So, as many people may know, I am been anticipating this game since it was announced in Japan over 2 years ago. I watched playthroughs of the first part and had been praying it’d come over, or even the next part in Japanese for me to watch, just something because I was absolutely captivated by the entire concept.
I absolutely adore side-Pokemon games. I really love the World of Pokemon in general. Pokemon Snap is one of my all-time favorite games and for Pokemon Colosseum is another one up there and features my all-time favorite town–Phenac City.
The main place in this game is Ryme City which I genuinely want to see more of. I really loved the small bit of it we got to explore and even some of the surrounding areas. And one of the neat things was getting to just… talk to people and Pokemon and hear their thoughts and it was a lot of fun. It’s a lot different than how Mystery Dungeon works where it almost feels like its own AU/timeline with how their Pokemon World works.
And honestly, after waiting over two years, the game really didn’t disappoint. I loved it a lot and I found every case tons of fun. All the characters were interesting and I never found myself bored. In fact, I would say the only thing that even made me feel a little disappointed was the very end, but we’ll get to that!
For myself, I’m pretty good at detective games. I can usually figure things out pretty quickly (If you’re familiar with my Lady Layton playthrough, I had mentioned how I usually managed to figure out the culprit by the first clue or some idea of what was going to happen), but not always how that conclusion happens. While most of the time I figured it out, the way Detective Pikachu has you put the clues together to get to the conclusion can be a bit awkward at times. I had a lot of trouble during Case 4 with this because even though I knew Crawdaunt was clearly brought to the island somehow, I didn’t understand how they wanted me to show it. While part of it was missing the box (which… in my defense, I didn’t realize I could walk that far out on the water towards the front), even after finding it, I didn’t fully realize they wanted me to show the tree and the box because of the “matching claw marks” because while they mentioned scratches and claw marks, we didn’t actually get to SEE the inside of the box ones…
I had mixed feelings on the QTEs as well. That said, I actually managed to do fine with most of them, but they stressed me out! Thankfully, there weren’t tons and most aren’t too bad. I think the only ones I really got close to screwing up were in Chapter 7’s.
I also wish the Pika Prompts were actually forced cutscenes rather than activated by the player. I generally tried to explore every single area as much as I could–tapping everything I could, trying to talk to Pikachu, making sure I got all the clues, etc. And yet I still missed some things–usually because I didn’t realize doing a certain thing would force me ahead or because Pikachu forced me ahead. Speaking of Pikachu, just one “Hey, listen!” would’ve been enough–I know to talk to him once I finish reading over all the case files and him still blinking was more than enough without him constantly calling out until I checked with him.
Going back to the Pika Prompts, they’re super cute and really add more to the story and I would’ve loved if they were forced because it’s so easy to miss them. Besides some only being in certain locations, you can actually get certain random prompts as well that are always available or a few general ones. Sometimes I stopped checking because nothing was popping up only to realize, yes, I still missed one because I wasn’t lucky enough to get it to show up. While you can unlock them all with the Detective Pikachu amiibo, it’s not really the same to watch them all after? Without the context, it lacks some of the fun I guess.
I also wish it was possible to re-watch cutscenes or even go back to old cases without saving over your own file or in a new file, but oh well.
Regardless, I really loved the a lot even with those few issues. I’m not sure if I could pick my favorite case or character–all the cases were a lot of fun and I found myself really enjoying every character. I’ll say the Chapter that hit me hardest would probably be Chapter 5 though with Fine Park. It made me cry and just completely broke my heart.
I’m so happy Charizard got to come back in the end. I really hope Fine Park can be refurbished or something now that the truth is out about what happened. I’m just sad we didn’t see a picture of Charizard with everyone–only Buneary.
As mentioned, the only thing I found kind of disappointing was the end. While I got really hyped up at the beginning seeing the parade (I wish we could’ve seen the other two… It would’ve been nice to end the final chapter with the full parade), the case itself was actually really short. I wouldn’t say it was the shortest, but it was the shortest of some of the bigger cases and especially after how hyped up Chapter 8 was with the Cruise Ship and everything (I wish we could have kept the Detective Cape! I also want to see some of the recipes…), it felt almost like a let-down? There really wasn’t much of a Climax and the final confrontation scene felt small as well (though, the music was great–the game definitely had great music).
I also had kind of calling that it’d been someone from GNN from the start so my detective princess skills continue. Anyway, I don’t know, I guess I just wanted more? I don’t know how they could have extended it though. Oh wait, yes I do, actually finding Tim’s dad. While it’s heavily hinted at multiple times that he’s currently fused (or maybe even switched with) Pikachu right now, I just want to know more on all of that? I also just… don’t really care for that kind of twist. I kind of like the idea of an actual talking Pikachu that someone can talk to (and from Episode 0, which I totally would have liked to actually play, it sounds like Harry could hear the Pikachu too so maybe even once it no longer has some of Harry as part of him, he’ll still be a talking Pikachu to the Goodman family) and is being detective and stuff so I hope that’s not completely gone even if Harry is back.
I wish we got to know fully what Pikachu and Mewtwo were talking about too. I’m guessing we’ll hear more about that and how it involves Harry in the next game and/or the movie. All I know is I hope the next part of Detective Pikachu comes out much sooner and they continue with this kind of series. I would absolutely love if they did more detective-style Pokemon games–both in and outside Ryme City. Let me experience all kinds of other careers in the Pokemon world. It’s never not been interesting and there’s just so much more to explore in the Pokemon World.
While I find myself losing interest in “main” Pokemon games for a lot of reasons, Detective Pikachu reminded me of how much I really do love Pokemon still and the world of it.
But yes, if you like mysteries and Pokemon, I’d really recommend it. It is a bit on the simple side, but it genuinely has a lot of charm. If you’d rather watch the series instead, I have an entire playthrough up over on my Youtube channel <3