The Outbound Ghost from Digerati and Conradical Games is a cute adventure RPG in which you’ll be helping ghosts ascend to the afterlife. Check our The Outbound Ghost review!
The Outbound Ghost is an adventure RPG about helping ghosts ascend to the afterlife. The town of Outbound is, quite literally, a ghost town – a home to troubled spooks with unresolved earthly issues, condemning them to an eternity haunting their old *ahem* haunts.
The Outbound Ghost from Digerati and Conradical Games is a cute adventure RPG in which you’ll be helping ghosts ascend to the afterlife. Outbound is a nice place to live – the word live being used on the broader side because it is, in fact, a town set between life and death! You’ll follow one of the humans that ended up there, which looks like a grumpy-looking ghost. Not every human goes to Outbound – only those with unresolved business on Earth. You’ll be tasked with helping a ghost reach the afterlife throughout this adventure RPG.
As the game begins, you’ll be slowly introduced to the game’s gameplay mechanics. The tutorial covers only a few elements you need to know about how to handle the game, and you can find more thorough explanations presented in the aptly titled Help Menu. I liked that the game kept the mandatory tutorial down to a minimum, which is not the route every developer takes. About the story, it starts slow, but after a few hours, it picks up. The story also evolves during every chapter, with each one being slightly different from the previous one. The segments in which you see characters you’ve been following for a bit while understanding why they’ve been sent to Outbound and finally ascending were well-written and sentimental moments.
This game is an adventure RPG with turn-based battles reminiscent of the Paper Mario series, in particular, the one on the Gamecube. Each playable character that unlocks throughout the adventure has a special set of skills, and I liked how the HP and AP (Aether Points, which function as Action points) are replenished after each combat, so you don’t need to conserve them for harder fights. Each attack is timed with a gauge. Hitting the green zone leads to extra damage, the orange is medium damage, and the red zone will yield a miss. I also liked how each attack had a different gauge timing, which kept things fresh. As you attack enemies, they also have a stun gauge that increases with each hit, and when it maxes out, the enemy is stunned and can’t counter your attacks, allowing you to deal more damage until he recovers.
Having a game presentation that is close to Paper Mario made this game appealing and beautiful. The menus are clear with big buttons, and the text size is perfect. The game also runs at 60 frames per second on the PlayStation 5 and is fluid. Although it is generally amazing, the graphical engine seems at its limit because even though we are getting 60 frames per second, there’s way too much pop-in, even for grass that is close, and trees will constantly change geometry as you get near or far from them, which I thought was distracting and felt poorly optimized.
As for the level design, I can’t say I was particularly impressed. I liked how each zone is big and can be explored at your own pace, but I thought that the minimap on the side didn’t help much, and it felt like I could get lost in some zones. The objective direction is also not shown, so when you reach a fork, you’re not sure which one is the way you should go, and if you want to collect all the treasures, you’ll likely have to backtrack.
Accessibility-wise, there are a few options that can be customized to make the game easier or harder depending on your preference, and I liked that each setting can be toggled independently from each one. For example, you could increase the damage done to the enemies but keep the damage taken as is and maybe increase the experience obtained. At normal, the game didn’t feel particularly difficult, and I managed to deal with most bosses on the first try. If you have a difficult time with a boss, you could temporarily decrease the damage taken or increase the damage you deal to enemies to speed battles. You could even increase the experience gained in each battle, which will help you level up at a faster pace.
With that being said, I encountered some issues of varying seriousness in my playthrough. For example, issues like the D-Pad randomly not responding – making the game only playable with the left analog stick, which felt weird when navigating through the menus. In the map menu, the map was a blank screen. There’s a weird issue with text containing line separator characters (\n) being displayed instead of having them change lines. At one point, it seemed as if my save had been corrupted, but the good news is that closing the game and opening it up again fixed things. These things were fixed by way of a patch, so if you get the physical version, do remember to download the update!
One issue that wasn’t fixed and which still persists to this day is the incredibly long loading times. Entering a battle with a single enemy clocks in at 8 to 10 seconds of loading, and I’m playing the game on PlayStation 5 with an NVMe SSD expansion that is even slightly faster than the console’s base SSD storage. To give you an idea, I can open Spiderman: Miles Morales from the PS5 hub to downtown New York in the same time as this game loads a single battle.
On a much brighter note, I really need to talk about The Outbound Ghost soundtrack because it is one of the best ones I’ve heard this year! The main theme is great, and the battle themes are superb and stayed in my head long after a play session. The soundtrack has been written by Kimmo Savilampi, and it can be purchased directly at Bandcamp. I definitely recommend you check it out!
On the trophies side, this game has 31 trophies and an accessible Platinum that can be achieved in about 15-20 hours. The list has 14 Bronze trophies, 13 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. They are awarded for progressing through the chapters and beating each of the bosses, gaining access to the different characters, and completing some miscellaneous objectives in the adventure. This is not a major complaint, but I would have liked to have the boss and new character trophies hidden to avoid being spoiled by reading the requirements for the other trophies. This game is also Cross-Buy, so your purchase will give you both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost.
One last thing I need to mention is that the game spans three main chapters and the last one was largely underwhelming on a few different levels. I thought the story would go in a direction that was teased in the first chapter and reinforced in the second one, but sadly the last chapter felt like it was artificially extending the time required to finish the game. Many story elements that were introduced in the first chapters weren’t resolved, and the game didn’t finish with an open ending suggesting that a sequel might be doable. As I was watching the end credits I was literally wondering if the post-credit content would answer those questions, but this wasn’t the case either – although it does unlock a few super bosses.
The Outbound Ghost is a gorgeous game set in the afterlife where you’ll have to help ghosts to reach the world beyond. I liked the presentation, soundtrack, and gameplay, as they reminded me of the Paper Mario series. There were a few performance issues that downed the experience, namely the huge amount of pop-in even for objects close to you and, most notably, the long loading time to enter each battle. The Outbound Ghost is available as a Cross-Buy title with a $24.99 asking price.
This The Outbound Ghost review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Digerati Games.