Friday, 15 July 2011

Ghost trick:Phantom detective

Gamespot score:9.0(editor's choice)

my score:8.7

(+)Pros:-Intruiging story that gets more and more interesting as the game proceeds,-interesting gameplay mechanics,-features a cast of humourous and impressive characters that are overall hard to forget,-puzzles are well made and thought out,-puzzles evolve into a whole different level later on,-visuals are beyond impressive on the DS,- music is as good as or even better than the ones provided in the AA games.

(-)Cons:-Gameplay revolves around the same strategy for more than half of the game,-probably not much to do after clearing the game.

Gameplay time:10-20 hours

Running out of games to review...gotta step up my shit and play some games! Anyway, for today, we have a game thats so special that it got a 9.0 on gamespot, now thats pretty rare for a game in this area of the department. Ghost trick is a game that was made by the geniuses behind the phoenix wright games, so one can expect nothing less. Still, the game was great, it shook the spirits of many who expected it to fail. Ghost trick is one of the most unique gameplay expriences the gaming industry has to offer, and combined with its awesome yet mysterious story, it serves to be a great game that many can enjoy.

Ghost trick has a humourous story for most of the part, yet, it still manages to keep a sense of seriousness to it, so the story doesnt really make a complete fool of itself. It starts off with our main man, sissel, showing himself dead at the start of the game. And while dead, he somehow manages to still see things, such as witnessing before his very eyes, a young lady being pointed at with a gun by another man. Presumably, the man is a hitman, and sissel, being the man that he is, cannot bear to leave a helpless, pretty girl to just be shot. A mysterious voice rings in his head, telling him that hes a spirit with powers. With the help of the spirit explaining his powers to him, sissel finds out that he can manipulate some inanimate objects. Using these powers he sets out to help the girl, but fails inevitably, as the girl still gets shot and dies.

Feeling useless and a failure, sissel states his powers are useless, but the mysterious voice (which turned out to be a lamp), tells him more about his power, that he can traverse to 4 minutes before a person's death and try to avert it. With that in mind, he traverses to 4 minutes before the lady's death, in an attempt to save her. After much effort, he saved her. But something else is amiss, sissel doesnt even know who he is, not even his name, hoping the lady would at least know something, he asked her, but to no avail. Also, he is told that at dawn he will vanish, being a ghost and all. Since its late in the evening already, sissel doesnt have much time, he sets out on an adventure to find out more about himself, and the events that are about to unfold.

Even a lamp can talk, how fking awesome is that.

Ghost trick features a gameplay mechanic like no other. As mentioned earlier, sissel can manipulate inanimate objects as a spirit and is able to travel through them. All inanimate objects that sissel can travel through have something called a core, and sissel has to connect to these cores in order to move through these objects. Its simple, to travel from a table to a chair, he just has to move from the table's core to the chair's core. Moving through objects through thier cores can only be done in the spirit world. The game's main gameplay situations usually involve sissel trying to avert the fate of those poor dead people, and to do this, he has to move to 4 minutes before thier death and do whatever it takes to avert it.

For example, if a man dies by having a pot fall on his head, sissel has to do it so the man doesnt die, be it delay the man's walking speed or not making the pot fall at all. And all this can be done through sissel's ghost tricks, and of course, they must be done at the right time. As said earlier, sissel travels through cores in the spirit world, and in the spirit world, time doesnt flow. Sissel can only avert fates of those who died if he tricks at the right time, so of course, sissel must switch between the normal and spirit world effectively. In the normal world, time flows normally, the 4 minutes before the person dies goes on as per usual. Do keep in mind you are timed, if during the 4 minutes you fail to save the person in the last few seconds, or just cant find a path, the person will still die, and you are forced to restart from the beginning or when the fate was first averted, to look for an alternate path.

Loitering around the spirit world through the navigation of cores
is vital to solving puzzles in game.

Through the course of the game, you will save the lives of many, some more than once, apparently. Now to explain sissel's ghost tricks. Sissel's ghost trick is to make inanimate objects function as though someone is using them. He can make a record player suddenly play music, altough no one is using it. He can make an umbrella open on its own, make a camera snap pictures automatically etc. While some of his tricks are good individually, all of them must always be somehow connected in order to solve a certain puzzle. For example, he has to link multiple tricks together in rapid succession in right timing, such switching on fan then traversing to leaf that was blown by the fan to get somewhere previosuly unaccessable. While trial and error is the game's main basis, the game prevents itself from becoming too hard and annoying with the constant tips sissel gives, or the checkpoints that are given.

 Later on, puzzles go to a whole new level when a second spirit joins in, with a whole new power different from sissel, this gives puzzles a new level of depth. Gameplay aside , the game is filled with tons of other good stuff. Most of the characters are humourous, while others are just plain badass. The visuals are impressive as hell, the animations are incredibly solid as well. I would pretty much say this is the DS's graphics at its best. Finally, the soundtrack. I am aware the team behind the AA games did ghost trick, now Im not sure if they did the soundtrack for it too, cause its so damn good, its comparable to that of the AA games, which had great music on thier own. Seems like capcom really went all out with ghost trick.

You gotta admit, for something on the DS, visuals this standard are really impressive.
 Now no game is perfect, and ghost trick isnt without its flaws. Much of the game is played by sissel and sissel alone. Now that isnt a bad thing, but its just that with just him, we dont get that huge depth during puzzle solving as when we have our 2nd spirit. It just thins out when you compare the time spent solving puzzles that just require sissel, and time spent when solving puzzles with sissel and the other spirit. If more of those situations existed, the game could be much more badass. Also, as expected from such a game, when you finally reach the end, theres really nothing much to keep you playing again.

Ghost trick: Phantom detective is an incredibly well thought out game that  seriously owns. The visuals are awesome, the story is interesting, the music is great, the characters are over the top and unforgetable. The most important part is that the gameplay kicks ass, its unique and it works well. There may very well be nothing much to do once you clear the game, but I assure you, before that happens, you will have a hell of a good time. I recommend ghost trick to any DS owner out there, it pretty much suits anyone.

Happy gaming!