This was a fascinating little game. Sadly it’s also very experimental, and part visual novel, meaning it’s going to get overlooked by reviewers and gamers alike.
TTGH is difficult to classify. It has elements of SRPGs, VNs, and modern occultism.
The big appeal here is the story, because I love modern day plots and the occult, and TTGH has plenty of both.
Aksys’ localization team again prove their work to be some of the best in the industry. Every character’s personality comes through with wit and charisma, and even the less likable characters(Mifune starts out as a total bitch) still come across as fleshed out and well developed.
Sadly, due to the episodic nature of the game, a lot of the more interesting characters wind up resigned to being important in a single chapter, but at least you get to hang out with them at the HQ.
What really brings the game down is the obtuse battle system.
While it makes sense that fighting ghosts should be a difficult venture and they should not be easy to confront, the implementation of it just feels kind of haphazard.
Battles are somewhat like SRPGs such as Eternal Poison and Fire Emblem… in theory.
Movement occurs on the grid, then the actual attacking gets displayed in 3D visualizations.
TTGH uses a very unique graphical style with hand-drawn art animated into short scenes, and it really makes the visuals pop.
It’s just a damn shame that most of the battles boil down to guess work. Maybe the ghost will be there when you attack it, or maybe it’ll move right past you and run into you, negating your turn altogether.
It makes the battles thrilling when your attacks do connect, but insanely frustrating when they don’t. It becomes less about strategy and more about guess work.
Of course, you can easily break the game when you unlock skills like Eagle Eye and buffing, which instantly show you ghosts and let you boost your ATK through the roof, but someone’s bound to get frustrated long before those skills come into play.
If you can adjust to that glaring flaw, then you’re in for one hell of a ghost hunting occult tale, one well worth experiencing again in the future. I can’t say I’ve ever played a game like it, which is usually the highest praise I can offer.
As an aside, although I happen to be straight, I couldn’t help but think that the two gay characters who appear in the game are borderline offensive. They’re caricatures at best, insulting at worst.
Maybe the community wouldn’t take offense by it, but I feel developers can do better than falling into gay stereotypes.