previews\ Apr 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Ghost Trick Phantom Detective preview - - Preview

What if you had the chance, in the afterlife, to make things better for others. As a ghost, you could wander through the world, fix mistakes, save lives, maybe even redeem yourself for what lays beyond.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is on the Capcom roster for a fall release for the DS and after spending some hands-on time with the game, it seems that this platform/puzzler has a lot of potential. The character the gamers play as begins the game dead. A young woman sees the crumbled body, stoops to help and is confronted with the man who was hired to kill the protagonist. Well, as the scene (opening level, which is basically an introduction to the game as well as a tutorial) plays out, the woman is shot and is mostly dead (in a Princess Bride sort of way), but the main character can reverse time, inhabit inanimate objects and, working quickly during the last four minutes of the woman’s life, she can be spared.

The fundamental game mechanic here is the moving into cores in ghost mode, performing ‘tricks’ to activate them and then using them to jump to other cores. Even the demo level at Capcom’s Captivate 2010 event proved that like any good puzzler, gamers will have to think ahead, have a plan, and move quickly. Oh, and the game has a time limit on it. Without giving away much, it seems that players have to get a certain amount of things done within a set time limit or else … well, that was not revealed.

The stylized art of the game really sets the tone and fits the slightly off-the-cuff humor well. If a task is presented, time is rewound and the overall objective failed, well, no worries because time can be rewound until the task is accomplished.

New tricks are learned as the game progresses but this is a very clever game in many regards.

Ghost Trick offers something a bit new and fun. The short time spent in the demo was very enjoyable, and the overall game seems to have charm, wit and general appeal. It might be a bit off the radar, but this is a game that DS owners need to watch for down the road.

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