Ghost Trick is some of the greatest fun you can have with a video game. If you have a DS, make sure you pick up Ghost Trick. If you don’t have a DS, well now’s the time to get one, since they’re like 15 bucks (or at least mine was).
This game is a bit complicated to explain. Basically, you are dead; you are a ghost named Sissel. How and why did you die? You have a lot of mysteries to uncover–and a lot of lives to save along the way, thanks to some special abilities Sissel gained upon death. With the push of a button, you switch between two worlds on the screen: a land of the living in which time flows and inanimate objects can be manipulated in various ways, and the ghost world in which time is frozen and you can transfer your soul from one thing to another (so long as it is within reach–you are limited by a specific radius). Each level starts by having Sissel reach a corpse of some character, which sends Sissel back in time a few minutes before the time of said individual’s death. What ensues is a sort of Rube Goldberg machine that has to be assisted at specific times to ensure the level does not end with people dying.
It’s really a clever game, and a lot of fun to work out the puzzles. Because there are a limited number of things to manipulate, it usually isn’t too difficult to figure out what needs to be done. But from start to finish, Ghost Trick is a wholly enjoyable experience.
The characters and story are both very memorable. This game was directed by Shu Takumi, who is more famous for the Ace Attorney series. Ghost Trick’s general style is extremely reminiscent of those Phoenix Wright games, but I overall enjoyed the story of Ghost Trick much more. While Ace Attorney is more episodic, Ghost Trick plays out like a full book or movie with a strong beginning, a solid middle, and a fantastic end. Lots of great plot twists, and the comedy is top-notch. Like a Saturday morning cartoon, but actually well-written. And probably a lot more dark humor than would be allowed in a cartoon, lol. The story here is great, and all the characters are fun and easy to like. Fantastic character designs too.
Going along with all that, Ghost Trick simply oozes with style. The graphics are a bit simplistic, but the animation is fantastic to watch. The way all the characters move is simply fun, and makes for one of the DS’s best-looking games. Sound and music is solid enough, and everything complements each other well. I also thought it was nice that the game allowed for either touch screen stylus controls, or a means to play with just the buttons.
There really is only one negative point I can think of for Ghost Trick, and that is the fact there simply isn’t any replayability to have here. Once you play through the story (which is probably managed in 7-10 hours), there is nothing more to do. I don’t mind this so much, but some people might. I see it as being a lot like a book or movie though, as mentioned earlier. Ghost Trick is a story to enjoy, and well-worth playing through in order to experience that story. The story also might be a bit too ridiculous for some, but if you’re familiar with Ace Attorney at all then the tone of this one should not come as a surprise. Now, any chance we can get Shu Takumi to take another break from those Phoenix Wright games? I don’t think Ghost Trick needs a sequel (it ends very conclusively), but it would be lovely to see another imaginative new title of this sort made one day.