Detective Pikachu – He Talks, Zaps, and Solves Mysteries!

detective pikachu
Source: Nintendo

US Release Date: March 23, 2018

Japan Release Date: February 3, 2016

Developer: Creatures

Publisher(s): Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

Director: Naoki Miyashita

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Genre: Adventure, Mystery

AButtonGames Take

Hello Pokemon lovers! It’s been almost 2 months since Detective Pikachu was released in the USA! He’s not as powerful as other Pikachu’s but he is more intelligent and claims to be a great detective! This quirky twist to the traditional Pokemon games is interesting and more importantly fun for all ages. Ryan Reynolds is the voice actor for Pikachu (Weird I know). Take a look and see what critics are saying below.

Game Description

“Detective Pikachu is an adventure game developed by Creatures Inc., published by The Pokémon Company, and distributed by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a spin-off of the Pokémon franchise, in which players work with a talking Pikachu to solve mysteries. It was released in Japan in February 2016, and is due to be released worldwide in March 2018.

Detective Pikachu is an adventure game in which players control Tim Goodman as he works together with Detective Pikachu to solve various mysteries. This is accomplished by walking around scenes, finding potential clues, and speaking with people and Pokémon to uncover new information.” — Wikipedia —

Metacritic – Rating: 71/100

IGN – By:  MIRANDA SANCHEZ – Rating: 8.2/10

Detective Pikachu ignores the precedent set by Ash and his iconic Pikachu partner; its protagonist isn’t a trainer, its Pikachu is snarky, and it invites Pokemon from all generations to its city. But by doing so, developer Creatures has crafted an intriguing adventure game that, while not all that challenging, incorporates elements unique to Pokemon that ultimately make for a great whodunit experience.

It’s been two months since Tim Goodman’s father went missing while on a case in Ryme city, and this teen takes it upon himself to find out what happened. Tim runs into Detective Pikachu and realizes he’s the only one who can hear the Pokemon speak. Their special circumstance is a big underlying mystery of Detective Pikachu, and it lends to funny moments between the two early on as they try to hide their conversations. With their bond formed, Pikachu teams up with Tim to find his father.”

Destructoid – By: Chris Carter – Rating: 6/10

“It’s a lot of fixed situational stuff, like distracting an NPC who’s scaring off a witness, that sort of thing. Some of it works logically, some doesn’t, and in those moments you’ll feel the burn of gating. Maddeningly there’s moments where you’re right next to a conspicuous item that you know is going to be important, but you can’t pick it up yet because the game doesn’t want you to. Still, like Pikachu’s in-game “bolts of brilliance,” nailing a solve is always satisfying, especially when you’re gifted with a cute cutscene reward.

A few cases are lighthearted fare like errand running, and several are Scooby-Doo esque whodunnits (complete with a satisfying “meddling kids” rant at the end, and now I just worked myself up and want a good Scooby Doo game). QTEs, the bane of some folk’s existence manage to stow away here, but as always I am a dirty defender of them if used tastefully (which they are here). Just as an aside, the giant $30 amiibo unlocks little animations — sometimes 10 second clips — that serve no purpose and are just cute that you can come across on your own.”

Gamespot – By: Kallie Plagge – Rating: 7/10

“Finding all the clues is fun, however, especially with Pikachu wisecracking as you go. Getting one solution will open up a new question or pose another problem to solve, and while they all follow the same gameplay structure, each case is deeper than it seems at first. For the most part, I was never so far ahead of the game’s pace that I was still gathering evidence long after I’d figured everything out–while nothing shocked me, there were times when I wasn’t entirely sure how a culprit had done it until I was choosing what evidence matched Pikachu’s hints. But there were also a few frustrating times when I’d figured out the solution but couldn’t find the last piece of evidence to back it up. In one chapter, for example, you have to gather a half dozen or so alibis, then use witness testimony to deduce which alibi is a lie. It involves a lot of talking, and I ended up running around for 15 minutes re-interrogating everyone until I finally found the person I’d missed (despite knowing who was responsible and why the entire time).

It’s hard to stay annoyed for long, though, because Detective Pikachu is brimming with personality. Pikachu himself is a total goofball, but the other Pokemon are also entertaining in their own right. Each one gets its own special subtitle (Garbodor is the “connoisseur of trash,” for example), and they typically have interesting things to say, even if those things aren’t useful as evidence. The world of Pokemon is cleverly incorporated into different parts of the New York-inspired city, from flying Yanma that work as news camera operators to the Trubbish that occupy the subway entrances. You don’t need to know anything about Pokemon to solve Detective Pikachu’s cases, but being familiar with Pokemon and appreciating all those details enriches the simple gameplay and story.

And Detective Pikachu is a simple game. There’s not much variety to the way you solve cases; the story follows a standard detective formula, and as long as you’re thorough, you won’t have too much trouble connecting the dots. But it’s full of heart, and its silly characters and intentionally campy tone are what make it fun.”


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About the Author

Chris Mumpton
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