“Did you see that girl?”
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs, that is a monster of a name in itself, is a re-master of Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters that was originally released on the vita and ps3 a few years ago. Having not played the previous instalment I went into the new game with a pair of fresh eyes and can only report on what I experienced, I’m not able to give any details of the changes although I am aware that the combat system has been changed and we were given a few new scenarios to explore. As the story goes, you are a high school student who is suddenly exposed to the paranormal and it is your duty to do solve cases and hunt the ghost terrorising your classmates and other clients of the firm, Gate Keepers. The games is very nice to look at and plays mostly like a Visual novel with strategy and action sequences. Does Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs do the job it was meant to or should you have just called Ghost Busters?
Firstly the game starts you off with an extensive questionnaire. When I say extensive, I had to look up some of the question in my medical history, I really enjoyed making my character from height and eye colour, to things like blood type and eye strength, it was a nice a touch as if the game was taking an extra step to make sure I knew that the character I was playing was me, it wasn’t simply a bad approximation the game was going to act towards my avatar as if it were the best and most accurate version of me possible in the digital world. Sadly… I wish they had explained things a little better. Normally I would discuss story straight away but the game play was different to say the least. As I was given the option to speak with a girl who had just bumped into me, the option I were given were incredibly different. I was given a set of emotions and senses with no preamble to what each other these meant. As I try not to flee to the internet at the first indication of hardship I tried to roll with it. Let’s say it made every conversation in the game a bit more confusing. When a wheel pops up that gives you a happy face, sad face, angry fist, a loving face and handshake. Then my second wheel was pictures corresponding to each of the five sense, touch, taste, hear , see, and smell. One of my frustrations through the game was trying to figure out the right reaction and sometimes friendship – taste just never had the reaction I wanted. The story seems to be well thought out, each character has their own nuances and each case/client possesses their own intricacies. It was incredibly hard to predict at any point and I had a lot of fun as the story progressed and you made your way to the head of the problem. In that aspect the game was a great success I had to think out every interaction, trying to make sure my character made his mark in the scenes like :I would but at the end, I truly didn’t know what I was doing half the time. I made some progress but I was never sure what reaction I would give or elicit. I feel that for such a vital part of the game, there should have been some explanation, tutorial… even if it were acknowledged.
The game play was split into two sections, the dialogue, which I mentioned at length above, and the ghost battles. The VN sections are incredible to see, I really enjoyed watching the characters interact and talk, the art style complimented the story greatly and I couldn’t get enough of the sequences, aside from the hole Angry- Smell choice types, Every time I was introduced to a client, I felt like I was part of an anime, I was greeted by opening song with lovely visuals, I had a nice preamble with the ghost I had to fight, and when I had completed the mission, I had a nice ending play out. The second, and more dynamic, part was the actual ghost hunts. This was what you planned for and the section the game revolves around. When you have dealt with the client and the times comes. You can prepare by purchasing traps and weapons and attempting to familiarise yourself with some chess tactics (surprisingly they helped me out).
When the battle comes, you can’t see your enemies. The ghosts are invisible and they take their actions at the same time you do. Your goal is to deplete their health by attacking them repeatedly. As you can’t see them, this requires you and your comrades to approximate where the wayward ghouls will be then attempt to whack them. To accomplish this, you need to use your surroundings and traps to box the ghosts in so you can have better handle on where they are. I thoroughly enjoyed this mode, it took puzzles to a new height and the ghosts did feel like they had minds of their own. IT was very similar to playing chess, I found, and playing when you can’t see your opponent’s pieces is both nerve-wracking and exciting. How you accomplished these scenes led to different effects in the VN sections and your overall completion, so I always aimed to get them done as efficiently as possible but it was always a risk as a ghost could always go left when you’d expect it to go right. The only issue was that the explanations were a little lacklustre, mimicking, perhaps, how you would react if you really were in said situation and had to learn on the fly. More explanation and tutorials would have benefitted the game immensely
All in all, while it had some exceptional game play and great visuals as well a truly engrossing ambience, the game fell short in the explanations which really hampered the enjoyment, several hours into the game and I still wasn’t sure if I was doing things to the right effect. Hand-holding can truly destroy a game but TTGHD SG shows that not enough explanation can kill what was a game with so much potential.
“Do you think you will be able to save me from this menace?”
Response: Happy Face - Lick