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

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Who it caters to

Brought to you by Taisuke Nanasaki, the mind who gave you Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ starts off with the introduction of our main characters Shounosuke Nanase and Koto Amekura who are detectives working part of the cold case unit for the Tokyo Metropolitan police department. While most callers ask for advice or for miscellaneous favors, Koto receives an anonymous tip about a case 5 years ago. Now, you will use your interrogation and investigation skills to solve the crime!

If you are interested in games with many mysteries much like Hotel Dusk: Room 215 or Trace Memories, Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ may be for you. It’s more of the serious nature, unlike the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney series, but will be a fun experience for those who enjoy detective games.

What to expect

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Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ is a very simple visual novel that may remind you of games like the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney series or Trace Memories. Although it does have the initial eeriness of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Trace Memories, you will discover that Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ is indeed a game of its own.

While it isn’t nearly as long or complicated as any of the aforementioned games, it is still worth taking a look at as you are introduced to an interesting plot and possible mysteries. As the game continues, you are left with more questions than answers. Was it really a murder? How could they have done it? And what is going on with Detective Shounosuke? Yes, you will be sure to be questioning many things that go on in the game, but isn’t that half the fun?

Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ Trailer

Story 

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In Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~, you will follow Koto Amekura and Shounosuke Nanase as they try to figure out what could have possibly happened five years ago when there was an explosion in the hospital, killing one of the janitors. You receive a tip off that this closed case was a murder, but it was deemed an accident at the time. Why is that?

You will be introduced to each character who had a relationship with the murder victim. Which one of them could have possibly have done it? Well, it’s up to Detectives Koto and Shounosuke to figure it all out. Which one of the potential suspects is guilty? Who is telling the truth?

While the plot is not original, it is still very interesting to see what had occurred five years ago when the crime happened. Still, there may be more to the crime than meets the eye. Especially when it comes to the perpetrator. At the game’s end, you are left with many more questions than answers; you know this game is just a gateway drug to future games.

The story itself is very predictable. They aren’t very good at subtlety and many of the clues and foreshadowings give away a lot of the mystery if you are astute enough to catch them. It can really take away from the mystery of this mystery game.

Gameplay

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Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ is rather simplistic. At times in the game, you have to choose between 2 options and when you get it wrong, it goes back to the same screen and allows you to pick again. Koto or Shounosuke will tell you you got it wrong and you will lose a penalty in your investigation bar at the bottom left corner of your touch screen. Most of the time, it is easy to get the answer if you had been paying attention to what has occurred in the game, or even if you remember what you didn’t choose in the last section.

In one part of the investigation, my answers were either the right one or the one that continued to accuse the perpetrator of infiltrating a hacker group. Needless to say, with such a consistently wrong answer, I never felt compelled to pick it. So unlike other VNs, you absolutely cannot pick the wrong answer, although you can deplete the investigation bar and have to try again. You just can’t manage to get the wrong ending.

And since the game itself is very simple, there is no tutorial. I was never taught to just pick the right answer or even how to investigate the crime scene for that matter. It was all easy, although the crime scene seemed more random in my opinion. Unlike the Phoenix Wright games where you know what you can and cannot click on, in Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~, I merely clicked the screen at random until everything was chosen. Yet, it wasn’t sensitive enough to respond to every click so I found myself clicking everywhere multiple times to see if I could get it. It’s a bit too random for my liking.

One aspect of the game’s NPCs that interested me were the realistic responses. Characters would pause, hesitate, or even take a moment to think, which is very realistic since they have very human responses, but it can get very irritating as it takes a bit of time for their moment. Sometimes I wondered if my 3DS froze as they barely moved during these instances.

The music is very classy music that you would expect out of a casual game. It’s not too fast or too slow. It is very relaxing for a detective game. Sometimes it would become more “intense” although it isn’t nearly as intense as other games.

The graphics of the game itself are fairly impressive for a game with such a small budget. While it doesn’t utilize the 3D aspect of the 3DS, you still have crisp images and great animation.

Honey’s Gameplay Consensus

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The game overall is very short, taking up about an hour of my time at the most. It is very linear in plot and its difficulty level is very easy. While the game offers no challenge, it does have an interesting plot and a cliffhanger that makes you want to keep on playing the future games.

Honey's Pros:

  • Intriguing plot and mystery
  • Curious mystery behind Shounosuke
  • Crisp graphics and animation
  • Relaxing soundtrack
  • A good cast of characters
  • Interesting main characters

Honey's Cons:

  • Shounosuke Nanase is always being vague and answers “Well it might not be that way, but we can’t say it’s this way either”
  • Gameplay is short, lasting roughly one hour
  • Game feels a bit incomplete, but that might be because there will be future games
  • It is ridiculously easy
  • The plot is very linear
  • The game ends with a cliffhanger

Honey's Final Verdict:

Chase: Cold Case Investigations ~Distant Memories~ is a fairly interesting mystery game with a curious premise. I would like to see how the plot further develops as it does come from the mind behind Hotel Dusk: Room 215. While it may be a short game, it does offer some entertainment value and intrigue. Overall, it is up to you to decide if the game is for you!

Jenangelx3

Editor

Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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