Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective gives new life to a Nintendo DS cult classic
A bittersweet remaster
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Ghost Trick follows Sissel, a recently deceased spirit who can’t remember who he is or how he died. But he can possess objects, setting up the game’s mechanical core: interfering in the Rube Goldberg-like puzzles to save others from their own grisly fates. The game alternates between these puzzle sections and dialogue-heavy story segments, where a twisty plot unfolds in sweet and surprising and surprisingly sweet ways.
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Originally released for Nintendo DS in 2010, Ghost Trick didn’t sell especially well. But it did develop a cult following, particularly among those who were already fans of writer-director Shu Takumi’s better-known series, Ace Attorney. Being involved in the latter fandom for almost 20 years, I’ve heard the pleas — “Play Ghost Trick ! Don’t look anything up first, just trust us!” — since it first came out.
Having now played it, I’ll hand it to them: They’re right. I might not be as unreserved in my love for Ghost Trick as someone who’s been trying to convince people to play it for a decade or more (there’s one truly awful stealth section, for a start), but it’s a real little joyful gem of a game. Fiddling around with ghostly interactions until the puzzles slot into place is satisfying, the characters are great and include possibly the best dog in video games, and both the music and animations are incredibly characterful and lively.
But even as I spent the 12 or so hours of its run time pleased that I had finally gotten around to it, it was also impossible to ignore that Ghost Trick is now a massive outlier of its generation. When Nintendo closed the 3DS and Wii U eShops in March of this year, access to the game narrowed considerably. Still, it was one of the more fortunate ones, having had an iOS port and a physical release (although those cartridges will eventually stop working ). For thousands of digital-only games, the only way to play them was to already own them digitally or to emulate them, something that Nintendo cracks down on with updates to its already defunct consoles as well as imprisonment and massive fines .
The remaster gave Ghost Trick a second shot, but it’s not a sustainable solution for every game in Nintendo’s back catalog that’s now vulnerable to becoming — or already is — lost media. And which games get chosen for the treatment is entirely up to the whims and financial calculations of the corporations involved. Nintendo’s back catalog has been patchily available through its online services, but the Switch and DS versions of said service are not the same, meaning that many vanished once again in March. Meanwhile, Capcom recently celebrated its 40th anniversary by putting playable versions of some of its early big hits, like Mega Man and Street Fighter II , online. But while these and other big hitters like Resident Evil 4 might get preserved through frequent ports and remakes, smaller titles likely won’t.
That Ghost Trick was one of the lucky ones feels like a fluke, like some phantom behind the scenes manipulated things just so . Maybe the persistence of the fandom did contribute to the sense that it would be a financial success to re-release it. But in the current ecosystem, being loved isn’t enough to stop art from being erased. Returning to Takumi’s library (although he wasn’t directly involved in the spinoff), Ace Attorney Investigations 2 was never released in English, but a dedicated team put years into making its own localization. Its English-speaking fan base is probably as large and loud as Ghost Trick ’s has ever been, but it’s difficult to see it ever getting its own re-release.
Even that is just one game, and it’s big enough that I’m aware of it. It’s difficult to envision the scale of the games that are now vulnerable. Watching the animations in Ghost Trick , you can see the consistent care and attention that the developers put into this game. Detectives dance, puppies bounce, and romance novelists — well, I can’t at all do justice in words to how this woman winches up a chandelier. The team absolutely went all in on making Ghost Trick as stylish and funny and wonderfully overdramatic as possible. But every game (and other piece of media, like the recent spate of TV shows deleted from streaming ) has something similar — something in it that someone has poured their heart into.
I’m thrilled that the remaster has given Ghost Trick a new lease on life. But Sissel spends the whole game making sure that nothing falls through the cracks — and that just doesn’t square with his game’s now lonely survival.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was released on June 30 on Nintendo Switch. The game was reviewed using a pre-release download code provided by Capcom. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here .
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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective – Reviews
Nintendo switch ds ios (iphone/ipad) pc playstation 4 xbox one, detailed reviews.
