Nintendo has decided to take a new approach with their beloved Pokémon franchise. Traditionally, the series had been a turn-based RPG, but this is not the case for this installment. The spin-off plays like an adventure game where a player searches for clues to solve cases. It’s a fun take on the franchise that allows for gamers to explore the Pokémon universe as they hadn’t before. It doesn’t hurt that there’s also a good story to be told either.

Detective Pikachu Review

Story

Detective Pikachu has an engaging story that will keep players longing for more. The premise of the game is that Tim Goodman, the protagonist, has headed to Ryme City to investigate his father’s mysterious disappearance. Once in the city, things are not as they seem. Pokémon have been acting strange and nobody knows why. However, it seems that Tim’s father was close to figuring out why and it could be related to his disappearance. Along the way, Tim meets with his father’s Pokémon, Pikachu, and for some reason, they are able to understand each other and communicate. Together, they form a detective duo.

It’s a fairly straightforward narrative that has twists and turns that gamers will enjoy. The story takes place over a span of nine chapters that are not too long, but they are not short either. There’s a perfect balance. Each chapter has its own mystery to solve that has to do with the overarching narrative. The chapters can have predictable outcomes, but this does not bleed into the main plot. There are some unexpected end results though that play out and helps keep things fresh.

Detective Pikachu Review

Gameplay

Detective Pikachu is investigative in nature. Fans looking for the traditional turn-based combat or RPG elements of previous installments in the franchise should look elsewhere. Those unfamiliar with this type of gameplay are welcome. The game uses the first chapter as a tutorial that explains the mechanics and how to use them. It is through the gameplay that players are able to explore more about the world at hand. Interacting with Pokémon help to establish what life can be like for them outside of battle. Running around each level is beneficial for this reason. Creatures can be observed while they live out their fun, daily lives.

There are two difficulties. The normal difficulty allows you to explore the game at your own pace without relying on Pikachu for help. However, the easier difficulty lets players use Pikachu for assistance whenever needed. The game itself is not difficult, but easy mode can help those that may become stuck in later levels. Things can be a bit too easy at times though. There are moments when it became clear who the culprit is or how an action will play out. This would be beneficial if you were able to act on it, but you can’t. You still have to gather all the evidence, thus making a few sections a bit too drawn out and tedious.

Detective Pikachu Review

Extras

There are not any other game modes or extras found within the game, but it does allow the use of a special Detective Pikachu amiibo. This massive figure is double the size of a regular amiibo. Players are able to utilize the figure to discover Pika Prompts. In the game, Pikachu can have his own cutscenes titled thus. These can range from helpful hints to funny moments with your partner. Players can discover all 150 of these prompts on their own or with the amiibo.

The Pika Prompts help to establish the character that is Detective Pikachu. This is not your normal fun and cuddly Pikachu. He’s a coffee-loving investigator that has a different voice than many are accustomed to. It’s not a darker character, just one that has more personality. Pikachu is a definite highlight of the game and helps to bring a light-hearted mood to the forefront.

Detective Pikachu Review

Detective Pikachu is a fun and unique twist on the Pokémon franchise. It will keep gamers engaged with the help of its lovable companion and interesting story. Those that are looking for RPG elements will have to look to Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon or wait for the upcoming Nintendo Switch installment. This 3DS game is able to breathe a bit of fresh air into the franchise and hopefully can garner a sequel.

Detective Pikachu Review (Nintendo 3DS)
Detective Pikachu is a fun game that provides a unique twist on the Pokémon franchise.
Overall Score8
Pros
  • Story
  • Fun twist on Pikachu
  • Expands on the Pokemon universe
Cons
  • Easy and Predictable Cases
8Great
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
7.8

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