Reviews: Ghost Trick

If there isn't already a quintessential story of massive plot twists, then this is it.

Being a Visual Novel, gameplay is of relatively little importance, but I'll adress it to get it out of the way. The puzzles are somewhat trial and error, but checkpoints are frequent to the point where it will never be too frustrating. They all make enough sense to clear them without pure trial and error.

The story relies heavily on plot twists to keep the player's interest. It opens with one, and ends with one. Almost every plot twist comes across as a great surprise, and a couple come across as thoroughly impossible at first. But in the end everything gets explained, everything makes sense... and then the game throws another enormous plot twist your way. There are a variety of twists, in fact this game covinced me there was such a thing. You've got the ones that fly in the face of everything you know, you've got ones that raise important questions, ones that answer questions, and there's one that's just plain comical, among others. None of the plot twists come across as a Shocking Swerve. I have briefly stopped playing once just to be able to process what was happening - complete with a Flat What. It's extremely difficult to hold a conversation about this game without spoiling many things to any eavesdroppers.

The characters all have their charming quirks and personalities. The animation is very smooth, which helps to emphasize said quirks, and this is very noticable despite the DS's low resolution. End result, most characters end up being very likable.

I've always said that a good soundrack helps with storytelling, and this game is a good example of that. The song placement always matches the moment. You've got your bittersweet, depressing, despair-filled, suspenseful, and upbeat, among others. Whether or not you notice the songs, they will enhance the moment.

My only complaint with this game is that one character's development seemed rather out-of-the-blue and jarring. Fridge Brilliance kicked in, it ended up making sense, but it changed the problem to failing to sufficiently emphasize their motivations.

My personal experience with the game? I had been spoiled with what I thought was the biggest plot twist. I was dead wrong, it would probably be generous to call it the third-biggest, and was able to thoroughly enjoy the story regardless.

A game of plot twists, but unfortunately the story is short

Ghost Trick is an amazing game - the puzzles are ingenious and don't become boring due to subtle differences. The characters interact in a witty manner, and every loose end is tied up neatly. Unfortunately, this game lacks replay value and is relatively short. The puzzles are all possibble, but can be frustrating if you miss the final step before a checkpoint. The ending is amazing set up, and made me shed a tear. I'm hoping they release a sequel which contains more puzzles, and perhaps a new storyline seperate, but linked. After all, fate is always changing, and this allows the story to be continued without any issue regarding continuosity. Excellent music, good job CAPCOM!