I recently had Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir loaned to me. I’d never heard of this game before, and it seems to be American-made, so I was a little dubious about it; it turns out that it was just new, but also that it wasn’t as great as the lender claimed it was.
It’s the kind of game that can provide some mindless fun, but is hardly anything spectacular. The idea is that you are a detective hunting for clues about each suspect on a case. You find clues by going to various locations and finding a list of arbitrary objects in a background cluttered with many more arbitrary objects. The list seems to be randomly generated, and it is never explained what bearing it has on the mystery for you to find a fish, a tire axle, a fork, and three instances of the letter E. None of the characters have any noticeable personality, and it feels very much like playing a kids’ magazine game, but just a bit more difficult.
I wouldn’t particularly recommend it unless you’re bored and you can borrow someone else’s copy. I did have it recommended to me by a GameStop employee who heard that I liked Phoenix Wright. He introduced it with the phrase, “It’s not an attorney game, but…” As if “attorney game” were a whole genre now. I would say, though, that “crime game” is becoming a big genre, particularly on the DS. I think the stylus lends itself well to searching for clues and examining evidence, so perhaps that’s why we’re seeing such a proliferation of them. I do like the genre. I’ve ordered the first Touch Detective game on the internet, so we’ll see how that goes.
In other news: this article on SNES RPGs filled me with nostalgic happiness. I think the author’s rankings seem rather biased towards personal preferences, but overall he’s done a good job, in my opinion, of identifying an amazing lineup of games. Any RPG fan who missed out on that era should go down that list and play every game on it.