Spirit Hunter: NG is the next addition to the Spirit Hunter series, featuring new mechanics and characters. While NG is the second in the series, newcomers will not have to worry—the story is a fitting spiritual successor.
While the previous entry had spirits in disturbing and abnormal settings, NG takes place in a modern setting, bringing the horror to a familiar environment. With this approach, Spirit Hunter: NG diversifies the formula, creating a fear both new to the series and unsettlingly close.
Potential Story and Reflections of Character
While details are sparse, Spirit Hunter: NG has revealed a new protagonist, customizable by name (Akira Kijima by default) and appearance. As the plot thickens, his sister, Ami Kijima, mysteriously vanishes. The truth behind her disappearance will push players further into the darkness.
Although my time with NG was brief, I already found myself approving of some of the choices. The greater one’s attachment to the characters, the better the possibilities NG has to engage its players. Storywise, NG does this by combining both a tangible fear--your missing sister—and an intangible fear (ghosts). This allows the horror to cover a wider spectrum, making it harder to ignore.
New Mechanics and Personalizing Interactions
To create a more immersive and personal experience, the game has added a “Judging System.” This new mechanic allows players to choose from 5 expressions to better react to character questions and responses. Effectively, this allows players to better tune their own voice into the story.
Another mechanic is the “Crisis Choice,” a time-sensitive mechanic that appears when a crucial decision needs to be made. When this happens, the words “Security” appear on the screen alongside a timer. Players will be given multiple choices, and choosing the best option requires a steady mind and ready trigger finger. Alternatively, there is the looming option to simply do nothing. That choice might sometimes be the correct one.
Balancing Horror and Adventure
The mystery elements of Death Mark make an apt return. To properly investigate scenes, players will use a flashlight to uncover things shrouded by the darkness. However, at times, there will be things best left alone, as monsters can be hidden depending on the environment.
For players who are more intrigued by the mystery and adventure elements, there is an option to modify some horror settings. At the beginning of the game, you can modify abrupt scares through the “Scary Effects Mode.” Choosing from 1 of 3 options will allow players to customize how jump scares can appear. “Off” will keep scary effects to a minimum, “Default” will keep things normalized, and lastly, “Scary Mode” will heighten the visual effects for particular events.
As the horror elements are critical to the story, if a scene requires them, they will still remain, allowing players to still understand the plot regardless of which mode they choose.
Spirit Hunter: NG adds an intriguing layer of customization, allowing players to personalize their own experience of NG’s story. It seems that this new addition to the series wants to welcome everyone, and as a fan of horror, I’m looking forward to this new entry. Luckily, fans and interested players won’t have to wait long. Spirit Hunter: NG releases on the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and PC on October, 10, 2019.