The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Because they’re light on traditional gameplay, interactive adventure
games need compelling stories, characters, and puzzles in order to work.
Getting this formula right is what made the Ace Attorney series
successful, and getting it wrong is what makes Ghost Trick a failure.
that Ghost Trick is the latest project from Ace Attorney creator Shu
Takumi, the game’s bizarre premise shouldn’t come as a surprise. You
play as Sissel, a recently deceased spirit who can manipulate inanimate
objects and travel four minutes into the past. Combining these two
abilities allows you to participate in Rube Goldberg-style setups where
Sissel flips, opens, and rotates various objects in order to save people
from their imminent deaths.
The concept is cool, but I was
disappointed to discover that Ghost Trick doesn’t have nearly the same
charm as the Ace Attorney series. Sissel falls flat as a hero, the story
uses convenient amnesia as a constant crutch, and a series of
predictable twists deflate the overall mystery. In a game that depends
on a strong narrative to keep players engaged, these shortcomings are
difficult to forgive.
To make matters worse, Ghost Trick also
stumbles in its puzzle design. Instead of allowing for the
trial-and-error that leads to “ah-ha” moments of discovery, many
situations have rigid solutions that you must execute with precise
timing. If you miss your one chance to possess a man riding by on a
bicycle, or hit a tennis ball prematurely, you’ll have to go back to a
checkpoint. The checkpoints aren’t well placed, either; expect to
re-watch scenes (though you can skip through dialogue) and repeat
actions just to get another shot at the problem areas.
game misses some important marks, it isn’t a completely lost cause. The
character animations are incredibly fluid and impressive, and several of
their conversations are good for a chuckle. Unfortunately, these
scattered bits of life aren’t enough to bring Sissel’s adventure back
from the dead.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.