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Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: Tournament Tactics

Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Sensory Sweep
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: Tournament Tactics is a game similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, but with attacks, characters, and locations specific to the “Yu Yu Hakusho” anime series.

Each of the characters in Tournament Tactics are reasonable facsimiles of their cartoon counterparts. It’s easy to tell which chibi model is supposed to represent which fighters. Most of the attacks that each character has (like Hiei’s Darkness Flame or Kurama’s Rose Whip) at his/her/its disposal also look enough like the moves from the show to be recognized by fans. Though the major characters from the series were easily recognizable, there were a large number of generic demons on the battlefields. It would have been nicer to face off against a wider selection of baddies. Even if they had the exact same powers and stats, having more variety in the look of the demons would have taken some of the monotony away.

The sound and music of the game came off well, but in general, I hardly noticed them while I was playing the game, and what I did hear was quickly lost after I put the GBA down.


Like Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament, Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: Tournament Tactics covers the middle part of Yusuke’s adventure as the Spirit Detective. In this version, Sensory Sweep (developers who were involved with the creation of the last GBA game of the series, Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: Spirit Detective) have taken a different approach to the story than either of the two games mentioned above.

Tournament Tactics gives you control of Team Urameshi as you face off against Chu’s Team Rokuyukai, Team Uraotogi, Team Toguro, and many more villains that will keep you thinking several moves ahead in order to survive and advance your characters and team. As you progress through the game, several people will join you on your quest (besides the standard Kuwabara, Kurama, Hiei, and Masked Fighter that is). You will gain the help of Pinku (that kid with the Yo Yo), Chu, and even Kurama’s love interest/Hiei’s sister, Yukina. Before a battle, you must choose up to five of the available characters. You can give these characters items to use. These items do everything from healing health and spirit to attack enhancers.

While on the battlefield, you must maneuver your characters across the land in order to complete whatever task has been set before you. Most of the time, that is simply “Defeat all the enemies,” but there are a few other types of battles thrown in there to keeps things somewhat interesting.

While in a battle, you must manage your spirit energy and items in order to defeat the demons that stand in your way. You will be able to perform signature moves like the Spirit Gun, Spirit Sword, and Darkness Flame (once you have leveled up your characters, that is). At the end of each battle, experience points are distributed among the surviving members of your team. Whenever a character levels up, you can distribute a few points among four categories: Offense, Spirit Energy, Movement, and Power.

During a fight, you will move your characters, then fight or activate an item, and finally tell your character which direction you would like it to face. This is a crucial move because the amount of damage a character receives when attacked is partially determined by where the attack came from. If the attack came from behind, then your character is less likely to dodge the hit and take a lot of damage. The character will take less damage if it receives a blow on either side, and will typically be able to dodge out of the way of the attack if it is facing the opponent.

Yu Yu Hakusho: Tournament Tactics is a somewhat short game, but it does put out a good bit of fun in that time. Unfortunately, about halfway through the game, you start to feel like you keep going through the same fights over and over again. The only really interesting parts are when you reach a tournament battle and you get to face off with some of the bigger bad guys.


Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: Tournament Tactics has difficult parts, and can be fairly challenging at times. As you progress through the levels, you will find that most of the battles are easy; it’s when you go up against one of the major enemies from the show that the fight gets interesting. Typically, the bigger bad guys are jam-packed with health and powerful moves. It’s in these battles that you need to think several moves ahead in order to keep your team in tact, because without most of your characters going up against these baddies, it is unlikely that you will beat them.

Game Mechanics:

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: Tournament Tactics has an easy to use control scheme and menu system that keeps the more meticulous parts of deploying and positioning parts of the game from becoming tedious. While in a battle, each member of your team has at most eight different actions he/she or it can perform. The character can move, attack, use an item, activate an Overdrive attack, focus energy, or wait the turn out. After you’ve made a selection, the menu will either change to the list of attacks or items you can do, or squares on the field will light up saying where you can move to. This simple system makes it easy to focus on how to position your characters where you want them to be and helps to ensure you execute the moves you want to when you want.

Yu Yu Hakusho: Tournament Tactics is a game that I would recommend to any gamer who is a fan of the TV series or enjoyed playing through other games similar to this (like Final Fantasy Tactics). However, it isn’t for everybody and does start to feel a bit repetitive halfway through.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Windows Unreal Windows EverQuest II

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated