Master Detective Archives Rain Code marks the return of the Danganronpa team on Nintendo Switch: this is how the investigative adventure fares.
In view of the launch of the new exclusive Nintendo Switch, we had compiled a short list of the reasons why Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE could have surprised the owners of the hybrid console. Among these, the signatures affixed to the project had played the protagonists: Kazutaka Kodaka And Rui Komatsuzaki over all. The new IP packaged by authors of the Danganronpa series brings to the stage a whirlwind of anxieties and mysteries, destined to become increasingly dark and disturbing as the investigations conducted by our protagonist progress.
Against the backdrop of a city where it never stops raining, Too Kyo Games (formerly development team of Death Come True And World’s End Club) And Spike Chunsoft they tell of the descent into hell of Yuma Kokoheadan apprentice detective who has squeezed a pact with a goddess of death. But is unraveling a mystery always the right choice to make? This is the question that will walk you into Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODEas of June 30, 2023.
Waking up with no memories in a train station closet is not a great start to the day. Even less if at our side we find a strange specter who claims to be a goddess of death with whom we have made a pact. Yet this is how Yuma Kokohead’s journey begins in Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE, an investigative adventure with a lot to say, but which pays tribute to a poor mastery of the timing of the narrative.
The title of Too Kyo Games, we clarify it immediately, proposes an intriguing plot and well packaged. The investigations conducted in the role of this unfortunate detective apprentice capture the attention from the beginning, in a crescendo that in the second half of the adventure overwhelms the player with increasingly disturbing issues. The clues scattered by the developers along the entire Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE they make up a disturbing mosaic at the right point, which also has the merit of addressing issues that are not taken for granted, from individual sacrifice to the conflict between ethical values and the complexity of the real world.
These elements, undoubtedly positive, unfortunately act as a counterweight constant verbosity and redundancy, which make the whole gaming experience unnecessarily verbose. The problem is not the overall duration of the adventure – which stands at around thirty hours – but rather an inadequately calibrated time management. Initiation of investigations, collection of clues, formulation of hypotheses, verification of motives and circumstances, reconstruction of the methods of carrying out the crime and subsequent further filmed summary of the same: every mystery of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE sees Yuma reflect too many times on the same elementseven when the solution to the case is now evident.
In the time spent at Kanai Ward we often had the feeling that the developers were afraid of not being able to properly explain the unfolding of events. A fear that – in our opinion – has unfortunately gotten out of hand at Too Kyo Games, transforming the gait of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE in an obstacle course between repetitions of details already clarified previously. An approach weighed down even more by a massive volume of uploads.
This defect does not completely undermine the enjoyment of the title, but it arouses a lot of frustration, especially when some twists – albeit well thought out – see their impact fade in the face of a too hasty construction of relationships between the main characters. The new IP from the creators of Danganronpa it is full of potential, and this first iteration of it could have given much more through a surgical subtraction work. Having made this point clear immediately, we can go further and take you on a guided tour of the imaginary of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE.
It can not rain forever
Neon lights, small ramen and Japanese dumpling kiosks, glittering skyscrapers that contemplate shacks flooded by the incessant rain. Kanai Ward and the various neighborhoods that make it up pay colorful homage to the da aesthetics futuristic urban dystopia more traditional, with an overall impact – in terms of atmosphere – all in all pleasant. Although the proposed technical sector does not fully exploit the potential of Nintendo Switch, the mysteries of this city isolated from the world manage to conquer the curiosity of the player.
After making herself completely independent from the United Government, Kanai Ward closed her connections with the outside world, turning into an autarchy cloaked in rain clouds. Citizens are not only deprived of the sun’s rays but also of many civil and political rights, while the shadow of a megacorporation known as Amaterasu wields his power through an elite body of “Peacekeepers“.
In this framework, the pursuit of justice is an illusion, between crimes covered up, no trials and summary executions. A situation that draws the attention ofWorld Organization of Detectives, a body that brings together the most talented investigation professionals and which also counts our own Yuma Kokohead among its ranks. Still a novice, our alter-ego is only an apprentice, whose skills are also overshadowed by a mysterious amnesia. To compensate, think about it Shinigamia goddess of death willing to lend her powers by virtue of a mysterious agreement with the protagonist.
Starting with a turbulent prologue that he immediately puts on the plate bloody murders and brutal violence, players take on the role of detectives and prepare to unearth the horrors of Kanai Ward. A commendable goal, but one that requires considerable sacrifice and equal talent. Fortunately Yuma can count on a team of first-rate allies: together with him, the rainy metropolis has in fact also welcomed a select group of Master Detectivesinvestigators equipped with specials more or less supernatural powers. Between disguises worthy of Diabolik and time rewinds, the supporting actors of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE they are extremely useful allies, even if they have not too multifaceted personalities.
Divided into chapters, the plot of the title develops through a long chain of seemingly impossible murders, of which we will have to dissect every single aspect. A mission in which Too Kyo Games guides us step by step, indicating the areas of interest related to the progress of the investigations on a practical mini-map. Even the search for clues adopts the same approach, with the useful elements clearly highlighted on the screen. In the face of a not too demanding exploration of the scenarios, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE asks players to spend their time reconstructing the crime scene and the motives of the culprit. To do this, however, it is not enough to move around the earthly world.
The labyrinth of mysteries
Thus we come to the main feature of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE, or the ability to access another dimension, ready to materialize thanks to the powers of Shinigami. In the labyrinth of mystery, the clues and attempts to conceal the truth take material form, transporting Yuma into a surreal succession of armored doors and deductive crossroads. Astral projections of the possible culprits hinder the advance of the protagonist here, challenging the young detective in logical duels.
Depending on which neighborhood in Kanai Ward the crime took place in, the mystery mazes will have different aesthetics. On a conceptual level, we could therefore compare the scenarios evoked by the goddess of death to Persona 5 palacesbut don’t expect the same standard in terms of artistic inspiration.
In the absence of a “classic” combat system, Yuma must resort towit and timing to get the better of the criminals of the metropolis. Objections raised by Peacekeepers, assassins, and corrupts manifest themselves physically in “verbal attacks.”
By dodging and countering the accusations and misdirections of the opponents, our detective will be able to go on the counterattack, unleashing the clues collected in the real world. To intersperse the battles we think a series of quick time events and mini-games (in support of the latter, we point out forms of fan-service that are not very contextualized). The search for truth in Kanai Ward therefore relies as much on ingenuity as on alertness, in a form of simple but effective gameplay. By solving murder cases and collecting clues, Yuma acquires a series of experience points to spend on enhancing his abilities, with small bonuses to use in battle and in mini-games. The apprentice of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE can also acquire additional XP through short secondary investigations, not always adequately .
The picture is completed by the soundtrack signed by Masafumi Takadawith a decidedly catchy main theme, and a localization in Italian language, which, net of some stumbling blocks, does the right service to the English dubbing. With regard to the latter, we report the existence of some for the record sync problems between audio and the lip of the characters in different cut-scenes: a problem of which Too Kyo Games is already aware of and which should be resolved soon.
Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODENintendo Switch Analyzed VersionIf we could extrapolate the sole essence of the narrative sector of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE, our judgment on the production would be much more flattering. Unfortunately, the new creation of the authors of Danganronpa is plagued by some problems related to the rhythm of the story. A technical sector that is not too dusty and gameplay elements that are not fully developed help to limit the great potential of Too Kyo Games’ work. Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE remains in any case a title capable of being appreciated by lovers of investigative adventures with disturbing atmospheres.