[PlayStation 4] Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle Review
Visual novel sequel Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle is out on PS4. Learn more about the titular mind-reader and her adventures in our Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle review!
Vera Blanc is a mystery / detective game. Take on the role of Vera Blanc, a young woman with the ability to read other people’s minds. The game is a mixture of visual novel and adventure game with a collection of challenging mini-games, you can also play as a pure visual novel. In this episode, our heroine travels to a small village in central Italy.
For those who haven’t played the first title, the game starts with a brief introduction to Vera Blanc’s story. Vera Blanc was a child prodigy that had graduated from university at the age of fourteen. Two years later, she is diagnosed with brain cancer, and doctors only give her about six months to live. Her father had some doctors find a way to cure her, which they eventually did, but not without side effects. The first one is that she can now learn things faster than any other person on Earth, and the second one is that she is able to read people’s minds.
With those abilities, and the fact that the Blanc’s are a wealthy family, Vera doesn’t need to have a regular job, so she decides to help the world with her powers. Her father got her to meet Brandon Mackey, a private detective that investigates supernatural cases. In their first adventure, the duo got to investigate a werewolf in Germany. Their story now takes them to Italy, where Mr. Anastasi hired them to investigate a ghost in his castle.
Like the previous title, this one is a visual novel, so the vast majority of your time will be spent reading the story. The game’s plot plays over a few days, during which you can visit different places in the city to interact with people, and the choice of where you want to go is all yours. Occasional options will be presented to you while talking with people, which can sometimes give you clues to help your investigation.
There are also a few mini-games that those of you who played the first game will quickly recognize. The first one being the mind-reading ability, where you are presented with a blank sentence, and you have to choose letters to see them appear in the sentence to eventually be able to discover it all. There’s also a number memory game, where you have to remember a numbered sequence that appears on the screen and then repeat it exactly. The most difficult one is probably the “find the differences” mini-game, where you are presented with two almost identical pictures on which you have to spot the small markings that make them different. With a limited number of attempts, you can’t just spam your way through any of the mini-games. But if you don’t want to bother with them, you also have the option to skip the mini-games, a choice that you can make when you start your playthrough.
My opinion for this title is rather similar to the first one, simply because it mostly is the same thing as the first one, except for the story, of course. I liked the fact that there is a certain level of interactions with the choices and mini-games because a visual novel that’s strictly reading sometimes makes the experience feel a bit too linear.
I did find this game to be less interesting in terms of story, though, and since there was only a trophy for getting the good ending, as opposed to two trophies for obtaining the two different endings – as was the case in the first game – it didn’t warrant an extra playthrough. Also, for a game that’s been out since 2010 and only ported this year to PS4, I found it a bit disappointing to read a message that said I could look at my clues “using the clue button at the right of the dialog box, or pressing the ‘C’ key.” If you’re a trophy hunter, you’ll be happy to learn that this is another easy one to complete, especially since you can just skip the mini-games as you aim to get the Platinum trophy.
If you’re looking for a quick Platinum trophy or a budget visual novel, then Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle can be worth spending an evening on, but the game is definitely showing its age on the PlayStation 4. Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle is out on PS4 for a low $4.99.
This Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.