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Case Closed: One Truth Prevails – The Mirapolis Investigation

11:5212/05/2009Posted by D+PAD Staff2 Comments

It’s often hit and miss as to whether a game based on an anime will make it to these shores (or indeed, get an English translation at all), so it comes as something of a surprise to see Case Closed: The Mirapolis Investigation make an appearance some four years after the cancellation of its English dub.

conan4Based upon the manga of the same name, Case Closed deals with Jimmy Kudo, a high school student transformed into his 7 year old self, who adopts the moniker Conan Edogawa in order to solve a variety of mysteries. If you’ve never heard of the books or the show, The Mirapolis Investigation probably isn’t the best place to start. It very much assumes you’re familiar with the lore, and anyone not in the know will find themselves wondering why a 7 year old has a postpubescent-sounding inner monologue and just who the likes of Harley, Rachel and Anita are. The game is very much fan service for Case Closed aficionados, so if this is your first dabble in the world of Detective Conan then The Mirapolis Investigation isn’t for you right from the off. For fans of the series however, the game provides a gripping and enjoyable mystery, the solution to which isn’t staring you in the face. It’s well-written, the dialogue is snappy and the characterisation is spot on. The voice acting only serves to compliment this, with a surprising yet welcome inclusion of both English and Japanese audio tracks. The 3D recreations of the Case Closed cast are relatively accurate, and the 2D drawings that appear during dialogue are crisp, colourful and fresh.

It’s a shame to say, then, that it’s pretty much downhill from there.

conan2This title isn’t so much a bad game as a broken one. The concept is more than sound; a 3D Phoenix Wright-style game for the younger player, but the execution falls apart. The Mirapolis is a rather large, bland-looking area comprised of four buildings. During the course of your investigation, the aim is to walk around this area, pressing A on characters and gathering info. There’s not much more to it. There’s no dialogue choices, no puzzles to solve, and by the time you’re expected to find objects hidden in the environment, eight hours have passed and you have no indication that this is expected of you.

Navigating the hotel is an unpleasant struggle. If you don’t suffer from motion sickness in games, you will after Case Closed. 90% of the time the camera sticks to Conan’s face, meaning you’re looking behind you wherever you try to move. You can centre the camera by tapping the B button, but you can’t control it (wouldn’t it have made sense to have movement mapped to the analogue stick and camera control mapped to the dpad?). In the end we were forced to navigate the Mirapolis using the minimap and the quick travel option. In practice this means that the majority of the hotel goes unseen. Most of the Mirapolis’s rooms are tiny and cramped, giving the camera even more trouble. Bizarrely, you’re given Conan’s motorised skateboard to travel around on, which just makes navigation even more frustrating.

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  • Taccos said:

    I agree with what you said to a certain degree. The game was a bit broken and repetitive. However I learned to master the camera in the first ten minutes, and the reason why you don’t move the camera with the d-pad is because the game was made so you could play with the wiimote. Then walking around and and talking with the same people over and over again, if you just used a bit of commonsense you would know who you needed to talk to again

  • BooBoo said:

    I’m a big fan of Case Closed manga and anime. (But a lot of killing for a children’s series.) Since the anime and manga don’t really give the reader/viewer much chance of solving the crime, I was interested to see how a Conan game would work.

    One nice feature: Can choose Japanese audio with English sub-titles.
    The clue connection process takes some getting used to.
    The minigames are rubbish. I tried using telepathy [which doesn't exist] instead of the Wiimote and I scored about the same; so that can save the batteries a bit. (I have no idea how the other kids play for so long!)

    Fortunately I only paid $9.95 for the game. I wonder why it went straight to the bargain bin?

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