Ghost Song Review thumbnail

Ghost Song Review

More Metroid than vania

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on 🪐

Ghost Song is also available for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Ghost Song is rated Teen by the ESRB

With a ludicrous amount of Metroidvanias constantly releasing nowadays, let's see if Ghost Song has what it takes to stand out.

A.J. has been obsessively gaming since the late '80s and is just as passionate about video games in 2022. 🐻

Ghost Song screenshot 1
Does anyone really?

Meet Deadsuit

Ghost Song has you play as a reanimated character simply known as a Deadsuit. After waking up on a mysterious planet, you venture forth to explore your surroundings and find a purpose. Along the way, you'll meet a cast of characters that even when they're nice, you'll wonder if there's something sinister afoot. This premise lends itself well to the exploration-based campaign and the graphic novel visuals are quite complementary as well. However, I found the environments to become super-repetitive after a while as each area doesn't distinguish itself enough thus making for an overwhelmingly monotonous game world. It's still a rather intriguing game, though. v1d30chumz 44-210-77-106

Figure it out

Ghost Song is one of those Metroidvanias that tasks you with figuring everything out on your own. At first, this approach completely blew me away as I can't remember the last time I played a similar game where you have many potential paths to forge next. After a while, though, I began to realise just how repetitive this setup gets due to the enemy-heavy corridors that take forever to traverse coupled with the fact that save points are quite rare to stumble upon. On top of that, you can only level-up at certain points that are even rarer to run into and progression is often gated via hidden pathways that require you to shoot every wall that you see. 🥴

Ghost Song screenshot 2
Hey, what did that purple blob ever do to you?

Battle alien forces

With Ghost Song's exploration systems in mind, its combat is thankfully well accomplished thanks to its mix of ranged and melee attacks. As you progress, you'll amass a wealth of weapons and switching them up to see what they're capable of is enjoyable such as when you discover a cannon that can set certain enemies ablaze and a spear that has an impressive reach. There's a wide variety of aliens to defeat, too, and mastering how to take out each type effectively is an enjoyable feat. The bosses are mostly just bigger and more powerful regular enemies but they surprisingly provide unique encounters, especially the ones with multiple phases. 👽

Oh, and before I forget; bosses tend to roam the world map at different locations and sometimes, you'll encounter a boss that's completely beyond your capabilities with no way to escape so you have to potentially sacrifice your accumulated NanoGel due to some figurative random rolling of the dice. Even after grinding, some of these bosses are downright brutal and once you defeat a particularly challenging foe, your next encounter might be against a boss that's well below your level which merely results in a hollow victory. 🎲

Upgrade your capabilities

Ghost Song has a somewhat Soulslike level-up system where you redeem earned NanoGel to enhance your GunPower, Vigor, and Resolve which each increase various core stats. There's also a Modules system where you can equip various found items to alter your Blaster and Suit. Even though you have a limited Power gauge to equip these Modules that's based on your current level, I found that I was able to equip most of them at any given time. I'm happy to say that changing up your weapons while levelling up and optimizing your Module loadout offers a solid and rewarding upgrade system, especially when you devise a configuration that really clicks with you. 😊

Tedium sinks in

Ghost Song is one of those games that I played for much longer than I was actually enjoying myself which is always a bummer. There are many contributing factors to this such as the aforementioned tedious exploration and another element is the primary goal of the campaign which is to return ship parts to a crashed vessel. Doing so disables fast-travel and trekking all the way back through corridors that you've already explored a dozen or so times (albeit sometimes with new enemies) frankly made me incredibly annoyed. It's almost as if the developers made a conscious decision to pad the game's length with no consideration for the player's enjoyment. 🙁

Ghost Song screenshot 3
Time to return this space ship part then hunt for the next one

Ghost Song does some things quite well but as a complete package, it remains a tedious and patience-testing experience. With so many Metroidvanias out there, it's probably a good idea to look elsewhere for some exploration-based action.

  • + High degree of challenge makes progress and toppling bosses rewarding
  • + Lots of secrets and satisfying upgrades
  • + Intriguing premise and characters
  • - Difficulty can be downright unfair and needlessly random at times
  • - Environments are visually monotonous
  • - Tedious ship part retrieval system
6.4 out of 10
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Watch A.J. play Ghost Song
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