Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters – Review
Follow Genre: Visual Novel, Strategy (RPG)
Developer: Toybox Inc, Arc System Works
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: PS3, PS Vita
Tested on: PS3

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters – Review

Site Score
Good: Ghostbusters!, Animations, Episodic stories
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(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Visual novels, people either like them or they pretty much hate them. What would happen if you tie in a more turn based strategy game, with all the good aspects of a visual novel? Well, NIS America was quite curious and it seems they wanted to try out this formula with the creation of Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters. “Who you gonna call? – Ghost… Hunters?”

tokyo twilight ghost hunters


Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters is a visual novel type of game, and thus the story itself will be what the game is all about. The game itself will revolve around ghosts and ghost hunting, a Japanese Ghost Busters tale as it were. You’ll be presented with an episodic experience, that resembles that of an anime series. Each chapter will revolve around another case, and you will have a proper intro, storyline and even a fitting credit roll at the end of the chapter(s).


You arrive at your new school, Kurenai Academy, and you’re pretty much in for insta-awkwardness. A fellow female student bumps into you and immediately things turn from normal to weird, when one of your classmates-to-be enters the fray. You try to be the good Samaritan and take all the blame of the clumsiness, and you immediately get looked down upon as the local pervert. When trying to explain yourself things only go down south even further.

When you arrive in class, your fellow students immediately ask you awkward questions, to get to know you. After the flurry of normal questions, one peculiar question gets posed, namely if you believe in ghosts. You get to choose what you answer, but this question is actually the main focus of the game: Ghosts.


You start chatting with Masamune Shiga, the fellow classmate who posed the question about believing in ghosts. After a short chat, he points out another student that will give you a guided tour around the school. This person is Sayuri Mifune, who happens to be the girl who interfered earlier that morning, who also believes you’re a pervert. As she is the class president she gets forced into the position of actually having to show you around the school, she also takes advantage of the situation to go to certain sealed off places, such as the attic, because of a recent suicide attempt. After a while you start hearing things and even seeing things. It seems you are accompanied by an ethereal presence, otherwise known as ghosts.

When wandering around the attic, you get caught by Shiga and Chizuru Fukurai, another woman you’ve met earlier that day. They ask you if you have seen anything peculiar. When you state that you’ve seen a ghost (choice between yes or no), Mifune immediately denies this and she runs off. Seeing you are more honest than your fellow student, you get offered the chance to start working together with Shiga and Fukurai in ‘busting’ the ghost. Fukurai is the president of a business called “Gate Keepers”, a small publisher that commits itself to the occult. The publishing office is a storefront for the actual exorcism ordeal.

This is pretty much where your ghost slaying career takes off. You will join the rest of the Gate Keepers on  their quest of slaying ghosts and of course, making money. As the story progresses you will meet more and more characters, be it clients or future colleagues.


Graphically the game represents a well animated anime series, with a bit of oil painted illustrations in the mix. Compared to many other visual novels, the animations aren’t completely static, due to the fact that the characters are constantly showing signs of movement, albeit subtle ones. It’s nice to see an occasional flicking of the hair, the appearing of a grin, the simple movements of a character breathing and so on.


Background and overall environments have been created with an eye for detail. Even though you will often find yourself in the same areas, they never get dull and there’s still a lot for the eye to see.

The strategy aspect of the game is portrayed quite simplistically, as you will only be presented with a small blueprint of the environment where the ghost finds itself in. Small colorful dots show where you are and the moving animations are done equally simple.


One of the things NIS America is famous for is the great, yet amusing voice acting in most of its games and this holds true for Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters as well. You’ll be able to listen to the pleasant, enthusiastic Japanese voice actors, who do a superb job. Whilst there are many signs of overacting, it suits the game perfectly. The background music and the sound effects often set the right mood, to make certain parts a tad more creepy or lighten up the mood when needed.


Seeing the game is a visual novel tied in with some strategy (RPG) elements, you’ll be scrolling through a lot of information and dialogues to reach the end of the different chapters of the game.

During the dialogues it’s a matter of paying attention to the story and making a choice at certain key points. The choices often consist of being able to choose if you will react in a personal way, an annoyed way, a perverted way, etc. Whilst this sounds quite simple, the game does not explain what all of the ‘emoticons’ do, and thus you often find yourself thinking you picked a nice response, even though in reality it was actually a very rude one. You will have to keep track of your responses, because the other characters will be influenced by your choices, which leaves you with a lot less ‘friends’ if you be a douche about everything they ask (of) you. At other times you will simply be able to choose out of several text based answers, making it easier to properly pick what you wish to say (or not say).


When you arrive at the actual ghost busting business, you will have a totally different type of gameplay than in the rest of the game. You will have to fight ghosts in a turn based type of mode, where you are only presented with a blueprint of the location the ghost finds itself in. You and your co-workers will all have a limited amount of moves to plan ahead and will have to decide whether or not to attack. If you’re lucky you will damage the ghost(s) with your special coated weapons. If not, you will probably break a piece of the surrounding furniture. Even though you only have a limited amount of turns, it’s best not to attack all the time, as the cost of replacing the damaged goods will be reduced from the fee you get paid upon completing your mission.

After a while these exorcisms will get harder and harder and you might just want to plan ahead. You can see the blueprints of the locations where the ghosts are beforehand, and place some traps in advance. Of course these cost money, so it is advised to choose wisely which of these traps will actually prove to be useful during your mission.

Just like in RPG games, all characters are able to level up, although your character does it a bit differently than your fellow ghost busters. At the end of your haunting missions, you will receive experience points, which will in time allow you to level up. When you level up, you will be able to place certain ability points as you see fit. You can choose whether or not your character becomes stronger to deal with more damage, to be able to take more paces during his turn, etc. This allows you to choose how you’d rather play out your battles. Your colleagues can (also) be trained at the Gate Keepers headquarters, by the use of TP (Training Points). You will always have a limited amount of TP to use, to level your co-exorcists. This means you will often consider who you’d rather level up, as everyone will provide other bonuses when leveling.


You’ll find a few other options in the headquarters, where you can accept random smaller quests, as well as play a board game with your co-workers and scroll through several other menus. Other than that, the core is all about the visual novel, with the ghost slaying battles thrown into the mix.

Even though the game is quite solid in both aspects, it could have performed even better if there was more guidance and help for the player. You’ll often wonder what the effect of each option is, and because of that you will make many mistakes. A flaw, that drags down the otherwise fun whole.


Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters is a great mix of a visual novel with strategy (RPG) elements. You will be able to enjoy solid voice acting, an eerily amusing plot and a decent amount of options to mess around with, outside of the story scenes. That being said, players unfamiliar with both genres, will find it hard to find the proper directions of how everything works. Nonetheless, the game provides a great experience with NIS America’s Japanese ‘Ghostbusters’ tale.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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