Detective Pikachu Returns Review (Switch)

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After over seven years, Detective Pikachu is back in action with a sequel that continues the story of the wise-cracking, coffee-addicted detective. The first Detective Pikachu game introduced players to a hilarious and charming version of the iconic Pikachu character, accompanied by his human friend Tim Goodman. Now, Detective Pikachu Returns picks up where the first game left off, as Tim and Pikachu embark on a new adventure to find Tim’s missing dad, Harry Goodman.

Recapping the events of the first game, Detective Pikachu Returns allows players to dive right into the action without feeling lost. The gameplay starts off with a jewel theft, which serves as a gentle introduction to the mechanics of the game. Players will engage in multiple-choice questioning, examine scenes for clues, and have entertaining conversations with a wide variety of Pokémon. These familiar gameplay elements will make fans of the franchise feel right at home.

As the story unfolds, the simple jewel-theft mystery unravels into a much larger plot involving shady activities and attempts to drive a wedge between humans and Pokémon. Alongside this central mystery, the search for Harry Goodman adds tension and intrigue to the game. Without giving too much away, the story in this sequel surpasses that of the first game.

It’s important to note that Detective Pikachu Returns is primarily aimed at younger players, so don’t expect complex detective adventures. The game is designed to be unchallenging and accessible, with puzzles and detective work that younger players can easily overcome. However, older Pokémon fans will still find enjoyment in the game, thanks to its comedic relief and entertaining situations.

As players question witnesses and search for clues, they’ll fill out Tim’s notebook with information. The notebook is where players connect the dots and choose the correct answers to advance the investigation. There’s no need to worry about making mistakes, as the game allows players to guess again until they get it right.

Detective Pikachu Returns also introduces new mechanics and mini-games as the mystery deepens. Players will get to ride various Pokémon, engage in quick-time events, use X-Ray vision, and more. These additions provide a welcome change of pace and help alleviate the repetitiveness of some aspects of the game.

Although the core gameplay does involve repetition and retracing steps, it’s important to remember that this is intentional for the game’s target audience. While it may not be as engaging for older players, it’s something that younger players will appreciate and enjoy.

One drawback of Detective Pikachu Returns is its lackluster graphics. The transition to the Nintendo Switch didn’t result in a significant improvement in visuals, with characters and environments lacking vibrant colors and details. The game’s visuals could have been enhanced to match the quality of other Pokémon games on the platform.

Despite its graphical shortcomings and repetitive gameplay, Detective Pikachu Returns still manages to deliver a unique experience with its beloved characters and an emotional story that emphasizes the bond between humans and Pokémon. With its excitement, humor, and silliness, players of all ages can find enjoyment in this adventure, even if it doesn’t push boundaries in terms of graphics or gameplay.