A great story presented w/ style in spades.

User Rating: 8 | Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective DS
Getting killed is the first thing that happens to you in Ghost Story. It gets stranger from there--but only after a brief conversation w/ a desk lamp, of course. It is deep melodrama involving murder, time travel and international intrigue. Though it does get a bit silly at times, overall it works as a story and it is more of a story than it is a game.

Ghost Trick is an anime style game w/ lots of flamboyant flair. The sprites aren't terribly detailed but the animation is incredibly fluid. It reminds me quite a lot of the hand-drawn, rotoscoped sprite animation from Flashback back from the early nineties--and I mean that as a high compliment. Backgrounds too are nicely detailed and seem to very much build an appropriate setting. Although the graphics are quite effective, the real high-point as far as presentation is the music by Masakazu Sugimori though. It has something of throwback eight or sixteen bit style w/ modern dance touches thrown it. It suits the mood and the graphic design perfectly and always seems to change in just the right way to build tension throughout each scene in the game.

Gameplay in Ghost Tick, however, seems to be an unfortunate example of function following form. It consists primarily of a series of puzzles, some of which are clever but most of which are solved primarily through trial-and-error and are neither difficult nor terribly satisfying. I wouldn't say it is bad necessarily but the puzzles really don't add much to the experience. Your primary motivation to play is to get through the story and find out what happens next rather than the chance to solve more puzzles.

Fortunately, that story is enough to pull you through the dozen or so hours it takes to play through. Hardcore fans of puzzlers might want to steer clear as well as anyone looking for fast paced action. For those who want a tense interactive tale in on a device the size of a book, Ghost Story delivers and is definitely worth checking out.