By Justin Guillou / April 1st, 2015
Before you go into battle, you are given info on your target and a floor plan of the battlefield. You can purchase and place traps such as Salt, Holy Water or Lucky Cats. These will either locate a ghost for you, restrict their movement or damage them. However, do not go too trigger happy, as they cost money. You can also select from a handful of cassettes to play during the battle. I found the music to be very fitting for the game. There were a lot of rock themes, and I enjoyed them. The battles themselves play similarly to an SRPG in that it is grid-based, and you spend your turn planning out where your characters will move or what direction they will be looking in. The thing is that both the player’s and the opponent’s actions actually happen in real time. The point of these battles is to predict the ghosts’ movements and attack them.
If you select Attack during your turn and the ghost moves into your character’s range — which is displayed — the ghost will be attacked. Most weapons have a certain spot in their range that is red. If a ghost moves into that space, and you chose to attack, that character will land a critical hit and the ghost will take a lot of damage. While it sounds difficult, predicting the ghosts’ movement is actually fairly simple when you get the hang of it. For starters, you can see the ghost’s movement range during your turn. Next to the ghosts’ HP, there is a scream meter with a light that changes color based on your party’s actions. If the light is red, the ghost will come towards one of the party members. If it is blue, the ghost is attempting to run away. A good strategy is to cover as much of the ghost’s range as you can with your party members’ attacks. Also, ghosts that can travel through water or electrical sockets tend to walk towards them if they are not already targeting the player, so you can easily ambush them there.
You also need to keep in mind any kind of obstacles or valuable objects that are in the range of your attacks. If you happen to attack an object in the level that is not a ghost, you will damage it and be charged for it at the end of the battle. When you attack a ghost, it goes into first person view and your character will perform their attack. I have to say the ghost designs, like the character art, are very well done. There is a nice variety of ghosts such as cars, people or animals, and they all have distinct voices. While you can skip the attack animations, I liked to keep them on for the most part because the enemies are so well animated. By far the most challenging part of these battles is when the chapter introduces a new character. You are given no chance to gear them up with the latest equipment, so they are thrown into the battle incredibly weak. One way you can get around this is to make sure you bring a character into battle that can buff their defense or attack. Buffs in this game stack infinitely, so if you spend a few turns buffing your characters, they will be able to withstand literally any enemy the game throws at them.
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters’ 13 chapters should last you anywhere from 15-20 hours depending on how much time you spend on the forums clearing requests. The battle system, while a bit confusing at first, is actually quite fun when you get the hang of it. My biggest problem with the game is that there is a lot of content, and the game does not do a great job explaining it at all. Also, I don’t think they did a great job optimizing this game for the Vita’s resolution, and, as a result, much of the text appears very small and can be difficult to read. I even noticed some format glitches. Overall, I had fun with Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters. Do not expect to be blown away by the story despite the good localization, however, as it does not go on too long, so you can spend most of your game time actually fighting the ghosts and leveling up your characters. The mechanics can be very confusing initially, so this is definitely a game that you need to spend a lot of time figuring out before you can really enjoy it. So, tell me, would you pay $40 to play this game? Pick any of the choices in the screenshot below:
Review copy provided by publisher
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