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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS) artwork

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS) review

"I might not be good a puzzles, but I'm really, really good at barking!"

A general thing to keep in mind when you join a fandom for a game is that there’s probably gonna be that one game that almost everyone in the fandom talks about. They’ll talk about how they hate it, love it, how it’s so much like the game that the fandom is about, etc. If you’re in the “Megami Tensei” fandom, you’ve probably heard a bunch of people’s different opinions about “Persona”, you’ll probably see a lot of “Undertale” talk in the “Mother” fandom, and, if you’re a part of the “Ace Attorney” fandom, you’ve probably heard of one game: “Professor Layton.”

And then after you hear about that, you might end up being introduced to “Ghost Trick”, like me!

“Ghost Trick” is a puzzle game on the DS made by the same people who made “Ace Attorney.” Even if you didn’t learn this from someone else, there’s plenty of references and a similar writing style that you’d probably recognize if you played the games.
You play as Sissel: a guy that wears a red suit, some pointy hair, and has a few questions. See, at the start of the game, Sissel finds out that he’s dead. Sorta sucks, but just at the start, you see an orange haired lady, with a wardrobe similar to Athena Cykes, standing in the face of an assassin. Although Sissel is dead, with the help of a desk lamp with the name “Ray,” he’s able to use these powers called Ghost Tricks to help save the lady, although, she can’t run far enough.

Sissel wastes some time trying to posses his own body, but fails, and the lady, named Lynne, is killed. However, Ray explains that due to Sissel’s power, he can rewind time back to four minutes before Lynne’s death and can use his new knowledge of Ghost Tricks to save her! Hooray! How convenient!

And so, you have the main gameplay. You go around, solving puzzles and getting from place to place, then, when someone dies, you go back four minutes, and you now have a timer while you try to use your Ghost Tricks to save people. For the first few puzzles, it’s pretty easy, but then you get to the points where the puzzles get harder, more elaborate, etc.

I’m sure if you’re a better at puzzles than I am, the hard puzzles won’t be that hard, so I won’t fault them for that. But for SOME of the puzzles, they just give you some puzzles that are way too vague, and require you to be very perceptive to the point that it feels like they really want you to fail multiple times.
But even with those puzzles, Ghost Trick IS very short, I finished it pretty much in a day or two, and the 17 chapters really go by fast, and for some chapters it feels like you literally don’t do anything but read story. Which isn’t a bad thing, because the story is funny, mysterious, and wacky throughout the end. For example, one of the main characters (who is pretty important to the story) is a dog that loves to bark, and is a really big reason for my love of Ghost Trick.

The story of Ghost Trick follows Sissel trying to learn about who killed him, and why it happened, like if you played Danganronpa from the viewpoint of one of the dead students. Ray tells Sissel at the start of the game that he’ll disappear in twenty-four hours, so he should find it out by then if he wants to “rest peacefully.” Ray also asks Sissel to “discover the truth of this town,” which will go along with Sissel’s quest anyway. So, in a nutshell, you play as Sissel going with Lynne, who is a detective, to try to find out who killed you, and what the hell is happening. Pretty simple.

Along the way, you’ll meet funny and great characters, like the dog (named “Missile”) above, listen to some great music (the OST as a whole is very nice to listen to), and see the funny humor, which, like I said, will follow through to the end. Oh, and did I mention the art? The art of the game is a huge contrast to Ace Attorney, and it’s very cartoony and cute, while still remaining simplistic. The areas are all great and different, and it doesn’t really feel like you’re always looking at the same place with different people.

But my favorite thing about Ghost Trick is how well everything is tied up in the end. There’s a few plot holes, but overall, it’s nothing noticeable, and, while some might find the ending a little anti-climatic due to it’s…ridiculousness… it’s still astounding how much foreshadowing and clues there are for it when you replay the game.

Overall, Ghost Trick is a great game, with amazing humor. I strongly recommend playing this game, and if you really can’t get through the puzzles, play it with a guide! That’s what I did for some puzzles, but the experience was still great, and should really be done by everyone.


StarryPS's avatar
Community review by StarryPS (January 09, 2016)

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