You better grab a cup of coffee, as this Pokémon adventure is an odd one. Pokémon around Ryme City have started to have violent outbursts which has residents worried. Not only that, but your detective father, Harry Goodman, has gone missing, Team up with Detective Pikachu on Nintendo 3DS to solve the mysteries of Ryme City as well as to find your father.

Is Detective Pikachu the very best, like no one ever was, or was it not very effective? Find out in our review after the break!

Detective Pikachu
Nintendo 3DS Family Systems
Developed by Creatures Inc.
Published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company
Released: 23rd March 2018
Review copy provided by Nintendo
Screenshots curtesy of Nintendo

Pokémon and humans generally get on very well in Ryme City. In fact, a lot of them work together in their day to day jobs. Whether it be a Loudred assisting with amusement park announcements, or Trevenant tending to the gardening, Pokémon and the residents of Ryme City live in harmony. At least… they used to.

Recent events however have lead to violent outbursts from different Pokémon. Aipom stealing jewellery, Clawdaunt terrorising lakes, and Charizard setting a carnival ablaze, Ryme City has not been short of chaotic events To make matters worse, one of Ryme city’s renowned detectives, who also happens to be your father, Harry Goodman, has disappeared while investigating the Pokémon attacks. It is up to you, Tim Goodman, to try and solve these devious mysteries, all with the help from your father’s Pikachu, who only you can understand. Hopefully that detective cap he always wear is more than just a fashion statement.

Detective Pikachu has you solving several different cases over you adventure, which lasts around 10 to 15 hours. To do so, you have to explore around Ryme city to gather clues and testimonies. Tim can gather testimonies from human NPCs, whereas Pikachu can gather testimonies from other Pokémon. It would definitely be a good idea to speak to as many people and Pokémon as you can to fill out any gaps in your investigation.It may sound pretty boring, but when you get into interviewing potential witnesses, it can get pretty interesting. Think of the investigation phase of Phoenix Wright, it’s fairly similar to that.

Any interesting or useful clues you discover will be recorded in your case list, which can be conveniently access from the touch screen. Once you have collected enough intel, Pikachu will prompt you to take a look at your case notes, once again accessed from the touch screen.

Your case notes is where you will be doing most of your case solving, all your current objectives are listed there. Personally I feel that Case Notes and Case List should switch names, but that’s just me. When you’ve gained enough info and try to solve a case, Pikachu will ask you questions about the case, and you will have to use the evidence and testimonials you have gathered to make your deduction. If you make an incorrect deduction, you will not be penalised, and you are able to guess again. This sort of lowers the difficulty a bit, but it’s perfect for more casual players who just want to get on with the story.

Though a lot of the time, you may already have an idea to the solution of a case early on, the Case Notes system is still pretty cool as it gives you the chance to map out how you have reached your deduction, something I wish Layton’s Mystery Journey could have adopted. One issue that you may encounter however, is the fact that the main investigation process can become repetitive at times, especially when a lot of NPCs essentially give similar testimonies to one another. If you’re lucky though, you may be able to get all the vital testimonies and clues early on to avoid speaking to those who aren’t that helpful.

Overall, there are nine main cases which you will undertake, each consist of smaller cases. During your investigations, you will visit a range of different areas, all of which helps to keep the game relatively interesting. You’ll try to escape a cave full of Litwick, relax on a tropical island with Feebass, and even explore an abandoned amusement park where the Litten roam free. There are plenty more locations to visit throughout your investigations, it’s just a shame that the Nintendo 3DS’ 3D features aren’t utilised, with the entire game only playable in 2D. It would’ve been nice to explore these environments in 3D.

Detective Pikachu really shines when it comes down to the characters, specifically Pikachu and other Pokémon. It seems that there is a lot of charm that comes from the various NPCs, Pokémon, and Pikachu. The game features an often hilarious relationship between Tim and Pikachu throughout game.

Remember when I said that Tim is the only one who can understand Pikachu? Well, certain cutscenes will have Tim talking to Pikachu, often forgetting this fact, which gains you odd stares and comments from other characters who seem to think you are just talking to yourself. There are plenty other hilarious interactions in cutscenes too, with Pikachu often stealing the scene. Speaking of Pikachu, there are plenty of times when Pikachu will give you little prompts. Though not always useful, they are all still very charming. In one scene, for example, Pikachu will be trying to perform a Quick Attack, though his execution is rather sluggish. Best of all, all the prompts you view in-game, will be unlocked to view at your pleasure from the main menu! You can also unlock random cutscenes more quickly by tapping the massive Detective Pikachu Amiibo.

Though the game does fall into the trap of becoming repetitive at times, with not a lot to do post game, Detective Pikachu is still a pretty decent spin-off which lets you see another perspective in the Pokémon world for both fans and newcomers. Detective Pikachu also makes it perfect for casual players with Easy Mode providing more prompts to keep players on the right track. There are plenty of charming characters, with Pikachu practically stealing the game (good thing it’s called Detective Pikachu and not Detective Tim). The investigation mechanics do have room for improvement, but are still very fun to use, and the game sets itself up perfectly future entries into the Detective Pikachu franchise.

If you are interested in a much deeper game with a lot of difficulty, then maybe it’s best to skip this one, but if you are a Pokémon fan or are looking for a good, charming game to play detective in, then I can fully recommend Detective Pikachu!

Final Rating – 3 out of 5

Detective Pikachu is out now exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS Family Systems.

Leon Fletcher

I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!