By Shahrin Chowdhury(Sahat), Onrpg writer
Not kidding, everything in this game revolves around eyes. Particularly the cute little floating and/or creepy crawly eyes that become your partner and weapon early on. Ghost X has got to be one of the most anticipated action games of the summer due to it's unique hands on button smashing game play. It's like a fusion of my favorite childhood animes "Shaman King" and "Pokemon" with a twist.
Anime you say?
Really this game is exactly like being an anime action hero. It starts out on cinematic plot introduction in which you're introduced to the first of the many nanobots that will become your pets, weapons, and obsessions. Nanobots in this game are the same thing as "spirits" were in Shaman King, they are your best friends and your only means of fighting anything. Nanobots form a contract with you (and you get to name it!) and become your weapon. The beginner or starter nanobots are Sword (a blue floating eye with a fin on top), Knife (a gray floating eyeball with a fin on top and bottom), and a Claw (the only floating eye with a giant mecha arm attached to it).
The Sword nano is extremely fast, extremely agile, and very easy to combo with. Whereas in contrast to it, the Knife nanobot is a gigantic sword that is not as fast, not as agile, and combos are some what slow but its damage more than makes up for it. The claw unlike the other two, is both fast and strong but what holds it back is the lack of range. Claw users need to get in close to deal damage and risk bodily harm.
Now these three nanobots by no means set the standard for the rest of the nanobots in game. There are plenty more and few with special twists such as weapon transformations. Some Knife nanobots can morph into gigantic guns for further fury. Swords gain shields and gloves among other nifty addons. Claws become cannons to make up for their range and dual swords can become many things including a bow.
So what else is new?
Just a bit more on nanobots. Remember how I said this was a mix of "Shaman King" and "Pokemon"? Well you heard the Shaman King bit, now for the Pokemon bit.
Nanobots evolve. Yea, just like pokemon. When nanobots evolve, everything about them changes, including their looks and their weapon forms. Evolving nanobots increase their strength and allow them to access new skills to wreak havoc with.
Nanobots also mate. Okay well I lied, they don't mate but they do the next best thing, they fuse. You're able to combine nanobots to create a new, more powerful nanobot that is completely different from the nanobots that went into make it. Certain nanobots are easier to make through fusion and certain nanobots are only available by fusion. Fusing is also one of the three ways to obtain new nanobots.
The other two ways are to either find the seed of the nanobot through intense grinding on ghosts or buying a cube from the good doctor in Luna Laboratory or from a player. If you use a seed, you have to find the materials to create it. Word of caution though, the exact criteria must be met for each nanobot that you attempt to create and you must be equal level or higher than the nanobot in order to create it. Materials can be bought from other players or found from ghost drops. The cubes on the other hand do not require materials and you can obtain 1 of 5 different nanobots inside the cube. All that is required is to fill the cube with purity souls which you can also buy from the doctor.
That's pretty much it on nanobots. The game play itself is also pretty dynamic and intertwined with the storyline. The only way to progress in the game is by completing the missions that you gain. By progress, I mean to unlock new maps, new areas, new trade options on npcs, and pretty much everything. So if you're one of those people who just want to grind, look cool, farm nanobots, but skip quests then you're pretty much out of luck. If you don't do the missions then you're pretty much stuck on the beginner maps for all of time.
Not sure why you wouldn't want to do the missions though as each of them start out with multiple little cinematic movies and each one of them further the main storyline of the Great Demon and such. Missions are soloable but much more helpful to do in a party. The mission boss is usually a pain in the butt and having a party is recommended as well.
The battle system is one of the key reasons why I likehe jump button (and if pressed twice double jump!), and 'D' for action keys such as observing puddles or opening doors. Your nanobot provides your skills for you along with your own skills which boost your strength.
Each weapon type has a maximum hit amount that can be done before the enemy falls. Knives have the smallest amount of hits required to make the enemy fall because it's the most damaging while Swords and Claws take a combo of 4~6 to make the enemy fall. Skills are used to keep combos going because once a ghost falls, it stops your combo completely and you can not attack it with regular attacks. Skills allow you to repel enemies, shun them into the air, push them back on their feet, or repeatedly pound them by spinning in circles until they explode.
Is there PVP?
Yes actually, there is. A pretty balanced system at that. It is possible to click on players and challenge them to a duel but it's far easier to just click the pvp button and wait. There's a max of 4v4 but it is possible to do 2v2 or 1v1. Pvp rewards include titles and BP. BP is another method of currency and has it's own shop with various shop owners which allow you to buy stronger equips. Cubes that contain nanobots are also bought with this.
How is the customization?
While the initial character customization is not that great, it gets better as you level. The clothing shop owner sells a variety of tops, bottoms, shoes, gloves, heads (yes, entire heads with different hair types and hats) as well as upgrading items to boost the defence ratings of said equips (yes, you can upgrade your head).
So... any cons?
The main thing that's holding this game back is the Suyper Syncro or more formally known as the SS system. SS increases drops and xp by 5x, which at first sounds fantastic. Who doesn't like faster leveling and epic loot? But as soon as it ends, the fun pretty much ends. XP comes to a grinding halt even at low levels (takes hours to gain %'s at level 7 without SS). And don't even think about gaining drops because you're more than likely not going to. The SS system pretty much forces casual play and is a big turn off for hardcore players or people with too much free time.
I really love this game because it's one of the few games that are very different than the ones that are out right now. Ghost X is new and innovative and offers a bunch of things that others do not. I am also a sucker for evolving weapons, not enough games have those. The one thing that irks me is the SS system for obvious reasons and the fact that nanobots themselves are not tradable. Nanobot seeds are. The lag is also an issue as and hit lag (monsters get hit 1 second after the initial hit animation) is constant. It's worse in pvp as some players lag more than others and tend to teleport everywhere or some essential combo blocking skills like Block are unusable due to lag. But aside from that, it's an excellent game that I recommend to any and all who want a break from the traditional RPG.