In record time, about a year and a half after the PS3 and PS Vita versions, Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters arrives on PlayStation 4 with a potentially revised, corrected and expanded version. “Potentially,” because the end result is perhaps not what fans of the original game expected.
Let’s talk about a graphic adventure, a visual novel to be precise. A very rare genre on PlayStation 4, especially in the West. For those who have not read the review of the original game by our Filippo Facchetti, a brief summary is a must: we are in a school, the classic Japanese high school that we have seen in hundreds of anime and manga.
The protagonists are the classic ones, including “kawaii” girls and students ranging from total clumsy to cool with a grumpy character. However, there is something different than the students who populated the episodes of Lum and Ranma ½: the protagonist (customizable in some physical parameters ranging from height to blood type) is endowed with a unique power that allows him to get in touch with the spirit world. This allows him to join an exclusive group of “Ghostbusters” called Gate Keepers and guess what your goal will be in the game?
The interaction with the NPCs takes place through a system that allows you to choose the emotion with which to react in certain situations and the sense to use between sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.
Exactly, to capture ghosts, sprites and various poltergeists that haunt the various locations of the adventure. No proton backpacks, however, because there is an even more bizarre paraphernalia available for capture that you will have to learn to manage during the missions, primary and secondary. At this point you might think Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs is a horror game … but it isn’t.
There is no trace of tension and fear, on the contrary, we are more on the side of a yellow-tinged comedy, with a myriad of secondary characters that will appear and disappear over the course of a few tens of minutes of play. Plot and quests happen at an all-too-fast pace, which makes a plot that could have been quite interesting annoyingly superficial.
Fortunately, to partially raise the general level of the experience, there are elements of a tactical RPG that make the clashes in the game less trivial than what one might expect in a title of the genre. You know the fights seen in Deception? Similarly to what happened in the Tecmo series, it is possible to use traps that make the capture of the spirit of the moment easier. Once the objective is identified, you have a set number of turns to reset its life points and achieve victory.
The game has narrative crossroads and some alternative endings based on the degree of affection you will get with some secondary characters.
In some cases, unfortunately, these turns are not enough to complete the fight, which forces us to start the hunt all over again. Boring and repetitive. Too bad, even in this case the feeling of a wasted opportunity is really great.
The technical sector, on the other hand, appears to be the most refined aspect of the entire production. The quality of the character design and illustrations is quite high, and the animations are also noteworthy. Fluctuating the soundtrack, which as you probably know can boast the collaboration of Nobuo “Final Fantasy” Uematsu, here certainly not at its best.
As for the news of this Daybreak Special Gigs version, we find a handful of unpublished content including some new scenarios and a part of history left out from the previous edition of the game. Is this enough to justify a possible second purchase? Given the certainly not exciting level of the original version, the answer is negative. However, if you are passionate about the genre you might venture a look, but don’t expect miracles.