Ever since I was a kid, I had followed the story of the shrunken highschool detective told in the anime-slash-manga “Detective Conan”. It was an interesting story; the cases more so. Which is why I always felt disappointed that the games that featured Conan Edogawa (or Shinichi Kudo) never got localized (except for one, a game for the Nintendo Wii). I was even more frustrated when DCTP stopped translating the manga.
Which was why I was happy to learn of a translation effort for Detective Conan And Kindaichi Case Files: Chance Encounter Between 2 Great Detectives (*whew* that’s a long title, lol). I waited patiently for the translation to be completed and was ecstatic when that day finally came.
This game follows Conan Edogawa and Kindaichi Hajime as they both decide to investigate the famed tourist destination of Twilight Island due to two separate reasons. Conan for the curiosity brought by the strange phenomena they had heard about, and Kindaichi at the behest of a friend. Once at Twilight Island, however, Kindaichi joins in with the rest of the missing folks as he is “spirited away” to an island that “looks like Twilight Island but is a different Twilight Island” as the game frequently points out at the beginning of the story. Soon, the strange disappearances are only the beginning as murders occurred that resembled cased from the past. It is now up to Conan and Kindaichi–their effort combined–to figure out who is behind these murders and put a stop to the curse brought by the “tragedy 25 years ago”.
That…basically sums up the game’s premise without spoiling anything (for those who haven’t followed my “Let’s Play” videos of this game).
With that premise, I suppose you can see why I found myself interested in playing this game. Not only does it feature two of the most iconic detectives in the anime world, but it was one I felt I would surely enjoy uncovering the mysteries of.
The gameplay follows the similar style of the Ace Attorney game series in a visual novel-esque, 2D, point-and-click adventure type of game. Similarly, it has the “investigation” part and the “trial” though portrayed differently. Where as in the Ace Attorney games you have quite a lot of witnesses when you mow down the suspect on court, this game has you fighting it out with the culprits in a one-on-one fashion…mostly without anyone else being aware of the face-off (which begs the question of the safety of such a risk especially when our heroes are actually face to face with the killers themselves).
Like the Ace Attorney games, this game has interesting cases as well…some of which can happen in real life. Trying to uncover who the culprit is using the clues of scattered within the premises of the crime scene (and sometimes even throughout the island itself) and uncovering the mystery behind the island and the tragedy 25 years ago is the strong point of the game and is what gives the feel of you being in the world of these “two great detectives”.
Unlike the Ace Attorney games, however, Detective Conan And Kindaichi Case Files: Chance Encounter of the 2 Great Detectives offer puzzles of other kinds that utilizes the touch screen feature of the game. There are sliding puzzles required for you to solve in order to open doors, for instance. There are also instances where you have to solve riddles and write your answers using the touch screen. The latter is harder of the two as this requires you to have some knowledge of the japanese language (even if this has been fan translated into english).
There are also other minigames that features Conan’s soccer ball and his skateboard, though the latter is the only one commonly played in some areas of the game. You can access these minigames upon unlocking them on the Title Menu, however.
There are no voice overs in the game as well. Which is understandable but disappointing considering this is just an NDS game. The background music, however, somewhat makes up for it as it follows the same style as those used in the anime for Detective Conan and Kindaichi Case Files.
As good as the game is–for anyone who likes this sort of game–there is one thing that annoys the heck out of me: the game’s script.
As interesting as the story might be, the game’s script is rather redundant to the point that you may feel simply skipping the conversations. It also breaks the illusion that you are controlling either Conan or Kindaichi as there are points in the game where it seems that they are breaking the 4th wall and are conversing with you. Granted, the jury is still up for who is to blame for this: the actual script writers or the fan translating team of DCTP. It is one of the reason that–if asked–I wouldn’t recommend this game unless you are a fan of the series as you are better off with the Ace Attorney games (as harsh as that may be).
So, how would I rate the game?
|Graphics||3/5 (Considering that this is an NDS game. It does follow the art style of the anime/manga)|
|Sound/Music||4/5 (Makes you feel nostalgic for the series)|
|Gameplay||4/5 (Taking a point off because it is far too similar to the Ace Attorney games that it somehow makes you feel like its a ripoff)|
|Story||3.5/5 (Taking points off for the redundancy of the script and the way it tends to break the illusion that you are controlling either Conan or Kindaichi)|
|Overall||3.6 (An interesting game, albeit similar to the Ace Attorney games. Has an interesting story but a redundant script. Also has mini-games that make use of Conan’s tools.|
So, there you have it.
If you are a fan of either Detective Conan or Kindaichi Case Files. Otherwise, if you are merely curious with the story, then rent this game. I would suggest you play the Ace Attorney games instead. If you are looking for a Detective Conan game, the Wii one is better.
Well, that’s all for now. Have you played this game before? Tell me what you guys thought of it, down at the comment section. If you’re curious about what the game looks like, you can watch my LP/Walkthrough of the game here.
Until the next update, dream on; fly on!