Cross stitch pattern of Pikachu from Detective Pikachu. The PDF and PNG files for this pattern are just for my Patrons on Patreon. Read my full review of the game below. It was really unsatisfying and my only guess is that they’re trying to make it a prequel for the movie, but it doesn’t stand on it’s own.
Grid Size: 99W x 86H
Design Area: 6.93″ x 6.00″ (97 x 84 stitches)
I finished the Detective Pikachu game and I suppose the best word to describe it is disappointing. I saw the title and thought I would be in for Phoenix Wright with Pokemon or maybe something more like Professor Layton with an emphasis on puzzle solving. I got neither. Look, I understand when I’m not in the target demographic for something, I should give some leway, but Detective Pikachu doesn’t seem to have a demographic. The problem is that the gameplay is so simple that only very young children would find it engaging, yet not everything is voice acted so there’s a lot of reading involved especially if you want to get the whole story. This leads me to believe that the game was made for only seven-year-olds in mind, which is a tiny target. I know that casual gamers may not be looking for anything harder than a few quick time events, but usually those people also want a good story and that’s where Detective Pikachu falters the most.
Early on, hints are dropped that Pikachu is actually the protagonist Tim’s missing father. This is not a new concept. The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series is all about a human being turned into a pokemon, so it’s easy to deduce that Pikachu could be human and just not remember it. However, absolutely nothing comes of this. Even at the end of the game, Tim doesn’t find his father and Pikachu just stays the same as he’s always been. There’s no resolution.
There’s more dropped threads though. All throughout the game, Tim learns about scientists creating a mysterious chemical named R. It’s red, dangerous, and made out of Mewtwo’s cells. Anyone with a passing knowledge of Pokemon would think that this has Team Rocket’s fingerprints all over it, but no. The mastermind behind it all wasn’t Giovanni, but some random guy who works at a TV station. Yeah, you take him down, but he had absolutely no presence in the earlier parts of the story. When Pikachu told me that he suspected someone at the TV station was the culprit, I thought that the game would pull a 180 on me and the girl who we had been helping since the beginning was going to show her true colors, or maybe the prissy lady with the Purugly would make a comeback, or the tall detective with a Manectric, or literally anyone who had ever had an impact on the story, but no, they chose the blandest background character to be the big bad.
Actually, for a game lauded for its colorful cast, there are a lot of boring characters. Tim gets almost no backstory other than being a college student who inexplicably looks like a twelve year old. He doesn’t grow or change throughout the story. Yes, blank slate protagonists are pretty common, but I can only justify this level of blandness for a custom character, which Tim isn’t. Most of the recurring characters are given no development. Emilia, Meiko, Detective Baker, and Mr. Clifford are all exactly the same at the end of the game as at the beginning. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue of any of them had any personality whatsoever, but they might as well be cardboard cut outs. Honestly, the humans drag down the narrative so much that the game would have been significantly better if it only had pokemon in it.
To be fair, there are some characters with smaller roles that have interesting personalities. I especially liked watching Detective McMaster try to admit he was wrong while still keeping up his smug attitude. He was pretty cool and it would have been great to see more of him. I also love Ludicolo and Pablo. They gave the story an integral outsider’s perspective and kept up the lighthearted tone of the game. All the pokemon at Fine Park were given distinct personalities and preferences, each with a different relationship to the Charizard that had been taken away. There was a real sense of a lasting community that didn’t spread to the human characters.
The best part of the game is discovering Pika Prompts, where Pikachu acts out short scenes. They aren’t interactive, but they are super cute and give you incentive to replay episodes to unlock the ones you missed. However, the most fun I had was intentionally missing quick time events and giving wrong answers just to see what would happen. You can’t lose this game and failure has no consequence so it was fun to watch Tim fall flat on his face or get berated by Pikachu for not thinking straight.
But, then the little things get to me too. Like, there’s a bit where everyone is shocked that a Feebas evolved into a Milotic, like that never happens. And there’s another part where a Cofagrigus mask gets stolen and no one thinks that maybe, just maybe, a Cofagrigus had taken it.
Detective Pikachu is definitely not worth it at full price, but you might want to try it if you can get it on sale. Just don’t expect the story to go anywhere at all.