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‘Famicom Detective Club’ Preview: A Surprising Remaster But A Welcome One

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‘Famicom Detective Club’ Preview: A Surprising Remaster But A Welcome One

We're living in the age of ports, remasters and remakes. Sure, the process of reincarnating games has been around for a while now, but when you look at recent events like Nier Replicant knocking FIFA 21 off the top spot in the UK, or The Last of Us reportedly having a remake in the works, it's clear that most people like seeing older games getting a new lease of life.

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Nintendo clearly agree with this as they've decided to dig up two of their late '80s hits, Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind, and bring them to Nintendo Switch in a handy bundle, aptly titled Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind. Check out the trailer below to get a better idea of the two titles.

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Coming to Europe for the first time, these remake titles see you take on the role of a young detective. For this preview, we'll be focusing on The Missing Heir as that's the first game in the duology. It follows a murder mystery involving a wealthy Japanese family mired in dark rumours and a spooky legend. Your job is to investigate the area, search for clues and question suspects in your quest to uncover what really happened in this haunting tale.

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Gameplay is made up of point-and-click adventure elements, as you talk to on-screen characters and use your cursor to highlight objects, areas or people you wish to look at. It's a text-heavy game, with the English words accompanied by Japanese voice acting, and the latter component really helps immerse you in the world of Famicom Detective Club. However, the translation seems off at times. For instance, saving the game manually requires you to choose the 'Quit Investigation' option, which seems off but it's not a huge issue.

Famicom Detective Club / Credit: Nintendo
Famicom Detective Club / Credit: Nintendo

The modernisation of Famicom Detective Club is, generally, wonderful. The anime art style is beautiful with minimal animations adding pleasant depth to the experience. Characters rest effortlessly against pretty backdrops, simultaneously standing out and naturally fitting into their surroundings. This is particularly pleasing when looking for clues in a scene, with character placement sometimes concealing secrets.

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The investigation gameplay is comprehensive if a little frustrating at times. Your character keeps a detailed notebook, with information added as you learn more about the case, mainly through conversations with suspects and other people of interest. As new info comes to life, more avenues for questioning become available, but it's not always clear how to uncover the next revelation. There have been moments where I've found myself asking about every topic repeatedly until the next, seemingly disconnected opening presents itself, in a tedious process of trial and error. So far, this hasn't prevented me from wanting to play on, but it does feel like a grind when this happens.

Famicom Detective Club / Credit: Nintendo
Famicom Detective Club / Credit: Nintendo

After a couple chapters, it's clear there's a lot more of Famicom Detective Club to see. I'm excited to uncover more of the mysteries within these games, and playing in handheld on Switch is the perfect way to do that. For now, it looks like this bundle is well worth its re-release.

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Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind was played on Nintendo Switch with code provided by Nintendo. The game releases for Nintendo Switch May 14 2021.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Nintendo Switch

James Daly
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