Review | Tokyo Dark -Remembrance-
Point and click games have seen their heyday. The verdict is still out if detective games have seen theirs, but a very good one did just come out recently. Tokyo Dark -Remembrance- blends the two together, resulting in a game that feels a little bit like the LucasArts or Telltale adventure games. Visually though, it plays like a visual novel with a massive amount of text compared to the standard gameplay elements. Cherrymochi and Mebius’ Tokyo Dark -Remembrance- has you controlling a female Japanese detective as she searches for answers in a case that affects her personal life tremendously. Since the game leans heavily on story, I won’t be providing any specific details that would lead to spoilers.
From the beginning of the game, you’re making choices that will modify your playthrough and the overall outcome. Do you interrogate people like a good cop or a bad cop? Should you side with the small business owner or the yakuza? Decide to pull the trigger or do nothing? Not only do these choices impact the end result, but they can affect the entirety of the playthrough. The game utilizes the “S.P.I.N.” system, which tracks your sanity, professionalism, investigation, and neurosis levels, respectively. Similar to a morality system that several RPG’s use, S.P.I.N. alters your character’s perception of the world and can lead to an early finish, if not properly maintained. Still on the fence in deciding whether the game is up your alley or not? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Tokyo Dark -Remembrance– tells a very interesting and layered story. With some stunning twists and turns, it’s hard to put the game down once you’ve started. It has a great balance of horror and mystery, with some comedy sprinkled in. Luckily, it never leans too hard in one direction. The choices you make, and how you make them, are well executed. There’s a variety of music that adds to the haunting and occasionally whimsical nature of the game. The music consists of short loops that fit very well in the different locations and scenarios. There’s also lots of interesting tidbits of Japanese history and culture waiting to be discovered.
When text fills up more than one line on the text box, which happens very frequently, it overflows and then drops down to the line below. It’s awkward when you’re reading along with the text and the word is being filled letter by letter, before abruptly going down to the next line. The easy way to fix this is by clicking a button and having the text fill up completely. Another visual gripe is the running animation. The animation itself looks fine, but the screen shakes during the process, which is pretty unpleasant. Lastly, while it’s not a con, per se, the game has some pretty heavy and disturbing subject matter. This may make it too much for some players.
Tokyo Dark -Remembrance- tells a compelling, albeit disturbing story and gives players a pretty strong handle on how it will all unfold. There are a couple of visual issues, but they’re not so unforgiving to make you avoid the game. If strong storytelling interests you, and you like making choices that will dramatically shape the outcome of a game, then this one is definitely worth your time.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10