A Bolt of Brilliance! Game Review of Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu hits the markets, so I had to review it.


Zackary Schejbal, Staff Reporter


The story of the game was amazing. The story follows as you, Tim Goodman, following the trail of your missing father Harry Goodman, with your partner, a talking Pikachu with amnesia, voiced by Ryan Reynolds. While in Ryme City, you meet the Baker Detective Agency, Emilia and Meiko of GNN, and many more enemies and friends. You eventually find out your father was on the trail of R, a chemical used to make Pokemon go berserk due to being used from cells of Mewtwo. Soon, you get too close to finding the truth, so people try to stop you. The story was equally distributed and is still being speculated due to it having an abrupt end and it’s to be continued after Chapter 9. We still don’t know where Harry Goodman is; all we know from Mewtwo is that he is alive but we don’t know where he is. All-in-all, it reminded me mostly of a mystery anime, where the protagonist has a main goal, but other conflicts hinder the protagonist’s progress during an entire episode, but at the end they get a clue that helps with the main goal the protagonist had. The game made sure not to mainly focus on Harry Goodman’s disappearance, but to develop that you are on the same case your father was before the car accident, and him going missing keeps it even better. The last chapter kept me on complete edge because the story says you’ve got only 30 minutes to find all the ways R is being distributed via liquid, capsule, and gas form. It takes 5 minutes to scout out the place, and I was in a mini panic thinking “Holy crap! What happens if I run out of time?!” Luckily, I got lucky and you had infinite time to complete that, but when you went into the clock tower, the location of the R doomsday device, you only have 5 minutes to do 3 matching order puzzles, which caused major game panic for me, which I enjoyed. All-in-all, amazing as all heck!


The gameplay was amazing and always a big help to me whenever I got confused, but also added some level of timed pressure in order to complete certain tasks. The main game is like a puzzle-mystery-mixed-with-action-adventure type game. The main mechanics of the game focus on you gathering clues, and fill in puzzles to put together the story in which the game wraps around. There are also parts of the game that remind me of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, where you have to mash a certain button (in this case the A button) or hit the button within a certain period of time or else you have to do that part all over again. Having trouble with finding the right evidence or where to place the right evidence in? Go on easy mode and it’ll provide you help with solving the parts you are confused on! Their focus on a balance between gameplay and cut scenes were also perfected to a T.


The sounds and graphics were spot-on amazing and beyond my expectations. Coming from a person who grew up with video games that had 64x pixels, this is a major step up from the pixel retro era to a new modern era where it looks so realistic. It also established what some Pokemon look like without certain parts. For example, the first level you see a ball hit a Burmy and its cloak falls off. You then finally get a feel for what a Burmy looks like underneath the cloak. The sounds were also awesome and hysterical, especially when Detective Pikachu yells out “A bolt of brilliance!” All in all, it really put major effort into the character development and how the game is played from the graphics and sounds.


The characters were well developed. I really enjoyed each character’s aspect of the game and I also enjoyed how some people you least expect to be a member of the R black market is actually part of it. For example, in Chapter 2, I thought it would be Willard, PCL’s main scientist, would be the one who is developing R in the basement, but it turns out it was Carlos, who I never suspected, that was the one who did it. Then when you are in GNN, I thought it was Olga who wanted to steal the real violin from Carina, but it turned out it was Max. Those are just a few examples. I also really enjoyed the cameo of Mimikyu wanting to be a star to be respected. In conclusion, I really loved the development of these characters.


Now, even though this is an amazing game I dearly enjoy, it does bring up a few downfalls. The biggest problem I had with the game is that it felt like all this work was put into it but it lacked longer gameplay and something to do after beating the game to keep you busy for a long while. The game has 9 chapters to the story then leaves off on a cliffhanger. Once you finish the chapters, you can go back and replay the chapters, but there isn’t an after story or anything new you can do. I mean Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon had a short main story, but it also established that you can do much more after beating the game, like build more in Pokemon Paradise. Detective Pikachu lacks that key element. There are also very minor things I found rather funny than annoying. Like you can stand inside Pikachu and a Mimikyu can push you out of its way while wandering the halls in GNN’s studio.

Final thoughts

My final thoughts on the game constantly dropped bombshells and kept me interested. Despite not having an after story aspect of the game, it still kicked butt and was a very amazing game to play. I would highly recommend this game if you are a Pokemon fan, let alone a big fan of Pikachu. This game will go down in the books as an amazing game in my opinion. Nearly every corner of the game developing video games was deeply considered and had a lot of heart and soul put into the development of it. I am still a bit disappointed in the cliffhanger it leaves off on, where you don’t find your father yet, but I was nearly about ready to cry when Tim thought Pikachu couldn’t talk anymore. There was also the fact the game was linked to the first Pokemon movie called Pokemon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back while on the cruise ship after capturing Keith, Mewtwo openly says that Pikachu was the same Pikachu clone made in the movie. I was awestruck and god-founded. It was still an amazing game. If I was to rate the game, I would give it a 4.75/5 star rating.