Analysis The Silver Case 2425 , the police collection of Goichi Suda (Switch)

Grasshopper Manufacture brings together in a single game the diptych of visual novels that saw them born.

There are hundreds of video games that will never reach the hands of the players because they were forgotten in an old system and did not receive translation. From time to time miracles happen that manage to rescue some of them, but given its risk of publication this is not usually normal. One of those miracles was the one that Playism achieved by convincing Goichi Suda to bring back to both new and old audiences two of the first games of his career, released in Japan two decades ago.

That was how five years ago they began recovering the visual novel The Silver Case , a remaster by Active Gaming Media of that 1999 game for the first PlayStation. Later they would do the same with the sequel The 25th Ward: The Silver Case , which was released only for mobile devices in 2005 and this time it would reach PlayStation 4 and Steam. Now both games have finally been compiled into one for Nintendo Switch under the title The Silver Case 2425 .

The origins of the grasshopper

In the late 1990s, visual novels were still a fashionable genre in Japan. Creative Goichi Suda had just left Human Entertainment to found his own company, Grasshopper Manufacture. The first game he developed at the helm was this The Silver Case , a very heir to what he had directed at Human Entertainment with Moonlight Syndrome and Twilight Syndrome . Here the theme did not reach the pure terror that those showed, but it did raise a detective story in which the cases revolve around a rather macabre thriller approach . That would be the seed of games like Flower, Sun and Rain or Killer 7, which did reach the West and began to give it international recognition. Although that first game did not cross borders, it did have a sequel planned for PlayStation 2 with the Japanese company Genki, but it was moved to mobile.

ADVERTISING

The Silver Case 2425 is a collection that includes the two aforementioned games, but the truth is that beyond the logo and the new promotional art, it does not present novelties that do not have their respective remasters separately ; As soon as you open the game, a menu is displayed that lets us choose between one or the other. We would have preferred some kind of incentive in the form of extras that connect both titles, although we will see that the mere fact that they come together already gives each other enough feedback.

‘The Silver Case’ follows several homicide cases that relate to the serial killer Kamui Uehara.

The story of the first game is set in the ’24 Ward ‘, the last of the twenty-four neighborhoods in the Kanto region, built in the 1990s by screening the population. Our character will be a new agent we can name and who will be surrounded by a series of homicide cases investigated by the Henious Crime Unit and linked to Kamui Uehara, a well-known serial killer who worked for years. In the unit is the core of characters from the game, made up of memorable members such as Tetsugoro Kusabi, Sumio Kodai or agent Chizuru Hachisuka. The dialogues are very well written and fully touch on topics such as morals, psychology, politics or sexism. In general, it presents a solid and adult plot that is typical of this type of adventure .

The graphic style of The Silver Case is one of its main attractions, mixing an interface with a refined design of texts, illustrated vignettes, CGI scenes and 3D first-person environments. The control is carried out only in these scenarios, through which we move and interact with designated points from which we cannot get out. In addition to moving and inspecting objects, there is the possibility of talking, using items and of course saving the game. This menu is changed using the crosshead, but the commands have been somewhat cumbersome at this point .

The game interface changes style and colors depending on the chapter we are in.

As for the remastering itself, Active Gaming Media transformed the original 4: 3 screen to a widescreen aspect and adapted the user interface to achieve high definition. In addition, in the process the original illustrations were retained, as well as the CGI scenes – perhaps the part that seems least remastered – with the game’s new 3D environments being the biggest workload. In this graphic aspect it is very easy for us to think that it has not improved much, but it is totally intentional. The low polygon of the three-dimensional vignettes is not the same as it looked on PlayStation, they have decided to redo it again but without leaving the low poly stylesurreal. What is certain is that this is somewhat contradicted by the options it includes to switch between the interface and the CGI contents of the original and those of the remaster, where the biggest difference is in the cinematic that opens the game, being able to switch between the new with remix by Akira Yamaoka and original with music by Masafumi Takada. In the rest we will not see too much added beyond the possibility of speeding up the text.

The music is one of the most prominent sections of the game, originally composed by the eternal collaborator of the study, Masafumi Takada . During the exploration and the dialogues we hear an original mix of downtempo with vibraphones, pianos and synthesizers, and fragments like the main theme or the Kusabi theme are very reminiscent of Takeshi Kitano films. Only four of the pieces have been remixed by Akira Yamaoka, including the intro and the chapter selection. The sound effects are achieved, highlighting the characteristic typing sound for the texts, and the main absence as always in these cases is the localization into Spanish, it comes in difficult English.

A stranger sequel

The 25th Ward: The Silver Case looks like a more modern game out of the box. It is true that it came out six years after the original, but it also came out for a much more limited support at the time – let’s remember what mobile phones were like 15 years ago – and the remaster of the two games was done almost at the same time. In that sense, it starts with a certain advantage because it is better updated. The story becomes a little weirder and twisted with the new ’25 Ward ‘complex, while maintaining the Film Window system of texts, as well as characters from the 25th Henious Unit Crime, now being Mokutaro Shiroyabu and agent Shinko Kuroyanagi the members who stand out in the plot.

The 25th Ward takes bizarreness to a new level and uses more monochrome with color accents.

In this they had to make the entire interface from scratch, seeking to fit in with The Silver Case in a similar panoramic vignette format, instead of the 1: 1 aspect that it had on mobile phones. Here in 3D environments we notice a much smoother and more pleasant polygon , although it is not a graphic marvel either, but it does better justify that low poly style. The visual novel commands have also been refined, the way of selecting the paths being much more intuitive —through geometric pieces at the end of the screen that we want to access— and incorporating polyhedral figures for actions: a tetrahedron for speaking options , look and save or a 10-sided dice to enter number combinations, something that often happened to take advantage of the keys on the mobile.

The game is divided into three large chapters that are sectioned into smaller parts, a somewhat different scheme than The Silver Case , which alternated between the Transmitter mode cases and the Placebo mode reports, a kind of ‘B-side’ of the story that complements the points of view. Here a new triphop soundtrack was composed for the occasion, by Akira Yamaoka, Erika Ito and Tomohisa ‘Baiyon’ Kuramitsu . In this case, the option to speed up the texts or to switch between the view of the original game has not been added – due to the redesign – but it does include the same option to lower the quality of the polygons, making clear the intentions of not using graphics pointers.

The 25th Ward commands are more intuitive than in the first part, although without being perfect.

Conclusions

The Silver Case 2425 is the best way to enjoy the two Grasshopper Manufacture classics in their English localization, perfect games for the Nintendo Switch portable mode included in a single pack. Together they can easily last us about 30 hours of play, both having a similar duration despite the fact that there is more to do in the second part outside the main story. Even so, the lack of news means that we cannot recommend them to those who already have the individual editions of PS4 and PC, but in case they do not have them … here are two notable adventures that although they belong to a niche genre that will not be liked by everyone. world, it is a miracle that they return.

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