- 8 A Trick Worth Falling For DS 02/01/2013 By Suprak_the_Stud
- 8 Get Spirited Away by Capcom's Ghost Trick. DS 10/18/2010 By amazingu
- 8 Who knew there was so much detective work to do in the after-life!? DS 01/23/2012 By Bkstunt_31
- 7 Interesting and somewhat fun but has issues DS 02/07/2011 By Arkia
- 9 The title says it all. DS 02/25/2011 By MTLH
- 9 The puzzle genre learns some new tricks in this soon-to-be classic adventure game. DS 02/08/2011 By HailToTheGun
- 8 One of the most memorable experiences the DS has to offer DS 03/01/2011 By jumpers123
- 10 This Game Makes Me Want to Die. In a Good Way. DS 01/24/2011 By axloe
- 8 A light hearted encounter with the supernatural world DS 08/27/2013 By chocobahn
- 10 A Trick worth the Time DS 08/27/2015 By Lord-Spencer
- 8 A good game, but not one you'll feel the need to rush across. DS 05/15/2012 By Mykas0
- 9 One for the chicken fans. DS 01/24/2011 By Exodist
- 8 These ghosts have a few tricks up their sleeves... DS 01/31/2011 By kaiasian
- 9 Two days after finishing this game, and I am still haunted by it... DS 03/29/2011 By DeXeed4
- 8 Tricked by Ghost Trick DS 01/24/2011 By Wind_Fiend
- 9 Give up the ghost, this trick is a treat DS 02/28/2011 By VulpesMundi
- 6 Was I tricked into playing this? DS 01/26/2011 By TomAto31415
- 10 From the creator of the Ace Attorney series... a new Turnabout DS 02/01/2011 By PatrickSim
- 9 Another awesome point and click adventure game on the DS! DS 02/28/2011 By Big_Bob
- 9 This game is anything but transparent DS 01/24/2011 By rengekicounter
- 9 This Trick is One Hell of a Treat DS 06/15/2011 By paleselan
- 10 A stylish and touching experience that flourishes upon a solid and original game-play mechanic held together by a splendid plot of literary pedigree DS 01/09/2012 By Horsie_Walker
- 10 Something To Die For DS 02/07/2011 By RuinPainting
- 9.3 User Score Based on 102 user reviews.
- 82 4Players.de Ghost Trick is a clever adventure where you travel into the past of deceased to solve intelligent puzzles in order to investigate your own death – very entertaining.
- 84 Absolute Games Ghost Trick is a story about loneliness that leads to unnecessary aggression and stirs the appetite for revenge. It's a touching tale of kindness, loyalty, and redemption. Only after experiencing a shocking number of secrets at the very end, you will realize how many metaphors are hidden within this game. And it's enough to forgive Ghost Trick for its stringent linearity, unskippable cutscenes, and a penchant for overly chatty dialogue.
- 90 Multiplayer.it Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was a real jewel on the Nintendo DS and it's more so on the iOS platform, thanks to the high-resolution graphics and sounds. Don't miss it.
- 70 VideoGamer As a whole, though, it's an elegantly crafted thriller that stands out as an original, charming and beautiful adventure. As an experience it's well worth the price of admission, but sadly Ghost Trick lets itself down with its overall simplicity and the disappointment of its crucial final act.
- 9.7 User Score Based on 1631 user reviews.
- 60 Game Informer The character animations are incredibly fluid and impressive, and several of their conversations are good for a chuckle. Unfortunately, these scattered bits of life aren't enough to bring Sissel's adventure back from the dead.
- 90 GameSpot Ghost Trick's unusual premise, unique gameplay, satisfying puzzles, and wonderful characters make it an adventure game you don't want to miss.
- 90 Nintendo Power If you're an Ace Attorney fan, a point-and-click adventure fan, or simply a fan of quality storytelling in general, don't miss out on Ghost Trick. [Jan 2011, p.86]
- 86 Official Nintendo Magazine UK If you're on the lookout for a puzzle game that has a gripping story, a funny script and a cast of colourful characters that offers something a little different, Ghost Trick is a resounding success.
- 6.7 User Score Based on 43 user reviews.
- 85 Checkpoint Gaming Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective now being playable on modern platforms is an incredibly exciting occasion worth celebrating. Its involved puzzle mechanics are as satisfying to unfold as ever as you glide between interaction points, moving that last piece to create a thrilling domino effect of a solution. Complimentary to this are the quirky character design and animations, along with the involved storyline that wraps up without any loose threads. Tying this all in a neat bow is the return of a fantastic soundtrack now with incredible rearrangements to further immerse you in the noir setting. Ghost Trick is back and the gaming world couldn’t be any better for it.
- 80 Gamereactor Spain Is this the ultimate edition of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective? I wouldn't dare claim as much as some elements still feel a bit off coming from the original, but it is perhaps the best way to play today what is a true classic of graphic adventure, more so on the Nintendo Switch.
- 80 Multiplayer.it Quotation forthcoming.
