It is time to help out some ghosts in this adventure RPG! In The Outbound Ghost, you are tasked with helping some ghosts ascend to the afterlife after their untimely deaths. Battle other ghosts and gain new abilities while uncovering the mysteries surrounding the town of Outbound to help the dead residents find peace. With a visual style heavily inspired by Paper Mario, turn-based combat encounters, puzzles, an interesting cast of characters, and a unique badge system, The Outbound Ghost has a little something for all RPG fans. But the real question here is...how does it run on the Steam Deck?
The game when maxed out can run, but it drains WAY too much battery. When left alone, the drain goes up to 23W and for a game like this, there is no reason to be going that high, but per usual, we can improve this significantly with some changes.
Just standing still causes a large battery drain with an unstable 60 FPS at max settings, but it could be a lot better!
Unfortunately, there are some issues with The Outbound Ghost on Steam Deck that persist regardless of the settings that were changed. When done tweaking, I ended up with 45 refresh rate/FPS, TDP limit of 8, and a mix of high and medium settings in-game settings. This allowed for around 3 - 3.5 hours of battery life with a more stable framerate. There are still some spikes here and there, which did slow the game down every now and then, but it didn't persist through combat, which is more important as it does require some precision button pressing to do more damage.
I also felt it was important to have a 60 FPS option, though it is definitely less stable and drains more battery. To combat this, I did have to lower the Model and Light quality settings to Medium, but it did end up helping a bit. In the end, it was still a little unstable, but the battery was able to last around 2 - 2.5 hours.
I didn't really notice much of a different graphically between the 2 options, and since 45 FPS still felt really smooth and framerate spikes will persist no matter what, I preferred to save the battery.
There are very small differences between the graphical changes from Medium (60 FPS) to high (45 FPS).
The other bad part of The Outbound Ghost are some of the weird bugs or hitches that can inhibit gameplay. I already brought up the stuttering, but there is a couple of other issues I want to go over.
The first one I noticed is actually changing the resolution. The game defaults to 1280x720, which is fine to play, but it does have an option for the native 1280x800. When this is selected though, the UI of the game gets a bit screwed up. On top of that, the game stays at 1280x720 anyways, so keeping this on its default worked fine.
You can easily notice the UI issues when looking at the bottom right and top left. The level is cut off while the select and back prompts are still visible, even when not on a menu.
The biggest issue I found most annoying was actually the amount of time it took to get into each combat encounter. Whenever you start a combat encounter, it takes a real 7 seconds to get into a fight. While this doesn't sound like a lot, it adds up and just feels off when just playing the game. It isn't game breaking at all, just more of a gigantic nuisance I found obnoxious.
The Outbound Ghost is a really wonderful game in itself. The characters are memorable, the combat is serviceable, and the environments and designs are fantastic and fit. The game scratches a Paper Mario itch I didn't know I had, and if I was talking about getting this game in general, I would say take the leap. But this is about the Steam Deck and I hoped for better. In the end, it is playable, but expect some sacrifices and nuisances along the way.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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The Outbound Ghost is a wonderful game , but it has too many small issues that compound into a less than stellar experience on the Steam Deck.
No Forced Compatibility
Model Quality: High
Light Quality: High
Texture Quality: 0.5x
60 FPS Cap with 60 Refresh Rate
Half Rate Shading OFF
TDP Limit 10
No Forced Compatibility
Model Quality: Medium
Light Quality: Medium
Texture Quality: 0.5x
Projected Battery Usage/Temps:
15W - 18.5W
Around 70c - 75c temps for CPU and GPU
Around 2.5 hours of gameplay