Cased Closed or Detective Conan as it’s known in Japan is a manga series by Gosho Aoyama. Having spawned an anime, a couple of movies and games the franchise makes its first installment on the Wii with Case Closed – One Truth Prevails: The Mirapolis Investigation utilizing motion and pointer capabilities of the Wii. Many anime to game adaptations in the past have been mediocre at best but does this one break the trend or is this one case not worth solving?
The story starts off with a flashback years prior with a scheme being hatched in a hotel room and a car accident. Fast forwarding to the present players follow Conan Edogawa and his friends, led by the beautiful Rachel Moore and her father, Detective Richard Moore to the opening day of the newly constructed resort “Mirapolis”. Upon reaching their destination through an underground tunnel they meet an upbeat maid C.J aspiring to become a detective who shows them around the Resort and it’s many guests. During their free time using the local arcade on the resort, Conan and Aida head off on a walk and upon entering one of the pools in the gym area they shocked to find a body lying on the walkway. The rest of the game has you finding clues and using deduction to solve the mysteries behind the murder.
Broken up into four acts, story progression is told through cutscenes which is just 2D character portrait conversations which have to be triggered while you are exploring. Each act has its own mysteries to solve by finding clues and piecing them together and then a small recap which requires picking certain clues from the various mysteries of that act. The story has some interesting twists and turns but is far too short as many players are able to get through the entire game in less than 6 hours. The only issue is that, the story never gives you any back story to the anime/manga so mainly fans will enjoy the story to its fullest extent but it does provide enough that those new to the franchise will still be able to understand the story.
Though the story had some interesting points, the gameplay didn’t. Simplistic at best, it becomes heavily flawed and for the most part, you’ll just be wandering the hallways and rooms of the resort finding clues told by certain characters to add to your notebook which you then use in a “Clue chain” to deduce the “mystery” behind each of the crimes. The problem is it’s never clear to the player exactly what you should be doing where instead you’ll just be wandering hallways time and time again and talking to the same characters until you finally find a “trigger” point to progress. The notebook does provide some idea about your objective but when it’s as ambiguous as “Talk to everyone for clues” and only 3 out of 10 characters have any clues it’s just tedious and annoying. The getting the clues themselves is also rather pointless, as they often refer to mystery elements you already know from the first cutscene and there’s usually nothing new to learn from them. You’re basically unraveling a mystery which you know a majority of already and it just reveals the way the developers tried to stretch out the length of the game.
Aside from the main story, there are a small number of mini games for earning points to unlock music and other items. One of them utilizes the IR pointer of the Wii Remote which works alright but the accuracy and reaction time of the pointer is mediocre as there is some lag to it. The others are based on motion controls and the direction you swing. The issue is that it never detects the motion correctly and most of the time you’ll be frustrated with doing the correct motion but having a totally different result which is only aggravated by the added lag. Aside from these minigames, there isn’t any incentive to play through the story again.
Visually, straight out, this game lacks any polish in presentation of a typical Wii title. This can be seen in its heavily polygonal and lack of detailed structures and character models, unintuitive menus and inconsistent quality so much so that it can be compared to either a gamecube title or even a N64 title. That said however, there is a consistant framerate which holds throughout the game. The buildings and floors themselves are repetitive; you’ll see the same wallpaper and same floor design as the floor below or above it varying only with certain floors which play a key role in the story. Most of the dialogue and cutscenes are portrayed with 2d character portraits on screen which works for the most part and is probably the most well delivered part especially when seeing the transition from exploring gameplay to a cutscene. The soundtrack however is highly repetitive with only 2 or 3 songs in the whole game, one of which plays repetitively every time you are exploring which is unfortunately, a large part of the game. Character voices themselves are taken from the Dubbed Anime series and doesn’t become too annoying with a well written script that doesn’t reek of clichés or cheesy dialogue. There is however times where characters seem too whiny but those who can’t stand the Dub will be pleased with an option for the original Japanese voices.
Case Closed – One Truth Prevails: The Mirapolis Investigation attempts to add another title to the growing mystery adventure genre on the Wii but ultimately falls short with its execution and design. The lack of any depth to its gameplay coupled with a cumbersome camera and short length hinder the experience one might want out of the title. The game will mostly appeal to fans of the Anime/Manga series and those new to the series or looking for a title with a richer experience should stay clear of this one.