Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters is a heavily story based "visual novel" game, in which players join up with a local ghost hunting agency and solve various ghostly problems in and around Tokyo - from a mysterious suicide in a school to a dead fiancee jealous of her man's new lovers, or a deceased guitarist longing for one last song - before entering a turn based battle to defeat the restless spirits, so they can peacefully depart for the next life.
As a visual novel, this is a game for those who prefer their games to be slower paced. A huge chunk of your time will be spent reading pages and pages of text as the story unfolds, with what voice overs there are being entirely in Japanese. From time to time, you'll be given a wheel of conversational options to choose your reply from, although as each is a fairly obtuse picture - such as a handshake, a crying eye or a nose - it's often difficult to know which will give the desired response. Your choices don't seem to affect the story too much however, seemingly just existing to set up the awkward, and sometimes funny responses that such things as lustfully licking your lips at one of your classmates can cause.
However the game's turn-based battle system is likely to be more of a sticking point, as it can take some getting used to. Taking place on a top-down, floor plan grid view of a room that's mostly hidden with a "fog of war", you and your team mates take it in turns with the ghost to move around the room, as you first try to actually find the flipping thing, and then trying to land a hit on it. As you'd likely expect, attacking a ghost is easier said than done, especially when your opponent can pass through tables, chairs and people to evade you - and gets to move first. During your turn, the squares the ghost is likely to head to are shown in blue, while the areas your team can attack are shown in green - overlapping as many of the blue squares with green is the best way to make sure you hit the spirit, although they do have a tendency to slip past to the one square you couldn't cover, slipping into the surrounding darkness and sending you on another wild ghost chase. With a limited number of turns in which to beat the ghoul into submission, it can be a bit tricky, as it's a system that relies as much on luck as it does on strategy.
While Tokyo Twilight doesn't have any strong bloody violence, there are occasional scenes that may be unsettling for children, such as a student committing suicide by leaping off a building, or a character shot at close range, with some blood dripping from the wound. Battles meanwhile involve very little besides a few impact sounds or the occasional scream, with defeated ghosts simply fading away when defeated. One scene shows two male characters partially naked, with strategically placed objects blocking the view of anything questionable. Bad language is limited to the occasional utterance of words such as 'b*stard', and is pretty infrequent, while innuendo crops up from time to time too, especially if you accidentally try to grope one of the female students.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 3