It's time for another old-school RPG and this is a good one starring a young lady named Lily so here's the very enjoyable Ghost Sync.
Most of these RPGs that I've played star a male protagonist who goes on an adventure with a party full of women but this time, you actually play as a heroine which makes for a nice change of pace. In fact, I think this is the only KEMCO RPG that I played which has a female protagonist. Anyway, the story itself is also unconventional as it involves a mysterious evil force that has turned kindly spirits into monsters known as savarians. It's Lily's job to defeat these savarians but one day, she meets one in the form of a dog named Hachi that's possessed by the spirit of Bernard who only she can see. From then on, you're joined by a determined and reserved woman named Gwen and a bubbly spirit fairy named Lupy. The party dynamic is lighthearted with less comic relief than usual yet I dug the wholesome vibes. v1d30chumz 44-192-25-113
Speaking of which, the character artwork is as excellent as it usually is and the sprites within battle are animated and lively even if they're a bit on the generic side when you're in the field. Meanwhile, the environments are decent although not as detailed as I would have liked as many locations and dungeons feel too similar and they could definitely use more stand-out features. On the plus side, I liked the music which features orchestral arrangements that suit each area as well as a rocking battle theme that'll get you in the mood to fight.
When it comes to gameplay, Ghost Sync features some clever mechanics that help set it apart from similar titles. Aside from attacking and using skills which can affect multiple targets depending on where they are in the 3-by-3 grid, Bernard has the ability to possess enemies which grants him new skills and attributes. Doing so is a great deal of fun, especially when you come across monsters with unique abilities that give you an upper-hand. You'll also unlock special summoning rings later on in the journey that can summon spirits which will help by attacking your foes and healing your allies. These mechanics do a lot to make battles more enjoyable, especially tough boss fights.
Of course, upgrading your party members is a huge part of what makes RPGs rewarding and in Ghost Sync, the most notable aspect of this is the skill tree system. Basically, each party member can learn any spell they want by spending spirit stones on each element's tree and everyone also has their own unique core skill tree complete with character-specific skills. Additionally, you can combine pieces of equipment to level them up and carry over special attributes but I wish that the equipment was more complex than this because it ends up feeling kind of tedious as you merely go through the motions so it could have used tough decisions to make as you upgraded.
One of the most satisfying aspects of Ghost Sync is its guild quests which will have you defeat enemies as well as complete all sorts of tasks in order to level-up your guild rank and reap the sweet rewards. These are complemented with NPC-driven side-quests although I found the guild missions to be more enjoyable. These elements may be rewarding but I didn't find that progressing through Ghost Sync required much strategy. It's very easy to level-up, especially if you take on the side content so even when you're facing a tricky boss, you can simply grind a bit in order to take it down which one could argue is less enjoyable than if you had to implement clever tactics.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ghost Sync and if you love retro RPGs, I'm sure you will, too. With its intriguing premise, appealing female lead, and clever monster-possessing mechanic; this is one lovely little game.
- + Unconventional story premise with a delightful female protagonist
- + Possessing monsters is quite fun
- + Rewarding skill trees and guild quests
- - Challenge doesn't rely enough on strategy
- - Many locales and dungeons feel similar
- - Equipment is a bit too simplistic