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Friday, June 30, 2023

Buy the Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Remaster!

>By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Play the free demo if you feel nervous about the idea!

Today, several notable videogame titles released on the market. I have no problem with them (except for probably Everybody 1-2-Switch), but I will have a problem with YOU if you do not strongly consider purchasing the HD remaster of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, available on all modern gaming platforms at the moment. I'm saying this as someone who still has the DS cartridge (but also considers its 2011 release to be a top 10 game released in the 2010s.) Here is the launch trailer particular to the Nintendo Switch.

The trailer might make it seem like any typical murder mystery adventure game (featuring time travel), but unlike, say, Ace Attorney, Ghost Trick (written by Shu Takumi, who wrote several Ace Attorney titles) is significantly more interactive. You're not just pushing A to scroll through text and occasionally making menu-based selections (by no means do I personally have an issue with that level of interactivity, but I know some people I've tried pitching Ace Attorney to do have that problem); your spirit is constantly moving around, and you must move around strategically. The puzzles get multi-layered and quite involved as the game progresses, though you can try again as often as you'd like.

Ghost Trick Phantom Detective remastered Nintendo Switch Ghost World possess an object Sissel
Non-living or non-formerly living objects are all across detailed environments, and moving from possessing one to another within your range is how you move.
...And some objects let you perform an action, too.

Many chapters in the game (such as both of the chapters in the demo) involve Sissel, your controllable character, going back in time four minutes before another character dies. Sissel himself is dead, though he can't perform this technique on himself. He's on a mission to figure out who he was and why he died, before it's too late for him. Speaking of too late, people and objects are frequently moving about in the world, which will definitely impact your timing of your spirit being able to move and interact with objects, too. The point of you being able to Trick objects is to trigger reactions in the physical world and change the outcomes of events as well.

Ghost Trick Phantom Detective remastered Ray desk lamp new corpses dead for less than one day
You shouldn't wait a whole day after reading this article to play Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.

Along the way, you'll witness fantastic (and now high-definition) spritework, characters, writing, and your choice between a remastered soundtrack and the original soundtrack. So far, the arranged soundtrack seems strictly better and preferable to the old one. It's not drastically different and going for a new artistic direction or anything, like a remix, so I haven't found it to be disagreeable. The two chapters in the demo end right before what's probably the best visual character spriting treat of the game... so if you like the demo at all, you'll love the full game. Even minor characters (like “One Step Ahead” Tengo) are quite memorable and... endearing, in a way, and there is an in-game list of notes on the characters that continually gets updated.

The demo ought to last, I dunno, a bit more than an hour? Your demo progress transfers over to the full game if you purchase it, so there's no risk to you.

Ghost Trick Phantom Detective remastered Hold it near-sighted Jeego
Click here to see a Chatot yelling “Hold it!”

There is one issue with the demo. Unlike on the DS, this remaster of Ghost Trick has an Extras section that unlocks illustrations, music, and has a Challenges (Achievements) gallery. You get something basically for every chapter you complete. However, if you transfer your data from the demo, the game won't unlock the stuff for Chapters 1 and 2. You can still go in the game (which has a Chapter Select) and beat them anyway, but it is a little inconvenient. I mean, I still did it. Ghost Trick is great enough that it wasn't a big problem for me.

This will be KoopaTV's last “Gaming Commentary” article. Ludwig is satisfied that it gets to be dedicated to Ghost Trick, which if you haven't figured it out yet, is a fantastic experience that pushed narrative design in videogames to a higher level.

You should buy the game (which is unfortunately digital-only in the West), but not necessarily its merchandise (which is physical but at least this particular merch doesn't deserve to exist).


  1. It is also possible to import a physical copy that comes with English on the cart (or disc).

  2. Looking forward to finally playing this game. I would have preferred having a physical copy but digital will have to suffice. Now, all I need is an eShop code...

    1. Well, if it's revealed tomorrow that you won third place in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, that ought to pay for it (besides sales tax)...


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