Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Shane Jury 23.10.2016 3

Review for Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories on Nintendo 3DS

Out of the many reasons why the Nintendo DS was the sales monster it became, most would consider the vast number of unique experiences on the system as its key selling point. Now defunct developer, CiNG, would add greatly to this diversity with Another Code: Two Memories, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and its sequel, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, three acclaimed text adventures that made great use of the DS touch and dual screen features. Sadly, after a string of great games that sold poorly, CiNG filed for bankruptcy in 2010, but many of its employees went on to join the long-established Arc System Works. Now, in 2016, a game that draws inspiration from CiNG's DS works has made its way to the 3DS eShop - Chase: Cold Case Investigations. A reminder of the glory days, or is this more like the weaker release from the company, AGAIN: Eye of Providence?

Chase: Cold Case Investigations begins with two Japanese detectives, Shounosuke Nanase and Koto Amekura, who head up the Cold Case unit of the precinct, a department that investigates new leads on previously solved crimes. Via an anonymous phone call, the pair look into an accidental death a number of years ago that may have actually been deliberate. By calling witnesses, establishing the environmental dangers of the time, and looking into motives, the duo unravels exactly what happened.

As far as detective yarns go, this one is fairly standard, but retains the design motif from the Hotel Dusk/Last Window games, with a little extra flair: moving portraits that give off a livelier feel more akin to Another Code: R - A Journey into Memories on Wii, although there is a lack of voice acting in the narrative. The backing tunes are a big help in conveying a sense of wonder and secrecy during interrogations and brainstorming, as well, with the same composer form CiNG's previous titles seemingly being back, bringing along the same feel as in the past.

Screenshot for Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories on Nintendo 3DS

Although this is basically a straightforward text adventure, there are key moments of interaction needed, particularly in the searching sections; for instance, from a picture of the crime scene, plenty of tapping of the touch screen in the right places is required for progression. Even if these sections lack a compelling drive, they do help the investigative nature of the story - as does the multiple choice selections during interrogations, yet these are incredibly straightforward and difficult to make a mistake on for anyone paying attention. The game's narrative goes from A to B with very little player influence.

Chase: Cold Case Investigations is not a lengthy game by any means, with most play-throughs reaching up to an hour or slightly more, and the non-divergent narrative leading to only one ending. Luckily, the low price reflects that race to the finish, with a tantalising glimpse of things to come if the ending is anything to go by. However, it is a difficult game to recommend due to the lack of real interaction in the story.

Screenshot for Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Fans of CiNG's previous works - such as the Another Code games and the duo of Hotel Dusk / Last Window - will be impressed by the tale told, as well as the audio and visuals found in Chase: Cold Case Investigations, even if only for the short time it lasts. The low price barrier for this Nintendo 3DS eShop release is high incentive for impulse purchasing, though, yet few outside of text adventure enthusiasts will find true value for money in this one.

Developer

Arc System Works

Publisher

Arc System Works

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Shane, did you find any oddities in the translation? There were bits that seemed stilted, or just really off, like: "I'll be waiting on pins and needles for your results" Shouldn't that be "I'll be waiting with bated breath" instead?

Also, the font choice for the lower screen seems a bit...blurry? Or rough around the edges. Looks less clear than it should, I feel. And the scenes where clicking is required are far too "trial and error" with no indication of where to look. One static image, stylus at the ready...and GO CLICK HAPPY!

I'd be intrigued to know who from CiNG was involved. Clearly the artist and composer...but the writer, and guy who made all those fantastic puzzles in the past? Surely not. This looks and sounds like Another Code/Hotel Dusk/Last Window...but there's definitely something missing.

EDIT: I shouldn't be so harsh...the story does get a bit better as the game goes on. But the lack of puzzles is shocking, with it just being multiple-choice answers and no penalty (if the 'energy bar' drops to zero, it just reloads with a full bar again).

Also DAYUM this is short. Even for a £6 download game it's short. I wonder if/when a new chapter will be released, because this definitely feels episodic.

( Edited 23.10.2016 22:57 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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Hoping they make a similar game to Another Code. That series was my favourite. Never really got into Hotel Dusk for whatever reason.

If they make any game with Hyde, that's like Dusk or Another Code - I'm in. This sounds like it's going along those lines, so may just give it a go - but weary about some of the things that aren't hitting the mark by the sounds of things.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

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