Makoto Wakaido's Case Files Trilogy Deluxe Review
From Sherlock Holmes to Benoit Blanc, the public fascination with thrilling stories of murder and mystery never seems to go out of style. Before the endless serialization of writers, mentalists and even the Devil solving crimes, the preeminent detective for an era was Lieutenant Columbo. Using nothing but his brain, Columbo solved murders one hour at a time, providing the clear inspiration for the title character, Makoto Wakaido. In the same spirit, Makoto Wakaido’s Case Files Trilogy Deluxe provides an interesting and amusing experience across a handful of very manageable sixty-minute sessions.
Each of the four cases are structured in the same way; Detective Makoto Wakaido of the prefectural police arrives at the scene, clues are investigated through a series of interviews and evidence gathering, and leads are followed to the thrilling conclusion where a twist ending awaits. The focus of the experience is on the story itself. Never is the player deliberately meant to be confused, nor are any of the clues hidden, requiring deep thought. The difficulty is quite low as the gameplay is designed to lead the player to the answers with no spikes that may gate progression.
The gameplay is very straightforward as well, designed specifically to ensure that the player never loses focus on the details of the story. So much so, that a few times in a case, Detective Wakaido will enter an inner monologue where the player will need to answer a few questions related to the case. It’s a good refresher of the details, and also a good way to ensure that careful attention is being paid to the plot.
The design, in terms of both sound and visuals, could generously be described as artistically minimalist. The pixel graphics are fairly low detail but generally get the point across, especially with the contrast of the general environment and the grizzly crime scenes. The background music that plays throughout is forgettable, but the melancholy piano at least sets the mood. The most glaring omission is the lack of voice acting, especially for such a text-heavy experience.
The cases of Makoto Wakaido may not reach the high standards set by the legendary Columbo TV series, but folks looking for an interesting story with a fun twist should not be disappointed. As a fan of Ace Attorney and Danganronpa, my itch for mystery gets scratched but in a way that is different from either of those series. Makoto Wakaido’s Case Files Trilogy Deluxe Review is another light but fun Switch experience.
- Well written stories
- Manageable 60-minute cases
- Interesting characters
- No voice acting
- Some translation snafus