Review: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

So torn...

999 or Ghost Trick?

ARGGGGGGH!

I've seen this game on the store shelves in Japan, but I don't really know enough Japanese yet to be able to get the most out of it. Now that it's been localized, I'll definitely have to pick it up. Sounds like I'll really enjoy it.

I just picked up a copy of this game yesterday, and so far it's been incredibly entertaining. The puzzles are interesting, though as you said, require a lot of trial and error sometimes, but overall a very good game.

The ending is SO GOOD!

Quick question - are the puzzles always completely linear, or are there times where you can find an alternate solution to something? This isn't a HUGE deal to me exactly as I am pretty much buying this no matter what, but if there is a significant amount of puzzles with alternate solutions I am pretty much going to buy this today instead of waiting a few weeks - it's part desiring that kind of game, and part research for game design.

the puzzles have only one sollution. so when you have beat it once, you have did everything. but just lijke the ace attorney serie, you will replay it cause of the story and characters.

A great game, I'm surprised to see a review since it's been out for a while but people really should play this game. It's absolutely enjoyable from start to finish and a refreshing treat compared to other recent games. Low replay value but very, very high play value.

I LOVE THIS GAME!!!

On top of everything mentioned in this review, the music is fantastic and ranges from upbeat cheerful and bubbly to dark forboding and creepy to trippy bouncy bop. The character animations are easily the best I've seen on the DS, but also some of the best I've ever seen on any platform. As fluid and natural as the animations are though, the dialogue is just as much. I can't think of one character in the game that I didn't fall in love with or couldn't connect with on some level. The story will draw you in and you'll find yourself caring about the characters and the setting to a surprising degree. The revelations don't stop until the end, and what an ending it is....one that will catch everyone completely off guard and stick with you for a long long time.

My only complaint is that I felt the game held my hand a little too much. I agree that the game requires a lot of trial and error, (an aspect that I enjoy as it forces the player to make a plan, allows them ample room to experiment, and gives success a greater feeling of accomplishment) but I would've preferred the game to be a bit more challenging. When I felt that the puzzles did start to pick up and become complicated, I found that it was too near to the end, which in itself came too soon. By holding the player's hand, I mean that at some points the hints that the game gives you (either as part of the main dialogue or as part of a pop-up during a puzzle that occurs when you've taken too long) make the solutions painfully obvious...so much so that there were times when I felt the game spoiled something for me. I felt like "Shut up I was about to say that!" or "I would've figured it out on my own in a few moments."

coldfrog:
Quick question - are the puzzles always completely linear, or are there times where you can find an alternate solution to something? This isn't a HUGE deal to me exactly as I am pretty much buying this no matter what, but if there is a significant amount of puzzles with alternate solutions I am pretty much going to buy this today instead of waiting a few weeks - it's part desiring that kind of game, and part research for game design.

I heard from an interview with one of the developers that one of the methods they used to counteract the difficulty of exceedingly long chain reaction puzzles was to implement multiple solutions to certain problems, but I'm not even sure if this even made it into the game. I don't recall any multiple solutions, which most likely means that players are unlikely to realize if there was a different course of action they could've taken or if their solution was not the mainstream one. But in the perfect implementation of multiple solutions, the fact that there is more than one solution shouldn't be obvious, no?

Electrogecko:
But in the perfect implementation of multiple solutions, the fact that there is more than one solution shouldn't be obvious, no?

This is exactly the kind of thing I hope to look into actually. I've also been playing Stacking which flat out tells you there are multiple solutions to a problem AND how many there are. You get rewards for finding them all. Obviously to fit in the story for Ghost Trick, it seems unlikely that you'd be able to go right then and re-try a puzzle However, in the interest of game design research, I'm curious to see how it is implemented in this game, if at all. (I'm taking to heart a lot of things from the "Play Like a Game Designer" series from Extra Credits, and multiple solution puzzles/conflicts are one of the things I find most interesting in games, so if/when I design a game of my own, I plan on including such things.)

'Ahh, the teeeeension of a crime scene! Nothing like it!'

Every single character in this game had me bursting out laughing, but Cabanela in particular.

Onyx Oblivion:
So torn...

999 or Ghost Trick?

ARGGGGGGH!

