Imagine, if you will, the realistically rendered people of L.A. Noire replaced with the most recognizable Pokemon from the classic line-up. Now, add to that exaggerated elements from Sherlock Holmes and Sam & Max, and you'd probably reach the conclusion that is this game: Detective Pikachu.
In the wonderful teaser trailer released by the developers, the eponymous hero doesn't only speak beyond the usual "Pika-Pika" but is also shown to be a coffee drinker - besides to, you know, being a gumshoe and solving crimes. The teaser ends with snippets and montages of Pikachu displaying - for the first time since the character's inception - a wide range of emotions and expressions that surprisingly come off as believable and cute! If the teaser is anything to go by, I'm already guessing Pikachu to be an even more lovable and smug version of Max - the hyper-active rabbity thing that forms one half of the classic duo, Sam & Max (legendary pair of fictional crime-solving detectives that I have no doubt played some form of inspiration behind the creation of Detective Pikachu).
The full title of the game is Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Combination, hinting at an entirely new series based on characters of Pokemon. The inclusion of a blue Pikachu - promised to be the antagonist of the game - also hints that perhaps later titles, should they be made, might include other recognizable Pokemon. I really hope Game Freak (the developer) continues with this art style because I honestly think this is the best iteration of Pikachu since he was first introduced back in 1996. I cannot wait to see Bulbasaur and Charmander being recreated in the same style.
Detective Pikachu will come out on Feb. 3 on the Nintendo 3DS for 1200 Yen. Three weeks after, the price will go up to 1500 Yen. It is still unclear if and when it will release outside of Japan.
- Hamza A.