I completed one of the funnest non-ATLUS/NIS/Pokemon games I’ve ever played. My interest was held for 100% of the game, and I just couldn’t stop playing. I would have gotten it on or near release, but I was poor back in January and I finally got the chance to buy it on Sunday after hesitating for over a month. Now that I’ve completed the game, I want to band my head against the wall for not buying it sooner. How could I hesitate when it’s by the genius behind the Ace Attorney series? I had hope for that man ever since I first laid hands on Apollo Justice (bad case of breaking sequence on my part). Well, regrets aside, I will try my best to calm down after playing through a storyline truly satisfying for all its entirety.
The main character is already dead by the time you can control him. You play as a man who just died, Sissel, who discoveres his magical ghost powers that allow him to travel by possessing the cores of various objects and manipulating them. Immediate, you have to try and save a red-haired girl who is getting cornered by a hitman. So Sissel possesses various objects to distract the hitman, but he kills her anyways. Then it gets revealed that he has the power to rewind time to 4 minutes before the corpse he possesses’ death and try to prevent it, but that only works on someone killed within the last 24 hours. Our hero also has amnesia, and spirits disappear by dawn so he has only this night to figure out who he was and solve a giant mystery.
The gameplay consists of possessing and manipulating objects to either reach a place or avert someone’s death. So there’s the normal world, where you can watch people’s actions and manipulate (perform tricks with) the object you’re currently possesing. When you press R (or tap the Ghost button) the screen will swithc to the ghost world where time is paused and you can possess nearby items. The items will have the “trick” it can perform listed and some items can’t do anything. Ultimately, you’ll have to find a way to use the objects to avert the deaths of other characters. The puzzles (I guess that’s the most appropriate term?) are actually quite fun and goes with the story well. They gameplay was fun enough for me to not say “fuck it, get on with the plot!!” even though it’s a story-centered game. If you fail to avert a character’s fate, you have to try again. There aren’t any game overs since you can rewind time to 4 minutes before a corpse’s death as many times as you want.
Most of the puzzles were easy enough to figure out in a few tries, but Chapter 14 really got me as That One Level. Overall, I’d say the gameplay is strong enough to compliment the story. They know how to balance story and gameplay in an adventure game, as expected of the people behind Ace Attorney.
I don’t think I have to tell you that the story is great, since I’ve probably said it before. There’s a really Ace Attorney-like vibe from Ghost Trick, despite the fact that investigation happens in cutscenes most of the time and you’re more involved in saving people rather than looking for evidence. The mystery unfolds at a good pace, and the ending was extremely satisfying. If you liked the Ace Attorney series, this game is a no-brainer…Actually, the chances are, if you like the Ace Attorney series you probably already played/bought this game.
The story also has lots of hilarious lines, so that was a big plus for me. It manages to remain light-hearted, even during serious and important moments. Then there’s also some very heartwarming scenes that we all love…And several hilarious deaths (and ways that you can fail to save them…).
One of the strongest points of the game is that it pays a large amount of attention to each character. You can feel the love that was put into each character, instead of just having all the focus on the main character. The creators clearly had fun making them. Even the little doggy (Missile!) that seemed annoying at the beginning ended up being extremely awesome. Sissel was, of course, a fitting main character. The large cast is colorful, and gives off a feel not unlike those from the Ace Attorney series.
Fitting, with many catchy tunes. The music also feels like AA too. Especially the investigation BGMs.
Damn, where to begin? First of all, the character sprites/models. I can’t really tell how they are made, but they seem to be cell-shaded 3D models. What amazed me was that the whole game was practically animated, right down to some very delicate and intricate movements. Climbing up ladders, typing, painting, walking, running, everything is so damn smooth and feels realistic. They put so much effort into the animations I can’t help but be extremely impressed. There are just so many unique animations, and they managed to make it all seem realistic and smooth.
The art style of the sprites is pretty nice too. It’s a combination of Anime and western cartoon style, with eye styles from the former and colors and exaggerated parts from the latter. Moe lolis exist.
Pretty fun gameplay, great story, lively characters, natural animations and fitting music. How can I not recommend this game (except to people who don’t like reading text/following a story)? The only complaint I have is the length, but a short game is better than a long one with loads of filler. I enjoyed it too much and it ended too fast. I kept on wanting to play more. Sequel please? I know the creators are fully capable of making non-crap sequels/spinoffs. Oh yeah, and try not to get spoiled.
Recommended for: People who liked Ace Attorney, people who like adventure games, people who like mysteries, people who like good stories in their games in general, etc.