Video Game Review: Detective Pikachu

Details: No idea how long this game took, but there are nine chapters and each chapter probably took a little over an hour to get through. More information can be found at https://detectivepikachu.pokemon.com/en-us/

Score: 5.9/10

Detective Pikachu is a standard adventure game. My biggest complaints with this game are not with the game itself, but with the adventure game genre, which I find mostly boring. Also, an adventure game relies heavily on its story and while Detective Pikachu tells its own story separate from the movie, there’s enough connection to the movie’s story that it took something away from the game.

Detective Pikachu tells the story of a young man named Tim Goodman. Tim’s father was a private detective who disappeared on a case. Tim comes to the city to look into the disappearance and discovers that he can now communicate with his father’s Pokemon partner, Pikachu. The two now embark on their own investigation of Tim’s Father’s disappearance and solve crimes along the way.

The story takes place in the Pokemon universe, where Pokemon live together with humans. That’s one of the biggest charms of the game as you often interact with people as well as Pokemon. Through Pikachu, who Tim can now understand, you gain the ability to interrogate Pokemon and people. It’s fun to see how Pokemon behave, but a little dull to see that they’re almost all simple minded.

With that said, I mostly enjoyed the story. It’s definitely a story meant for kids, which is disappointing as I am not one, but it’s what I expected from a Pokemon game. The setup of the story is the same as in the movie and many elements of the plot are the same as well. The majority of the story and the cases you solve are different, though this game offers a conclusion to the cases, but not to the mystery surrounding where Tim’s father is. That is left as a cliffhanger for a sequel, if they ever make one.

Gameplay follows a simplistic pattern. You first go to a place. Then you talk to every character and Pokemon while also looking for every clue strewn throughout the level. Then you go into your notebook and select the correct combination of clues to solve the case. There are some overly simplistic quick time events as well. Altogether, it’s an extremely simplistic adventure game reminiscent of old style adventure games like Grim Fandango, except that this game is far easier. In fact, if you get stuck, there is an in game system that gives you clues and sometimes just solves the problem for you.

Visually, the game looks pretty good for a 3DS game. It’s a cartoon-y style.

The music is pretty good as well. I also appreciate the amount of voice acting in this game. It’s not fully voiced, but there is a substantial amount of voice acting, such as in the cut scenes and full motion videos (prerendered videos). An adventure game relies on its story and in the modern day adventure game, that means a fully voiced or substantially voiced experience.

Overall, this was a really boring game to me and I forced myself to finish it. This was mostly because I wanted to see how the story ended and was hoping it was something different from the movie. Unfortunately, the story was similar enough to the movie and the ending offered no answers as it was a cliffhanger. If you’ve seen the movie before, I’d say you should skip this game. If you don’t like point and click adventure games, you should also skip this game. Lastly, if you are over the age of ten, you should skip this game because it is very simplistic.

Score: 5.9/10

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