Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters was an unusual experience. This often confusing visual novel and strategic affair first came to the west in March 2015, expecting people to intuitively take to its sensory system and unconventional battles. It was a game with art, characters, and a storyline I enjoyed, but obfuscating gameplay that forced me to take multiple breaks. Now that Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs is here, it’s essentially a slightly revised version of that initial experience. Most of the changes are for the better.
Unfortunately, you can’t go in with your old Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters save file. This is an entirely new game. All a save file will do is give you a USB charm to put in the Gate Keeper’s car. Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs alters the game at its very core. Each of the 13 chapters from the original has substantial alterations. There is new dialogue, expanded scenes, and other features that serve to help you better understand characters like Sayuri, Chizuru, Masamune, Moichi, and other Gate Keepers. This also means new special images to earn, which means more of that gorgeous art.
But, this makes sense. You never know when you’ll run into new or expanded events within Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs’ main storyline. This isn’t like a Disgaea game, where you could input a special code and be taken directly to the new content or scenarios. Every storyline element added is woven into the existing plot. You have to experience everything again. Especially since the new Daybreak scenarios each take place after five original chapters, offering more insight into their events and new characters to interact with in those specific scenarios.
While enlightening, these Daybreak chapters sometimes made me wonder if they were worth the effort. Which sounds horrible to say. They are interesting experience. But, the battles there are quite a shock. They’re more difficult than the preceding chapters, noticeably so. I had to replay many of them, because the ghosts I was facing seemed so far ahead of my characters and party. To make things worse, it wasn’t like going back to the standard chapter would suddenly return me to the familiar battles and bosses I’d beaten when I played Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters last year. After the Daybreak chapters kick in, the primary story chapters’ also get more difficult to take these new fights into account.
To its credit, Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs does try to be a little more helpful than it was before. There are tutorial websites that teach you about various parts of battles, like traps. Moichi will have more traps, and its easier to see what traps do. In fact, some traps will already be in suggested positions when a battle begins, in case you’ve had trouble with that element. You can alter their spots at this point, add new ones, or remove them entirely. It’s also possible to attack more than once per a turn, if you have enough AP left over, something that’s incredibly helpful when you start hitting those Daybreak chapters. The Gate Keepers also have a ghost list now, finally, which collects information on every ghost you’ve faced. It certainly makes it easier to deal with recurring foes, once you know their weaknesses.
If Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters left you flummoxed before, Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs isn’t going to suddenly change your mind about the game. Even with the additional storylines and battle assistance, the increased difficulty could be even more discouraging. This is a visual novel experience unlike most others, for better or worse. Of the two versions, this is definitely the one to play, but it’s best to go in knowing the sensory system is still confusing and it will get much more challenging after you’re a third of the way through the story.
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs is immediately available on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita in North America. It will come to Europe on October 21, 2016.