I don't think they're comparable, other than both being very story based.

Ghost Trick has a lighter story, but 999 has more story. Take that as you like. I loved Ghost Trick's quirky comedy (I have the entire Ace Attorney series too), but the puzzles were very thin. 999 has a deep, deep story, and puzzles that make logical sense.

And no, there's no options on how to complete each puzzle in Ghost Trick. They all have a single solution for you to figure out. Once you figure it out, it becomes really easy... Therefor killing "replayability". I'd have to recommend it as a "used" or "rental", but also a "must play".

I'm about 10 chapters into this game and really enjoying it so far. It does a really good job of having organic puzzle solutions and the characters' dialogue lightly nudges the players thinking in the right direction.

I haven't finished this game, but I hope the team extends the series with either the same characters or gameplay concepts, because I'm really enjoying it so far.

I JUST finished it and I wuved it, this might just be the new phoenix wright.

Onyx Oblivion:
So torn...

999 or Ghost Trick?

ARGGGGGGH!

I haven't finished Ghost Trick yet, but 999 wound up being one of my favorite games ever, so I can safely recommend that. Ghost Trick is still pretty dang good though; you could get either and have a satisfied purchase.

Something tells me that my avatar already gave away my stance on the game.

Ah Ghost Trick... a great game with lots of good quirky characters, and and excellent story with lots of twists and turns.

But then, what would you expect from the guy who brought us the Ace Attorney series?

I didn't end up watching trailers or playing demos of this game since I had immediately decided to put this game on my must-buy list. I wasn't disappointed. The trial and error gameplay actually works in context: you never know what your actions are going to do and sometimes you can make things WORSE. And usually the worse scenarios are pretty funny. When you discover something useful, usually a thought bubble will pop up with other character's opinions on your discovery, and if you run out of time, the characters will usually let you know what they think you should try without giving away the solution. I definitely preferred the hint system to the "flounder around showing evidence like an idiot" system that occurred in Ace Attorney when you weren't sure what to present and where. But because there is a puzzle element to the game, I think the game mechanics wear down after some time and the one additional power you get isn't really a significant change. I think the game ends at just the right time for you to not tire of the gameplay, and the story is definitely worth the time investment.

Visually, Ghost Trick really, really stands out. I really want to say that this game has the best graphics on the DS. The characters are simple and stylized, but the animations for the characters are as good, if not better, than blockbuster games on consoles. Sure the movements are pre-canned, but they're imbued with a life and energy that so many other games lack. I was genuinely surprised that every character, no matter how minor, was given so much attention and polish. This is a very cohesive world with charm to spare.

Also, the music is super catchy, with the same composer as Ace Attorney's original composer, Masakazu Sugimori. I made sure to have headphones so I'd never have to play this game in silence. The soundfont and sound effects he used were the same as the ones used for the Ace Attorney game, but the compositions themselves have more bounce. But despite the generally happier tones, when you run low on time to save someone, you can bet the music ramps up the tension tenfold.

All said, I agree with the 4 star rating. Ghost Trick is a must-play game, but the length is short and the replayability is not good. I think this game is better suited for a budget price, much like the Ace Attorney series.

I havent played another game in a very long time that had some lovable chars in it, anyone who has any love for anything more then mindless action should get this game right now

I really, really enjoyed this game. Played it non-stop after getting it upon release and loved every minute of it. Anyone that's even considering picking it up should really do so. It's not the longest and its puzzles are a bit linear, but it has a lot of style and the ending was actually quite memorable. Definitely one of my favorites on the DS.

I've been playing this game; I like the gameplay and the theme.

However the developers jamming this contrived trite dialogue in every 3 seconds is really killing the appeal for me. I'm wondering if it'll get better after I've played for longer or if it's just going to keep butting into my gameplay.

I fell in love with this game too. I just love that it has all the funny dialogue and charm from the phoenix wright series. So totally worth picking up... the ending was so good!

ARRRRGH, I'm so stupid.

I bought the game so I'd have something to play during my flight to GDC 2011. Unfortunately, this backfired because I was tossing over the ending in my head again and again the whole time I was at GDC, barely paid attention to booths, and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find ways to buy GT's soundtrack online.

 

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