Detective Pikachu Returns is back on the scene, attempting to unravel the peculiar occurrences taking place in Ryme City. This Nintendo Switch exclusive serves as a sequel to the original Nintendo 3DS game and has garnered mixed reviews from critics on Metacritic. With a 68 metascore based on 41 critic reviews, the game seems to have left reviewers somewhat divided.
While the collaboration between Tim Goodman and the intelligent, coffee aficionado Pikachu is undeniably charming, many critics have pointed out that Detective Pikachu Returns primarily caters to a younger audience. Steve Watts, in his review for GameSpot, acknowledges that the game is well-crafted within its intended scope but states that it lacks the necessary depth to engage a broader demographic. In essence, Detective Pikachu Returns is a mystery game that may not fully satisfy the expectations of more mature players.
One recurring critique is that Detective Pikachu Returns attempts to strike a balance between light-hearted charm and profound darkness. Leah J. Williams, in her review, highlights the game’s successful utilization of cuteness as a storytelling tool to address corruption and relevant themes in its various cases. However, some reviewers feel that the game’s execution falls short, resulting in an overtly silly and slightly over-the-top portrayal that hampers the impact of its darker moments.
The simplicity of the puzzles presented in Detective Pikachu Returns has garnered consistent criticism from reviewers. The majority agree that the puzzles are too straightforward and unsatisfyingly easy to solve, failing to provide a sufficient intellectual challenge for adult players. While young players may find the game’s simplicity more enjoyable and accessible, those seeking a more complex mystery-solving experience are likely to be disappointed.
Bryan Vore laments in his review that some of the game’s pivotal moments have been overshadowed by the 2019 Detective Pikachu movie. The disparity between the two media forms becomes apparent, with the film garnering significantly more attention and perhaps detracting from the unique experience the game has to offer. This unfortunate circumstance may hinder the full appreciation of Detective Pikachu Returns for those who have been engrossed by its cinematic counterpart.
Detective Pikachu Returns, despite its shortcomings, can still offer a pleasant introduction to the mystery genre for younger players. The game manages to weave an overall engaging narrative with intriguing individual case stories. However, one should not expect to be truly perplexed throughout the gameplay experience.
As Detective Pikachu Returns officially launches tomorrow, eager fans can find a preorder guide on GameSpot, retailing for $50. Whether this game will dazzle players of all ages or continue to cater mostly to a younger demographic remains to be seen. Enter Ryme City with an open mind and a taste for both the cute and the dark, but prepare yourself for a journey that may fall short of its full potential.