characters themselves have their own quirks similar to Ace Attorney. And you would think you would hate someone like Lyn who gets killed so many times in one night but she's actually vert likable and it's out her hand if she's being a target for murder. Naturally everyone involved in the story are all connected to each other. You travel from destination to destination from a telephone line to prevent getting to other locations faster.
The story drives you to solve the mystery very quickly. The music matches well with the tone of the game and overall, it's one of those games that you can never forget even after beating the (difficult) game. Yes this game gets ridiculously hard as time goes on because of timing and then adding in small factors like how some characters can apparently tell you're there and then move the object preventing you from doing anything.
Overall, a definite pick up that you won't be disappointed with. Enjoy the plot twists because this game has A LOT of them.
on January 28, 2011
I work in a game store so I see a lot of games while working. I always tell people that I prefer the DS lineup over PSP cause there are a lot more shining gems on DS but lately it's been a lot of shovel ware on the DS unfortunately. My boss pointed this game out to me one day and I wasn't really paying attention at the time. Later while sorting the section I rediscovered said game. I decided to check it out not even really realizing it was by the makers of Phoenix Wright. Now I love Phoenix Wright a ton and any new offering is something I have to run out and buy. Ghost Trick is definitely the kind of game I would have done the same with had I known what I know now.
So as I'm sure you know in Ghost Trick you're a ghost. The basic premise is that you must use your abilities (or tricks) to save others from death while on a journey to discover what happened to yourself. With one night to do so the main character ends up saving a lot of lives and ending up at one of the trippiest endings I've seen in a game.
Now if you're a big fan of Phoenix Wright like I am, you'll get a lot of the same feel from this game. The music is similar on a basic level as is the dialogue. There's not as much dialogue and you're not even required to read all of it. The dialogue involved however as the humor you'd expect from the PW writers.
Gameplay consists of moving from object to object and manipulating it to do different things. It may sound easy but you've also got the element of time moving against you. Each puzzle must be solved in 4 minutes. One thing I never figured out is if that was actual real time or game time but for the sake of how long it took me to finish the game I'm gonna say real time. The only annoyance of time always moving is you may miss a part of the puzzle you need to move to mid interaction. You'll usually get a hint of some sort but sometimes you'll end up replaying a whole part a few times before doing the right thing.
The graphics deserve a mention too. One thing I heard in a few reviews was that the animations were really polished for a DS game. If you play the game for yourself you'll definitely understand what is meant by that. They're very fluid and well done. And the backgrounds are also just as well designed.
Now like I first said,the story has a trippy ending in my opinion. It has a lot of twists and it has it's shocking moments. I've tried to be as spoiler free as possible here but I loved the ending of this game. It's going to reside on the same level as the PW series for me cause it's that good.
The only issues I really had with this game were those moments when you need to jump to a certain item at a certain time. Also some of the solutions could be a bit tricky but that's to be expected in a puzzle game. Other than that it's a top notch game.