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Tokyo Twilight: Ghost Hunters Review

Just like a majority of Japanese titles Tokyo Twilight: Ghost Hunters introduces your character as you start at a new school, a fresh transfer student getting used to not only the strange pupils but also whispers of even stranger goings on around Kurenai Academy, where before you know it you are facing off against an evil spirit. Kurenai Academy thankfully hosts a few gifted pupils (including yourself) who are able to sense and see ghosts and it is thanks to these skills that they are enrolled into the Gate Keepers, an occult magazine that also side-lines in ghost hunting, something that happens an awful lot around town.

Tokyo Twilight: Ghost Hunters is an interactive digital novel that has a light tactical role playing game attached to it. For most of the game you will just watch the story unfold, be it a the violent spirit of a jilted lover or a ghostly guitarist looking for its forgotten music, the presentation of the novel is visually impressive, an interesting blend of realistic scenes with detailed anime characters, terming the phrase GHOST (Graphic Horizontal Object Streaming) animation which adds a little realism to otherwise static images. During the enjoyable story moments the game will occasionally ask for some form of interaction based on the rather confusing Sensory Input icons that represent emotions and senses; where you use the d-pad to select what you think is an appropriate response with selection like love, friendship, anger, taste, smell and sight amongst others and though most reactions are covered there are plenty of clueless moments when you struggle to find an appropriate icon, guesses often resulting in confusing scenarios where you lick someone instead of talking or just plain ignore them. These Sensory Input moments do not seem to have any real impact on the progression of the story as it always ends up at the same point though if you work out the correct requirement you unlock a special Sixth Sense which adds a lot more to the story. As and when the story is ready you are then able to get down to business, busting ghosts, but this is where the game takes an interesting but visually unimpressive turn, becoming a grid based search for the ghosts in a game mode akin to battleships.

Using the Ouija Pad, this digital ghost hunting apparatus presents the player with a gridded top down perspective of the location from where you can then plot your team’s movements whilst also trying to predict where the ghost will be, noting things like power outlets and also using a wide variety of items to assist like traps and EMP radars. The Ouija Pad action is split into two parts, the planning and then execution, where planning relies on educated guesses and blind luck, setting up pre-emptive attacks and hoping the ghost walks into your area of effect as during the Execute Phase, both your team and the ghosts make their moves at the same time. Since ghosts do not like to hang around for too long time is short, with each turn equating to one minute of time passing so there is little time to dawdle. The presentation of this part of the game is in stark contrast to the visuals of the digital novel and though jarring, it is the gameplay here that manages to keep you hooked, with loads of items to utilize and a real sense of you using tactics to trap ghosts, there is quite a bit of enjoyment to be had here.

Best seen as a book with some tactical RPG elements there are plenty of episodes to play through, each one upping the ante and offering plenty of challenges, plus you can also get involved with some training to sharpen your ghost hunting skills.

The two very different approaches to gameplay and presentation may alienate a lot of players but looks are not everything and beneath, Tokyo Twilight: Ghost Hunters is a fun title that will entertain for a few days.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


+ Visually impressive digital novel.
+ Busting ghosts is fun.


- Not in the slightest bit scary.
- The tactical RPG elements are very basic looking.
- Text on the PS Vita is almost unreadable.

Edited On 19 Mar, 2015

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