On the sixth of this month, the new Detective Pikachu Returns was fully released on Nintendo Switch consoles, and therefore, albeit with a significant delay, I propose to consider the project from all sides. To begin with, however, I would like to thank the Achivka company for providing the game.
The Pokemon franchise has continued to flourish for many years and has more and more fans every year, and this happens due to competent work with the community (most of the time). Actually, Detective Pikachu Returns is the most clear example of how Nintendo does this.
The player will once again control Tim Goodman and his partner Pikachu. Now this duo is already known to many characters in the game universe for their achievements within the original game, but the main goal of the heroes will continue to be the search for Tim’s missing father.
Detective Pikachu Returns is a story-driven game, and therefore the entire gameplay revolves around the narrative. The game will also answer most of the questions that players had after the first part and show the real ending, without the cliffhangers from the original. True, those who watched the film “Detective Pikachu” will not find the ending very unexpected.
Major Grafouni and Sergeant Optimizouni
It’s somehow even indecent to discuss graphics when it comes to the extremely low-power Switch, but it’s also wrong to completely ignore this issue, and therefore I hasten to note that the developers clearly didn’t bother with the design and content of the locations. Everything that the player will see in this project does not stand out visually at all, and the kit comes with the most wooden character animations, low render resolution on the console in portable mode, and 30 frames per second that hurt the eye of a PC boyar. To be fair, the gameplay does not indulge in action, and therefore 30 frames are too much for the eyes, but this does not cease to be a minus.
Gameplay and story
In classic adventure game style, most of your investigations boil down to finding clues in the environment, talking to witnesses, and ultimately coming to a conclusion based on what you find. No one should have any difficulties in solving cases; the game is as friendly as possible in this regard to literally everyone. Also, as I said above, there is virtually no action in the game, and therefore you should not expect battles between Pokemon. This, by the way, is justified by the plot, because in the game city Pokemon are considered citizens, and therefore fights between them are considered offenses that are prosecuted by law.
Throughout the game, you only have to explore a small part of the city, consisting of about three or four city blocks, as well as a few other places outside the city. At the same time, searching for any secrets in these half-empty locations is not rewarded in any way – there is nothing to look for here. There are a number of characters available to the player who can be interacted with to obtain side quests or testimonies in certain cases, but this is where interaction with the world literally ends.
The basic chain of actions in solving various cases begins to get boring over time, and the game as a whole lacks the variety that could be found in other games in the franchise. In general, we have a standard children’s story in which there will be no difficult to understand moments or unexpected turns. Except that the ending may be somewhat surprising to those who are not familiar with the film “Detective Pikachu” with Ryan Reynolds. This does not make the game bad, but its target audience is predetermined and these are clearly not adult men and women. If, of course, you like these types of games, then I don’t intend to judge, to each his own.
You shouldn’t expect any depth not only from the plot, but also from the gameplay. It is simple here, rather slow and generally viscous. Actually, this is why 30 FPS in this game doesn’t hurt your eyes.
Detective Pikachu Returns may well be good entertainment for your child. The game will not require much from him and, in general, should not provide any difficulties. Except for the moment that it does not have a translation into Russian, even in the text. In fact, the project can also be used as a practical solution for teaching English in the form of a game. Yes, there are plenty of projects that are specifically created for this purpose, but not all of them have Pikachu! Overall, I can’t say that I’m really disappointed with the game, but I definitely won’t recommend it to another adult for independent playthrough. Buying for a child is a nice thing, but for yourself only if you really love the franchise.