Review: Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories
Posted 20 Nov 2016 at 17:05 by Gregory Moffett
Gameplay Hyde and Seek!
Many of you will fondly remember Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Last Window: The Secret of Cape West from defunct Japanese company Cing for Nintendo DS. Some of the spirit of those enjoyable point-and-click adventures has been revived by director Taisuke Kanasaki, now with Arc System Works, in an interactive visual novel for Nintendo 3DS.
Chase: Cold Case Investigations takes place entirely within the office of Shounosuke Nanase and Koto Amekura of the Cold Case Unit, a place for investigating cases that have gone cold, appropriately!
A mysterious phone call opens up suspicion about an explosion at a hospital five years ago that was originally ruled an accident and it’s up to you to unravel the clues to figure out what really happened.
Hello? Who's there? Hmm how mysterious...
Initially, this hook is intriguing enough to encourage you to delve into the story, interviewing suspects and inspecting pictures of the crime scene along the way to uncover the truth. As a low-priced Nintendo eShop title, you probably won’t expect much depth to the game but while the investigation may provide a certain level of curiosity for the player, those initial fears of a shallow experience are unfortunately realised all too quickly.
At roughly 1-2 hours in length, there isn’t a substantial amount to sink your teeth into in the gameplay department as the majority of the case will be spent pressing A to cycle through the conversations between the unpleasant Mr. Nanase, his assistant and the suspects of a potential murder investigation. Regrettably, the opportunity to dig deep for information and hunt for clues is almost entirely absent as the investigators largely ascertain the evidence by themselves. As the player, your role typically comprises of selecting the appropriate facts from a multiple choice to aid Shounosuke and Koto to ask the right questions. Selecting the wrong option presents minimal punishment but there aren’t any moments where you’re left scratching your head in bemusement. It’s all a little too straightforward.
"I don't know anything, I swear!" "We'll see about that!"
You will, on a couple of occasions, encounter the opportunity to look at photographs of the scene of the crime in an attempt to point out evidence but due to the extremely limited number of points of interest, there’s nothing to challenge your detective skills in any real capacity.
The simplicity of Chase: Cold Case Investigations – Distant Memories is all the more disappointing due to the fact that the basis of an enjoyable thriller is here with a premise that could have been excellent if there was something more substantial in terms of gameplay.
"Hmm you look somewhat... familiar, but I can't think why!"
With a lead character that looks strikingly similar to Kyle Hyde from Hotel Dusk and Last Window, the music in Distant Memories also evokes those DS games and you may find yourself hankering for another title in that particular series that expands on what is present here. There is certainly room for a sequel to Chase: Cold Case Investigations (if you download the game, you’ll see why) but any future development of the story will need to be backed up with more for the player to get involved with.
N-Europe Final Verdict
Ultimately, Chase: Cold Case Investigations – Distant Memories is relatively compelling and absorbing tale for the short duration but the experience could have been much greater and more captivating with more attention placed on the actions of the player rather than merely progressing the story along.
Fragments of Cing’s earlier work
Lack of interactivity