The Outbound Ghost (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

A tragedy has struck the rural town of Outbound.  The water supply has mysteriously been poisoned, killing most of the people in the area.  And the rest of them have been picked off by a serial killer.  So now the whole place is a literal ghost town.  You play as a ghost who has lost their memory as you try to help people pass on and solve the mystery of what happened to the town.  The Outbound Ghost is a Paper Mario inspired RPG, with flat paper characters and battles with timed actions.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

In the game you’ll move around 3D areas, talking with other ghosts and running into enemies for turn based battles.  You can hide in bushes to try and surprise them so you can get the first turn.  But you don’t fight yourself.  Instead, you have figments fight for you, and you get more as you progress.  In battle, your figments can attack with timed button presses, or use skills to give your party buffs, heal them, or attack the enemy.  You can also do a defend move where you save a turn for later, similar to Bravely Default.  When you win, you can earn items and experience points and level up.  Outside of battle, you can craft items at anvils that you can equip to your figments that give them special skills or passive abilities.  You can change the difficulty, which is nice, but Easy mode is laughably so.

Unfortunately, I lost interest in this game after a while, which is a shame because it had the potential to be so charming.  The story takes forever to go anywhere, gameplay is very meandering, battles get repetitive, and the text isn’t lively at all.  The whole game just feels dull.  If you crave another RPG to play, here’s one for you, but I can definitely think of better ones you can spend time with.

Kid Factor:

The Outbound Ghost is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  Cartoony paper cut outs hit each other and defeated characters just disappear.  Overall the game has a lighthearted look, but because of all the text and certain story aspects, I’d say this one’s best for older kids only.

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