Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs (PS Vita) Review

By Brandon (Michael) Howard 28.09.2016 1

Review for Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs on PS Vita

Visual novel elements aren't uncommon to the strategy and RPG genres. From Persona to the Fire Emblem series, choice-driven narrative elements are pretty commonplace in text-heavy titles now. This time around, however, Toybox Inc. puts the priority on the visual novel first and foremost. A touched up and expanded release of last year's enigmatic Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters, Daybreak Special Gigs expands upon the original with new scenarios and a retuned battle system.

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Specials Gigs starts off slow and confusing, and doesn't ever make remarkable progress towards fixing either of those two issues. For anyone who's played any sort of visual novel or text-heavy RPG, the most noticeable flaw is the complete lack of explanations, especially around the reaction system. While the story progresses, the main character has a chance to react to other characters via a set of wheels representing emotions and physical actions. Unfortunately, this mechanic is never really explained.

Screenshot for Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs on PS Vita

While a lot of mechanics in video games try to teach the player through utilizing them, this mechanic is just sort of 'there.' It doesn't seem to have any discernible impact on the experience itself, rather it just flavours the character interactions with just a hint of emotion. It overall becomes a frustrating addition, rather than a way to enhance the narrative: while it gives a bit of an illusion of agency, using the system feels like a game of chance, rather than a way to interact with characters and situations.

It does allow the player to slightly interact with the dialogue, which is nice, but it really only changes interactions slightly, adding an extra line or two of dialogue here and there. It's nice, but it doesn't do much to enhance the original text, which ends up being a bit on the dry side. The characters themselves are pretty bland and generic, and they read like a handful of stereotypical anime characters.

Screenshot for Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs on PS Vita

Worthy of note, however, is the character's art. All of them are all beautifully drawn, with sprites that move onscreen in a very fluid style. All of the in-game art has a wonderful feel to it, and it does always feel in-tune with the narrative's tone. Despite the slowness of the plot, it does have a well-designed feel.

The battles feel much less thought out, with most requiring to square off against a host of undead spectres, with a look very similar to those found in the Shin Megami Tensei series. It's a system that's highly prediction based, and more than a little frustrating. Each character is represented on a simplistic grid, and each action moves them to a spot and has them declare an area on the grid they wish to attack. If an enemy moves to that spot, battle ensues between both parties.

Screenshot for Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs on PS Vita

It's a really interesting take on strategic gameplay, but it's one that feels gimmicky and removes a lot of the careful planning usually associated with the genre. While there are skills and items that can help mitigate the randomness of the enemy movement, it still winds feeling frustrating and non-interactive, especially in earlier stages of the story. The controls in battle feel weird as well, and moving characters around the grid feels completely unintuitive to how it should.

Really, Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Specials Gigs suffers from a lack of coherent explanations. The interface issues aside, the dialogue doesn't do much to inform the main character about the mechanics of the emotion wheel, and the battle system could definitely use some additional work. There's just a lack of polish in a lot of the mechanics, and it's certainly possible that investing more time into one or the other could have helped.

Screenshot for Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs has some neat ideas, but they end up getting lost between the lacklustre delivery. The visual novel elements are poorly explained, and the control setup in both sections of the game leaves a lot to be desired. The battle system is definitely unique, but it feels tacked on and actually detracts from the overall story. The visuals are certainly breath-taking, but there are enough issues that make it a tough sell for even the most devout of visual novel fans.


Arc System Works







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Is it bad that I still want to play this? XD

( Edited 29.09.2016 10:13 by Sandy Wilson )

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