Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~: Review

Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ is a strange game. It’s more of a visual novella than a full blown game as it’s short, sweet, and doesn’t really have much by way of interaction. Even when you are given the choice to do something, the ramifications for your choices are more or less insignificant. So almost everyone will struggle to even come close to getting the “game over” screen, save for one point in the story. Despite all this it managed to leave a big impression on us – we want more.

You play the roles of two detectives, Shounosuke Nanase, a jaded, jackass of a detective, and his assistant Koto Amekura. After being tipped off that an accident from five years ago was actually a murder, they decide to re-evaluate the case. Most of the game is just them talking to each other but you’ll end up answering questions as Koto to prove you know what you’re talking about, and asking them as Shounosuke when you have to grill witnesses and suspects.

There are a few scant bits of investigation that allow you to tap on parts of the crime scene in pictures from both before and after the explosion, but it’s nothing much more than inspecting things until you’ve looked at it all. It’s a real shame that it doesn’t put more emphasis on you figuring things out rather than being fed the information.

Everything about the game makes it feel like the first chapter of something bigger. The story ends with an opening for a sequel, the amount of leeway you’re given for all of the sections you can fail is akin to a tutorial, and there’s really no need for a title this cumbersome if there aren’t differently named sequels. If there isn’t a more fleshed out sequel we’ll not only be very surprised but also incredibly disappointed.

The most striking thing is probably the art. It’s similar to Hotel Dusk, as it’s practically the same studio, but rather than the pencilled, stylised characters, you’ve got characters that have sort of tweening animation. We’re not entirely sold on it but it is still quite expressive as it’s used for noticeable movements, like changes of expression, which works well with the visual novel style.

We really enjoyed what was there and the time did fly past extremely quickly. The biggest shame about it is that there’s no more after completing it. It’s short, sweet and hopefully a good demonstration of what’s to come. Just don’t go in there expecting Hotel Dusk or Phoenix Wright or you might end up feeling very short changed.

critical score 7

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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