Detective Pikachu (3DS) Review
Detective Pikachu has been a long time in the making, first teased in 2013 and with a ‘Part One” released in Japan two years ago, we’ve all been patiently waiting for this one. Now that it’s here, perhaps we built up a certain idea of what Detective Pikachu was, and it’s just a little bit different to what we got.
Although Detective Pikachu was originally an eShop release in Japan, it was only the first half of the game. This new release is the original three chapters released back then and the rest of the chapters that would have made up the second game. Detective Pikachu tells the story of Tim, he’s looking for his father and Detective Pikachu is here to help. This Pikachu is special, he can’t use moves (he uses his brilliant intellect instead he says) and he can speak English — well at least to Tim, who’s the only one who can understand him — everyone else just hears a Pikachu.
Now the game’s story is told over a number of chapters; each one picks off a particular crime or situation while moving the overall story forward at the same time. The game starts off really slow, the first case especially is fairly boring. Things pick up after that and in later chapters, they not only pick up the pace but also get more interesting, with more Pokémon to talk to and characters to meet. That’s right, you can talk to any of the Pokemon in the game and have Pikachu translate; as you’d expect some Pokemon are smarter than others, more arrogant, or bird-brained, and it’s nice to see them follow their Dex entries.
Not all cases play out the same, but the ideas are fairly similar between them. Something happens, you and Pikachu are thrust into action interviewing people building your case, collecting evidence and solving other little issues around Ryme City to get people to talk. Once you’ve got the evidence, you’ve got to put your testimony together or solve a puzzle. You’ll go from finding out who stole a necklace, to finding out why Pokemon are getting injured on an island and more — but I don’t want to spoil the rest. A wide range of Pokemon are in the game too, from Kanto to Johto and all the way to Alola – it’s a great cast.
You’ll probably breeze through a lot of game as it’s fairly easy, and figure out what’s going on before you’ve spoken to everyone. That’s probably the most annoying thing with the game, you can’t solve a problem without having spoken to everyone about it, in case you missed one thing. As the levels go on, more people and Pokemon get involved and it becomes a backtracking game finding all the people you need to speak to or may have missed.
During the game you’ll be treated a lot of exposition either told through text or nice cutscenes, usually featuring Pikachu’s humour and wit. There’s are few quick-time events throughout the game but even if you fail them (or anything really) it doesn’t affect the game outside of some dialogue differences. The game’s very easy and clearly targeted at kids, but it’s fun anyone can have.
Even though his name is on the box, I didn’t expect Detective Pikachu the character to be as good as he is. While you play as Tim and there’s a ton of great characters in the game, Detective Pikachu stands out, he’s genuinely a warming character, makes you laugh, a bit of a dag and a romantic. It’s easy to put up with some obtuse puzzles and awkward writing when Pikachu himself is great.
Voice acting in the game is also a little bit hit and miss, while most of the main characters are fine some of the extras are a little rubbish, a few of them even sound like the same person trying to do different accents. Luckily the grizzled Detective Pikachu is great, and you’ll see why they picked Ryan Reynolds for him in the upcoming movie.
If you were worried about the game not being in 3D, don’t, because they’ve made the right choice here. Without the need for the extra grunt of 3D, it’s made for one of the best looking 3DS games yet. While characters are fairly simple (but with great style) the game has some great lighting and effects and a soft look to it. Just saying, it could upscale greatly on some other console.
To get through the bulk of the game you’re looking at least 10 hours of gameplay, you’ll also notice where the second part of the game comes into it — it was a cliffhanger originally. Not only that, the puzzles and just the game, in general, seems a bunch more fun in the later chapters.
Of course, it goes without saying that Detective Pikachu is presented to be for Pokemon fans of all ages, if you know your stuff and been playing for 20 years you’ll do just as well as a kid who only just got into the series. The game actually introduced me to a bunch of new Pokemon, which had actually been out a while, but still — who remembers Joltik.
Detective Pikachu is an above average point-and-click style game wrapped with a great lead character in Detective Pikachu. The heart and the humour of the story more than make up for any clunkiness in the game’s mechanics and a slow start. Fun for everyone, let’s bring on the movie.
+ Detective Pikachu is so loveable
+ Good story
+ Not too short
- Clunky interface mechanics
- No Dann...