Yuu Yuu Hakusho Gaiden is one of the less typically mentioned Yuu Yuu Hakusho games amongst westerners. Why? Probably because it's not in English, and the majority of
other YYH games don't have a major language barrier in which to speak of. YYH games are at their best when they're fighting games, beat-em-ups, etc., but this is an unusual Yuu Yuu title. It's a text adventure and being such, you do a lot of decision making and the language barrier is thick. To progress through this game, one would think that you need to have an extensive knowledge of Japanese. There is a lot of dialogue (since the game focuses on talking and interaction) and there are numerous people you must talk to.
Truth be told, most people who know about the YYH anime already know about the key characters and although the game is a "Gaiden" (sidestory of some kind), those familiar with the original plot should easily know what is taking place. The plot is simple...Yuusuke, Kuwabara, Hiei, and Kurama have been assigned a mission from Koenma to investigate the city for poltergeist activity. If you don't know a lick of Japanese, the game might frustrate you, so don't read any further if that is the case.
As far as audio and visuals, YYHG passes with flying colors. The music is on the money and just as good as the tunes heard in the anime, and the detail of the characters is spot on. Things are nice and clean, and characters animate when necessary which is a plus. Being a text adventure, you are presented with several cool anime cutscenes and the detail of them is pretty good, though in ordinary travel, you mostly see characters from the waist (or chest) and up. If you are are fan of the anime, the visuals won't disappoint and the audio is appropriate for the theme of the game.
The gameplay is like many other text adventure titles. You can choose between Yuusuke, Kuwabara, Hiei, or Kurama, and you have to go to various locations gathering information and clues to tip you off as to where the villain(s) may be. The game attempts to break the mold of traditional text adventure
games by incorporating battle segments. During these times, you can move your character left and right, zip into the background to throw foes off their balance, punch and kick, or unleash specials. While the idea is nice, the fights honestly aren't all that exciting and your options are limited in combat. Thankfully, this wasn't the focus of the game and most fights can be won in seconds so it's certainly forgivable. The game as a whole isn't the greatest text adventure game I've ever played, but it does well not to dishonor the franchise.- Written by Vyse the determined -