Just a brief review today for a very brief game. Chase: Cold Case Investigations -Distant Memories is the latest Nintendo 3DS adventure game from Taisuke Kanasaki and former members from his staff at shuttered studio Cing. No longer backed by Nintendo, Kanasaki was given another chance to create his style of text adventures with the aid of Arc System Works, and Chase is the result of this resurrection.
And for what it's worth, it's a very solid budget title. Chase: Cold Case Investigations -Distant Memories isn't a very long game. I beat it over an hour and a half train ride, but for $6, you could do a lot worse. The gumshoe adventure has all the content of a similarly priced Phoenix Wright DLC pack and just as much heart as well.
Well, maybe not quite as much content. Kanasaki's vision features less logic puzzles than Capcom's popular series, but it focuses more exclusively on storytelling. Only in a few moments of the game task players with actual investigations. Getting testimony and searching a single photo for clues are the only true interactions with the game, and even then, they are hard to fail.
The rest is just reading, lots and lots of reading. Normally, these kind of games turn me off, but at an hour and a half long, Chase: Cold Case Investigations -Distant Memories never overstays its welcome. It's tightly paced, and through using just a few basic character animations and great pulp music tunes, the game establishes an excellent hardened detective style and two really interesting main characters.
Up and coming detective Koto Akemura is partnered with a lazy, eccentric cop by the name of Shonosuke Nanase. They run the cold case division of the police office, meaning they investigate crimes that happened years in the past. Naturally, they don't get much work, which frustrates the ambitious Akemura, but when she gets a phone call about an explosion five years before, events start to unravel.
Over the brief story, Akemura and Nanase slowly set up their personalities and drop hints of their pasts. You get to know them, know the villain, know the fictional Japan they live in, and just when it starts to get really interesting, the game ends!
Boom! Just like that. No, I need more!
Chase: Cold Case Investigations -Distant Memories is clearly meant to be a setup of something larger, and Kanasaki and his team handle this new franchise well enough to demand a few more entries. Arc System Works just needs to be able to justify making another one, and the only way that will happen is if you buy it!
Your $6 goes a long way here, especially for Phoenix Wright fans and fans of Cing's earlier Nintendo DS titles like Hotel Dusk: Room 215. Chase: Cold Case Investigations -Distant Memories has great style, two interesting lead characters, both a humorous and a dark side, and all the reason in the world to be expanded into an excellent, episodic franchise.
Just $6, that's all it takes to tell Arc System Works and localizer Aksys Games that we want more.
Disclaimer: We were provided a review copy of Chase: Cold Case Investigations -Distant Memories for the Nintendo 3DS, and we played through its story before writing this review.