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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

by Karlie Yeung - June 17, 2010, 11:51 am PDT
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Missile returns from Phoenix Wright, but as a cute Pomeranian instead of a police dog.

Ghost Trick is based in a fantasy world with it own rules, in a similar manner to Phoenix Wright. The main character becomes a ghost at the very start of the game, with no memories of his life and he is thrown into the ghost world, listening to the thoughts of the ghosts around him (as ghosts can't talk) and learning about the strange situation he has been put in. This discovery continues throughout the story of the game, which has a lot of narrative mixed with gameplay.

He gets drawn into saving lives as a ghost, in each level he starts out inhabiting a particular object, and from there he can "Ghost" to move around to other objects in the same area. Selecting Ghost mode pauses time and takes you to a mode that shows you the nearby objects that can be possessed, and their "Tricks", the possible interactions when time is restarted. Using "Ghost" and "Trick" to work your way through the level, you can change fate and use actions to affect the outcome of the scene.

Each scene shows a passage through time, usually four minutes before a death occurs, and you must work to stop the death occuring. Moving through the level, you can find out more information about how to bring about a new outcome by possessing objects and seeing what actions you can use. There is an element of trial and error, and you can retry the level if you miss a cue for a trick. A lot of the time, it is important to time your trick exactly to be able to move where you want to or prevent something from happening. After you have solved one problem and created a fate change, you can restart from that point rather than from the beginning. It feels rather more like a point and click adventure at that point.

There is a text bubble at the top where you can read thoughts from the main character and those in the scene when more information is available. This gives you clues on how to approach the level and what the outcome should be, without giving too much away on how you should go about it.

Looking at the game, with it's comic book art style and immediate comparisons to Phoenix Wright, I didn't expect the game mechanic to be how it was at all. I think a lot of people missed it as the first level takes some time to complete, yet there is little real gameplay as it's a tutorial and never went on to the second level. I have to admit, I didn't figure out the final solution myself. There are many items you can trick that aren't the right solution, some make irreversible changes to the level that prevent you from progressing, and some just give you a hint.

It is a really intriguing game, and I am looking forward to playing more of it.

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Ghost Trick Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer Capcom

Worldwide Releases

na: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
Release Jan 11, 2010
jpn: Ghost Trick
Release Jun 24, 2010
eu: Ghost Trick
Release Jan 14, 2011
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