Thursday, May 19, 2011

Game Reviews: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (Nintendo DS)

"I'll save you again and again, as many times it will take."- Sissel

From the creator of the Phoenix Wright series, I had a very high expectation for Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. When it came out for the DS in January 2011, I was super excited for the game. As a puzzle game, the tense storyline, and the awesome animations of the sprite, how high of a score can this game obtain?

The game starts out with the main character, Sissel, dead. With no memory of what happened, Sissel’s ghost watches as a girl is murder by an assassin. He is then told by a talking lamp, named Ray who is also a spirit, that Sissel is able to save the girl. Seeing that the girl is already dead, Sissel is told that he can go back into the pass to 4 minutes before the death, by touching the dead body as a spirit. Sissel is also able to manipulate inanimate objects, such as a toy car, to reach the goal. Sissel goes back in time, saves the girl, and thus, altering the future. But, Sissel also learns that he has until dawn to figure out who killed him, and why the girl was being chased.

The character development of both major and minor characters is well done. There are major twists in the game that keeps the player into the story. However, not many people enjoyed the ending of the game. I, personally, thought that the game left a few questions unanswered for a sequel. But, how the game wrapped the storyline up, left no room for a sequel.

Sissel using his abilities to move across the room.
Being allowed to manipulate inanimate objects is the puzzle part of the game play. Possessing objects is the only way for Sissel to move around the game. There will be times where Sissel is allowed to go into the phone lines in order to travel around the city. The use of correct timing will allow Sissel to set a chain reaction for him to prevent death, or help him reach his destination. Later in the game, you will be able to get a partner to help you move across the level, but saying anything more will give out spoilers. 

The excellent animation of the characters in their environment.
The fluid animations of the sprites were well done in this game. Everyone had their own unique animation to perform. The inanimate objects performed what they would do if a ghost really did posses it. The music of the game was excellent, played correctly for the right atmosphere.

The Good:
-Unique storyline
-Superb gameplay
-Smooth animation
-Great characters to support the story
-Some resemblances to the Phoenix Wright series

The Bad:
-Short game with little replay values

Overall Score-9/10

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