Eyesight is an important part of the human society and also one of the human senses, so now you might wonder why am I talking about eyesight and eyes in a review of an visual novel and besides the obvious why being that I like to start reviews with an related topic is that the game we are going to be reviewing today is an underrated and well, re-released masterpiece for the PS1 called The Silver Case, developed by Grasshopper studios and one of the games done by the legendary Suda 51 which is also one of it`s, less spoken projects, now, let`s start the review.
So, what is the game about?
The game is set in 1999 (It was released the same year so kinda funny isn`t it?) and it follows the Heinous Crime Unit of the 24 wards, You see, in that world there is a city called the 24 wards which as thought it`s divided in such a way that it gains it`s name for that, however the HCU is sent to investigate a series of bizarre murders which closely resemble the ones done by serial killer and infamous political terrorist Kamui Uehara who was left at a mental institution many years ago due to being found unfit to commit crimes ever again, however the further they investigate the murders the further they enter one of the biggest conspiracies within their government and within their politics while having to face the fact all they know could be a lie or fabricated by the ones higher up.
The gameplay is simple since it`s a visual novel game with you not having much of an input in the story asides Reading and continuing to read while understanding each of the details the story lays down such as dialogue and obviously the visual cues the game has regarding the advancement of the story and it`s subtle details leading to the investigation of the further circles of the conspiracy involving Kamui and it`s crimes.
In itself the characters cannot be resumed at all without spoiling not just the entire plot but every single character that is important is an detective or has a hand in the conspiracy and it`s consequences which leads to all of them being connected to the overall conspiracy.
Now to the soundtrack:
The soundtrack has that, groovy investigative feeling the Works of the 90s always oozed, it feels so smooth, so fitting, you could drive a car and look cool with it playing in the background, My favorite track is Morishima Tokio and it`s smooth sound and 90s feeling, this game soundtrack truly makes you feel like you are part of an investigation and not only is it`s dialogue wonderful but so is it`s music.
But now to it`s sequel.
The 25th Ward: The Silver Case.
You see, this game originally released on mobile devices in the year 2005 with 3 unique scenarios with 3 unique protagonists for each of them.
The plot is pretty simple.
The game has 3 unique scenarios which are “Correctness”, “Matchmmaker” and “Placebo” which all 3 are divided in 5 episodes each which makes a total of 15 episodes and are set 6 years after the original game in which a new Ward has been created, the 25th Ward and the plot of each scenario follows a pretty simple outline but a deeper plot.
Correctness is from the perspective of two detectives who are investigating violent and bizarre murders in the 25th Ward but discover something deeper in it`s trail
Matchmaker follows an officer of the Regional Adjustment Division as he interacts with the underworld of the 25ht Ward
Placebo however follows a character from the original game (Won`t say who as it can be considered spoilers since it`s tied to it`s fate after the first game) being guided by a mysterious “Goddess” to investigate the mysterious events happening in the 25th Ward.
All three are tied narratively by another character from the first game which is none other than the man himself it`s (Spoilers will not be talked about during the review, play the game to learn)
The characters itself are all similar to the first game in an basic sense of both being detectives for the first case and another investigator. However outside the basics all of them are much much much deeper than it`s introduction.
The soundtrack is even better if not cooler.
The soundtrack is so goddamn good and it gives the vibes of the game so damn hard it can be felt through the sound and through the dialogue that you will be able to feel inmersed in just the dialogue and cinematography of the game.
But of course the game has the major flaw of having alot of references to a trilogy of games unreleased on the west which makes it difficult to understand some references in the game which can feel random or bizarre.
It`s also a game that is hard to understand in the first playthrough so playing multiple times is recommended to understand it truly
However the game despite it`s flaws still makes it worth playing because it`s an game worth it`s age and like fine wine, the older it is the better it gets.
The Silver Case and 25th Ward are to me two 8/10 games and both are available on PS4 and Steam so go get both you beautiful people
“Kill your past”