Although Pikachu is the titular character, users will actually control Tim Goodman, a boy of about Pokémon trainer age in search of his missing father. Together, Tim and Pikachu will explore Ryme City for clues to crack the case.
The trailer above shows off the game’s cinematics and a bit of gameplay. Between examining objects and marking clues on your map, Detective Pikachu emphasizes its narrative, exploration, and puzzle solving. Don’t expect to engage in any traditional Pokémon battles, as Pikachu has swapped his moves for the ability to speak to Tim. This gruff, coffee-obsessed version of Pikachu may startle longtime fans, especially considering the deep register of his voice (sadly, it’s not Danny DeVito’s voice).
Detective Pikachu originally launched in the Japanese eShop in early 2016. Rumors of a North American localization have swirled since then, but The Pokémon Company hadn’t definitively announced an English-based version until now.
Bringing Detective Pikachu stateside makes sense considering a film adaptation is in the works. Scheduled to release on May 10, 2019, the movie stars Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu.
If you’re as enamored with Pikachu’s detective cap as we are, you’ll be happy to learn that Detective Pikachu will also have its own special Amiibo. Standing nearly twice as tall as the average Amiibo, the Pikachu Amiibo launches alongside the game. The Amiibo can be used in-game to provide hints via short videos.
As Nintendo continues to shift its attention to the Nintendo Switch, Detective Pikachu may very well be one of the biggest 3DS titles of 2018. Besides the Pokémon spin-off, few big name titles are on the horizon for Nintendo’s aging handheld. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, an updated version of the excellent DS RPG, launches on February 13. Later this year, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age comes to 3DS, Switch, and PS4.
With the next mainline Pokémon game will come to Switch, it’s possible that Detective Pikachu will be the popular brand’s last major appearance on Nintendo 3DS.
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