I finished Ghost Trick a few days ago, and I haven’t figured out what to say about it. I certainly enjoyed it: good puzzles, and I only went to Gamefaqs once (though I narrowly missed going a second time), which certainly isn’t always the case with puzzle/adventure games. I rarely had to do laborious exhaustive searches of the possibility space the way I did in the Ace Attorney games (which were made by the same team), and I never had to do the same sort of “wander through the map trying to trigger the next event” that I had to do rather too often in that series.

Which is largely because Ghost Trick‘s maps are much more constrained! That’s not a bad thing, though: the flip side is that the game is divided into much smaller chunks, fitting into a single, more fluid story. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Ace Attorney games’ approach, either—they generally did a rather good job of uniting hints from the different cases to create a rather powerful conclusion in the final case of each game in the series—but I enjoyed the sustained narrative that Ghost Trick provided.

Come to think of it, that more level, sustained approach showed up in the characters as well. There was nothing like the heights of eccentricity found in the Ace Attorney games, but I did care about the characters and enjoyed working with them. The character you play is the weakest of the bunch, and the final reveal wasn’t particularly convincing (especially in contrast with Missile’s temperament), but that’s okay: it’s natural for the character you play in a game to be a bit of an empty vessel.

I don’t think I’m going to end up with the same long-lasting fondness for the game as I have for the Ace Attorney games. But that series is long in the tooth, and I’m glad the team tried out something a little different; I’d be perfectly happy for Ghost Trick to be a one-off, but I’d probably play a sequel if one were eventually released. I’m certainly quite happy to have played it; and I’m happy that it didn’t overstay its welcome, either.

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