I’ve always been partial to the movie Ghostbusters ever since I was a child. And while bustin’ ghosts made me feel good, I had always been fascinated by how Japanese culture described and entailed the supernatural.
Based alone by the concept that’s presented by name alone, Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters sounded like a game that would have limitless potential for my desires to bust ghosts juxtaposed by an anime aesthetic. The game received a 7/10 from our very own Nicky Coales who concluded that Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters “was good; if visual novels are your thing then you should enjoy it enough to carry on playing for the story aspect. The hunting parts are actually alright once you know what you’re doing; it plays just like a tactics game. The choices aren’t really fun and more or less ruin the game, but the art style really picks this up. For these reasons I’m giving this game a 7, as for the most part it is actually a decent game, it’s just the gameplay that unfortunately lets it down. But if you can push this aside, you may actually enjoy yourself.”
While Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters was somewhat underwhelming, Daybreak Special Digs promises to have many of the improvements players like me were looking for. Ranging from translation improvements, added background visuals, smoother displays, and more voice-acting (while still only in Japanese).
The game looks gorgeous on PS4, in full 1080p I can fully appreciate the artwork that’s presented to me. While the episodic nature of the story is much more suited for portable play. I was still engrossed and was able to play the game in long-sittings (save for some certain situations I encountered with the “improved” combat). I enjoyed the voice-acting that resonated through my headphones, and it was very calming to be able to play this sort of game on a much larger screen.
As for the story, there isn’t much different from the original game that was released on PS3 and Vita around a year ago, I wasn’t particularly fond of the narrative and writing back then, but the translation has improved greatly. Where what used to be just a simple “…” is dialogue that extends character behavior and explanations. Apart from translation differences, there are additions to the story as well.
On one hand, the included Daybreak Episodes add to the somewhat short visual novel aspect of the original Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters. But otherwise, I felt as if the brief direction the story took, wasn’t something that needed to be fixed save for some writing problems. I did enjoy however, the new characters that were added. By far, my favorite was a gunslinger-ghosthunter that looked straight from an 80’s manga.
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters has potential that’s rooted deep within its concept. However, while the battle system has some concepts that could be considered improvements. In some ways, it makes the entire concept of the battle-system completely distracting and disappointing.
The battle-system is similar to that of a turn-based strategy game. However, there’s little to be seen here. You move on grids, controlling multiple characters. Unfortunately that means that you aren’t going to be able to rely on the battle-system on parts that are almost entirely based around luck. This leads to some very frustrating experiences in the game. There’s so many ways that this could’ve been executed better, and when a JRPG’s battle system doesn’t rely on the strategic skill of the player–then it becomes synonymous throughout all those ranging from experience to assume that the mechanics are unfair.
There’s a lot of creativity under the gorgeous aesthetic that’s presented in Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters, but as stated before–the game is marred by an unfortunate battle-system. With its mostly unsurprising story however, I can’t exactly recommend it to anyone. I had hoped that with this entire year of development, that Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs would be able to establish this franchise to status among the other niche Japanese titles on Vita and PS4. But unfortunately, the additions can’t deter me from the ultimately disappointing combat.
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