- 100 Nintendo Insider I don’t have too much to say about Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, because the game speaks for itself. If we lived in a world where The Great Ace Attorney never existed or maybe was never even localized, it’d be tremendously easy to call this Shu Takumi’s best work. I might not like this as much as those games, but it’s only by the tiniest sliver. Ghost Trick is incredible, and this remaster is outstanding. I tend to avoid making grand declarative statements over products these days, but I think if you have any interest in this genre you owe it to yourself to experience this game. Especially with a remaster this good. It’s Ghost Trick, but in HD. It’s never been better, and I’m glad leagues of new people can play one of the most fun puzzle games ever made.
- 5.4 User Score Based on 22 user reviews.
- 90 CGMagazine Not being able to turn the ever-present bright flashes off is a shame, but Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a ridiculously unique, captivating game that is very much worth puzzling through.
- 95 GameGrin Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is one of the most rewarding puzzle games that I have ever played. With an awesome aesthetic, great music, and a story full of twists and turns, this game will keep you coming back for more.
- 80 GGRecon With a stunning art style, unique puzzles, and a one-of-a-kind concept, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a puzzle game. While not without its frustrations, it’s a journey to the afterlife worth taking - and one you’ll be coming back to.
- 90 RPG Site Though some players might be turned off by its one-and-done nature, I would prefer to describe Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective as "singular". It's an experience that, once cleared, feels complete from any angle, with nothing needing to be added or cut to be unforgettable.
- 6.6 User Score Based on 9 user reviews.
- 88 Generación Xbox Combining mystery and humour in a fantastic way, Ghost Trick: Ghost Detective is capable of engaging the player with a large dose of adrenaline.
- 75 SomosXbox If you like original, humorous and innovative games, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective will make you enjoy its story and puzzles, in which you will have to use your ghost skills to change the fate. However, the game has some negative points, such as its low graphic resolution, which does not adapt well to modern screens, its short duration and its linearity. These aspects may detract interest from some players. Despite this, it is a game worth trying if you are attracted to the genre.
- 80 VGC Ghost Trick is a brilliant adventure that will appeal to fans of narrative-driven games like Ace Attorney. Its replay value is low, and fans who enjoyed the game on DS or mobile will find very little new here, but those coming to the game fresh will love what's here.
- 81 Xbox Achievements A crisp and cracking remaster of a little known Nintendo DS curio, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is Capcom doing what it does best – bringing back its old games in carefully considered, elegantly made revivals. This is no exception.
- 6.5 User Score Based on 49 user reviews.
- 80 GameSpew For fans of puzzle games and visual novels, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a bit of a treat. It’s a stylish and humorous affair that’s a pleasure to look at and has a fun soundtrack. Only the odd frustration is likely to sully your impression of it, as having to watch the same scenes play out multiple times until you strike it gold with the solution can get a bit tiresome. But overall, these moments are far outweighed by the many bouts of joy you feel as you overcome challenges and unfold the game’s engaging tale.
- 80 God is a Geek Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective still holds up almost 13 years later, with plenty of variety in its puzzles and some fantastic music.
- 80 IGN Italia Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a high-definition re-release of a cult game from the Nintendo DS era, which in this high-definition version has one more chance to be appreciated by fans of the mystery stories and puzzles typical of the works written and directed by Shu Takumi. This ambitious game is highly recommended for Ace Attorney fans and anyone who wants to get involved with the rich cast of eccentric characters that populate its dark mysteries.
- 85 Jeuxvideo.com If you have never played it before, this new version of Ghost Trick: Detective Ghost is the perfect opportunity to discover a must-have from the catalog of Capcom and Shu Takumi (Ace Attorney). Satisfying gameplay, a gallery of eccentric characters, comical situations and a well-stocked plot make this detective adventure a treat during its ten hours of play. If you're looking for a game to take on vacation this summer, go for it.
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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective will be arriving on Switch in HD, and I can’t wait
The game will arrive in summer.
Last night’s Nintendo Direct was packed from start to finish with games to be excited about, most notably, plenty of ports and remasters. One title that slipped under my radar thanks to a trip to the kitchen was the wonderful Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective , which will arrive on the Nintendo Switch in HD this summer.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a supernatural adventure game that first launched on the Nintendo DS back in 2012. In fact, it’s one of the best Nintendo DS games of all time, and I’m personally over the moon that I’ll finally be able to revisit the ghostly endeavours of Sissel in HD.
In Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, you play as Sissel, a spirit who awakes with no memories of his past. After learning some nifty ghost tricks, Sissel learns he can manipulate the objects around him and mess around with time; using what he knows, Sissel can actually go back in time and save peoples lives.
What makes it better? You actually get to play as a ghostly dog later in the game. I won’t share too much more than that, because this is one of those fun, charming, yet dark games best experienced for yourself.
