Video Gamer Play // Detective Pikachu review – a stranger kind of Pok...
Detective Pikachu review – a stranger kind of Pokémon story
Pokémon isn’t usually about stories. Well, it is – but it’s usually the stories you create which take centre stage. The main Pokémon games hold just the loosest framework of a hero journey for you to play out, and fill in the blanks. They’re about your own chosen team of monsters, your successes and losses in battles, your path of discoveries. To find a Pokémon game with its own, fixed narrative – and a surprisingly enjoyable one, at that – is a welcome surprise.
I’ve written already about how Detective Pikachu reminds me of Pokémon’s anime series – and it certainly draws from the TV show in how it represents the Pokémon world. The places and people within it are what bring Detective Pikachu to life – they are the kinds of settings and characters which fans have spent hundreds of hours getting a glimpse of on Game Boy or 3DS screens, or imagining in their heads, now slotted into what is essentially an interactive movie with light puzzle elements.
The star, of course, is Detective Pikachu himself – both your sarcastic sidekick and the subject of the game’s central mystery, whose mix of gruff backchat and slapstick antics somehow shrug off the scepticism of giving the typically-mute Pikachu a voice. There are Reasons why Detective Pikachu can speak and why only main character Tim Goodman can understand him, but the game will keep you guessing for a good while as to what they might be. In its opening scenes, though, you will find out that Detective Pikachu was the crime-solving partner of Tim’s father – a detective who himself vanished while investigating the case Tim is now keen to pick up.
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