Acid Rounds: Detective Pikachu (3DS)

Acid rounds is a semi regular, irregular spot on TGAM for games we have beasted from start to finish.


Richie: Oh a Pokémon Game! that's different does this game have new types, how do you transfer Pokémon across?
Cunzy1 1: Well, I'm a sucker for the Pokemon series and that's somehow translated into almost all of the spinoffs from pinball to a feudal era Japan isometric tactics and typing game to whatever a trozei is. Detective Pikachu is not quite the weirdest of the lot but it's certainly up there. Its a perfectly playable and extremely pretty point and click detective story that came out as a downloadable game for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan and then two years later got an expanded physical version of the game worldwide. You play as Pinocchio nosed Mary-Sue Tim who meets a talking Pikachu who likes coffee, has amnesia and is a detective. You can tell it is a detective because he has a deerstalker hat. Tim's Dad is also a detective but is currently missing. Tim and Pikachu then slowly walk about  talking to people and Pokemon and solving crimes. Each chapter has a theme. E.g. in Chapter 1 they bust a baby Pokemon Paedophile Ring behind a Pokemon Centre front, in Chapter 2 they uncover a Lickitung sex trafficking cartel out of Vermillion City etc.

Richie: Does the world need Detective Pikachu? Surely all 17,000 Phoenix Wright games fill this niche?
Cunzy1 1: Aside from the theme of solving criminal (and not-so-criminal) mysteries Detective Pikachu has nowhere near the depth of mechanics that Phoenix Wright does. It's a very basic walk around, talk to things, unlock more things to talk to and 'solve' the case. There are sections where evidence has to be considered and even the odd QTE but really the only taxing thing about it is the odd obscure link between a character's statement or other case fact and what it is supposed to be evidencing. I played this game in several short sittings over the space of a year and remembering details of the plot and previous cases over the course of different chapters was difficult (although it's not harshly punished).  

Richie: Ryan Reynolds or Danny DeVito?
Cunzy1 1: Although Detective Pikachu is a bit gruff in this game, unfortunately, he doesn't have the nature to match it, memes be damned. Ryan Reynolds is a way better fit.

Richie: How much did you beast this game? Does it have replay value, new game+ or unlockables?
Cunzy1 1: It's pretty much a good old fashioned 'one and done' which I appreciate now and then so there isn't the guilt of not having seen every three second cutscene hanging over me. The only extras are the worst amiibo implementation since Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. If you shelled out for a the Giant Detective Pikachu amiibo, you can tap it to see all the 'chatting to Pikachu' prompts you missed. You can pick Pikachu's brain at almost any point in the game and there's a lot of programmed interactions some of which are location based but they do nothing. They're a few second long interactions of Pikachu kicking a ball or saying something about coffee. So you could keep playing the game over and over talking to Pikachu every three seconds to unlock every prompt or alternatively keep tapping a giant amiibo to unlock and view them. I hate to say it but this is actually worse than nothing.

Richie: Philosophical question, is Pikachu the hero we deserve?
Cunzy1 1: We don't know. It looks like the film will follow some of the story beats but SPOILERS FOR THE GAME the central mystery to the premise of the game isn't wrapped up. So potentially a Detective Pikachu sequel on the way.
One last thing, Detective Pikachu has an absolutely amazing menu screen. Better than it has a right to be.

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