Platform: PlayStation 3
Genre: Visual Novel
Review Date: 12/25/15
This is my second attempt at trying to play a visual novel, and the genre clearly isn't for me. You start the game as a faceless transfer student at Kurenai Academy, and by the end of your first day at school you've been recruited as a member of a ghost hunting club. The majority of the game involves scrolling through tedious amounts of text and being constantly insulted by a cold and condescending bitch named Sayuri Mifune. She's the class president and the prettiest girl in school, and she makes it painfully clear that she despises you. Occasionally you'll have the opportunity to react to a conversation through an obscure mechanism that one reviewer aptly calls "the wheel of social doom." It features five extremely vague emotional reactions and five sense reactions, all of which make Sayuri dislike you even more. Seriously, if I wanted to be scorned and mistreated by women, I'd be dating. When you're not busy sifting through an endless stream of insipid adolescent dialog and being shunned by your classmates, you're actively battling ghosts in a tiresome and confusing turn-based board game.
The biggest problem with the game is its complete lack of explanation and instruction. The wheel of social doom is never explained and the reaction icons are inconsistent and make no sense. From what I've gathered from other reviews, your reactions have no affect on the game whatsoever, which ultimately makes the system pointless. The ghost battles are infuriating because the rules aren't spelled out and the game pieces are never explained. Imagine being handed a bunch of chess pieces if you don't know how to play chess, and no one tells you how to use them. The brief tutorial during the first battle is laughably useless, and I eventually gave up out of frustration and annoyance. I've got a one-hour rule when it comes to video games: If I'm not enjoying a game within the first hour of playing it, then I stop playing because it's a waste of time. Presentation wise, the art is bland but the characters are attractive. Of course, Sayuri is depicted as a radiant goddess, which makes her cutting remarks sting even more. With enough patience, dedication, and experimentation, "Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters" might eventually yield some small amount of satisfaction, but I've got far better things to do with my time.