And if you’re not fully convinced yet, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was actually written by Shu Takumi, the creator of Ace Attorney. So, you can be pretty confident that the unfolding narrative here is fun, and refreshing. Pair this with new HD visuals, and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a must-have for your Nintendo Switch.
As for when the game will release on the Nintendo Switch, we aren’t sure yet, with Nintendo sharing that it’ll arrive ‘this summer’.
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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
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Back in high definition, a one-night mystery that begins with a death
The puzzle-solving mystery adventure masterpiece returns! "Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective" was created by Shu Takumi, the creator of the Ace Attorney series, and is now back in a long-requested HD remaster of the original 2010 release! Yasumasa Kitagawa, the popular composer who created the music for "The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles," has created a remastered 1-to-1 soundtrack for the entire game. Players can seamlessly switch between the original and remastered soundtracks. Additionally, new extra features such as the "Illustrations" and "Music" features have been added. Tonight, we rise from the dead! ----------------- Story Synopsis A dark night. In a corner of town, our main character loses his life to a single bullet. Reawakening as a spirit, he realizes he has lost his memories along with his life. "Who am I? Why was I killed? Who killed me? ...And what is the meaning of these 'Powers of the Dead' I've been given?" Tomorrow morning, his spirit will disappear. A unique clue-chasing story has begun! The first of those clues is a single female detective, who seems to have witnessed the murder...
Software description provided by the publisher.
Supported play modes, product information, release date, no. of players, game file size, supported languages.
Play online, access classic NES™ and Super NES™ games, and more with a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
This game supports: Save Data Cloud
Downloadable content (DLC)
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WARNING: If you have epilepsy or have had seizures or other unusual reactions to flashing lights or patterns, consult a doctor before playing video games. All users should read the Health and Safety Information available in the system settings before using this software.
A Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) is required for Save Data Cloud backup.
©CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010, 2023 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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for children older than 12 years
About This Game
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: WINDOWS® 10 (64-BIT Required)
- Processor: Intel® Core™ Core i3 8350k or AMD Ryzen3 3200G
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics 630 or Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 7 GB available space
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-9100F or AMD Ryzen3 3200G
- Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 1030 (VRAM2GB) or AMD Radeon™ RX550 (VRAM2GB)
©CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2010, 2023 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Ghost Trick for Switch getting a physical release in Japan with English support, pre-orders open
Posted on march 19, 2023 by brian ( @ne_brian ) in news , switch.
You can count Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective as Capcom’s latest Switch game that isn’t getting a physical release in the west. However, the good news is that the situation is different in Japan.
Capcom is indeed planning on making Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective available as a boxed release in the country. Meanwhile, in both North America and Europe, it’s digital-only. Thankfully, since Switch is region free, this won’t be as big of an issue for most fans since English is supported (as well as other languages). Importing will be the way to go here.
Below is an overview of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, a new version of the DS cult classic:
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was created by Shu Takumi, the creator of the Ace Attorney series, and is now back in a long-requested HD remaster of the original 2010 release! Yasumasa Kitagawa, the popular composer who created the music for “The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles,” has created a remastered 1-to-1 soundtrack for the entire game. Players can seamlessly switch between the original and remastered soundtracks. Additionally, new extra features such as the “Illustrations” and “Music” features have been added. Tonight, we rise from the dead! A dark night. In a corner of town, our main character loses his life to a single bullet. Reawakening as a spirit, he realizes he has lost his memories along with his life. “Who am I? Why was I killed? Who killed me? …And what is the meaning of these ‘Powers of the Dead’ I’ve been given?” Tomorrow morning, his spirit will disappear. A unique clue-chasing story has begun! The first of those clues is a single female detective, who seems to have witnessed the murder…
You can pre-order the physical version of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective for Switch here . The game launches on June 30, 2023.
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As the haunting tale begins, a single gunshot pierces through the darkness of the city, forever altering the lives of its inhabitants. Enter Sissel, who awakens as a ghost, his memories lost along with his life. Determined to unravel the enigma surrounding his own murder, he embarks on a race against time, with only a few hours until sunrise and his inevitable descent into oblivion. The questions linger in the air: “Who am I? Who killed me? And why?”
The new gallery content adds an extra layer of delight for fans of the game. Dive into a collection of artwork and music that celebrates the beauty and depth of the “Ghost Trick” universe. Delve deeper into the game’s lore, admire stunning illustrations, and revel in the melodies that accompany Sissel’s ethereal journey.
Title: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Genre: Action, Adventure Developer: CAPCOM Co., Ltd. Publisher: CAPCOM Co., Ltd. Platform: Microsoft Windows
- OS: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater
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