The 25th Ward: The Silver Case (PS4) | Review

The 25th Ward: The Silver Case (PS4) | Review


Time to delve once again back into that dark,
crazy mind that we all love so much, of game developer SUDA51. The Silver Case, has got a sequel and it’s
called… The 25th Ward. With new characters, new mechanics and of
course, new insanity, does this visual crime novel, where every cop seems to hate each
other, manage to capture the magic of the original? Well, here we go, here’s my thoughts on the
game. #1. Streamlined As always with a SUDA51 game, he manages to create a world that is truly memorable. The 25th Ward is essentially a city created
to study the effects of ‘criminal power’. Crime is kept to a minimum, partly due to
the ruthless Postal System, who sends out so-called ‘delivery men’ to kill people who
commit even the most trivial of crimes. And once again, the Heinous Crime Unit makes
its return, only this time they’ve stepped up their game to become more like bloodthirsty
killers, instead of detectives. It’s a violent, unpredictable setting, where
you never know who’s about to kill who. It’s less about solving small, individual
cases but instead about piecing together the parts of a larger conspiracy. Now if all of this was handled sloppily, it
would have made for a very confusing experience. And to be fair, I did eventually get kind
of lost as to what was happening, but it does at least it start off clear. It doesn’t barrage you with 100 different
pieces of information within the first ten minutes of playing *cough* Silver Case, so
you feel like you’re eased into things. It begins with a simple premise- a body is
found in a high rise apartment block and things build up from there. Plus it does help that now, it’s always obvious
who’s talking, a problem that it’s fair to say the original had. But what is a little disappointing is the
surprising lack of visual variety. Things like news reports, animations and full
motion videos have all been stripped away, leaving the whole game sticking to just one
or two different styles. Maybe this was because it was originally released
onto mobile devices back in 2005, so there may have been issues with the memory space. Who knows? Sure, technically the graphics have improved-
things look a higher quality. But at the cost of some of the creativity. Which is a shame. The music does kicks ass though! #2. Gameplay Moving around these settings, from apartment blocks to abandoned hotels is done at the
click of an on screen direction. It’s always pretty clear what you need to
do in an environment, whether it’s talk to someone, look at something or use an item. But it’s not really about exploration. Once again, it’s about experiencing the story
as it unfolds, by reading through lengthy, but entertaining dialogue sequences. You really are just trying to find the next
thing to do, to activate the next line of speech. There are however puzzles to solve, but for
the most part, these are handled pretty poorly. The password puzzles provide no challenge
whatsoever, as more often than not, your told the answer only seconds before needing to
enter them in. So, say you go to the Thousand Hotel? Hmm, I wonder what the four digit pass code
needed to open the front door is? And the online chat room puzzles can get extremely
tiresome. If you don’t select the correct thing to say
next, out of a three possible options, the conversation ends and you have to start again. You then have to go through the same lines
of dialogue until you can guess at a different response. The game says you need to follow the flow
of what’s being said, but let’s face it- all you really can do is guess. Maybe this worked better in the original Japanese
version? #3. A Tale Of 3 Stories This time around there are three, unique stories to explore. The first part, called “Correctness” follows
two Heinous Crime Unit Detectives, who are both as violent and mad as each other. This is the story which really goes off the
rails. Oh boy. At probably around the time when the male
cop, Mokutaro Shiruyabu, is confronted by seven assassins which he must defeat in Pokemon
style battles- and in which he defeats the only female assassin by, urr… essentially
raping her, it leaves you scratching your head thinking, “OK, so our hero’s just raped
someone.” It shows how this so called criminal power
can seep into anyone’s heart, but the problem with this idea is, it leaves us without any
characters that we can relate to. There’s no more heroes in this world I guess. The second story is “Match Maker” and this
has a lot more heart to it. Don’t get me wrong, everyone here’s still
a ruthless killer, but it does strike a chord when it deals with the teacher/student relationship
of ex-Yakuza gangster called Tsuki and the young, sweet-toothed Osato, who often ends
up making some really, really dumb decisions. But you end up caring about him because you
can tell that his heart’s in the right place. This was arguably the best of the three stories,
as you followed this pair and their work for the Regional Adjustment Bureau, a high level
secret government organisation who tries to keep their own existence a mystery. And what does ‘adjusting’ someone mean? Well… of course, here it means killing them! Finally, “Placebo” saw the return of our highly
anticipated, favourite freelance reporter, Morishima Tokio. He wakes up on a boat in the 25th Ward, with
his same old pack of cigarettes, although he’s trying to give them up, same old pet
turtle, and same old email address. Only this time he’s lost his memory and so
is trying to piece together what happened, while diving into the mysterious world of
online sex chat. Classy! Each of these three stories has a very different
feel, with the over arching theme of this criminal power connecting them. They all have their funny and dark moments,
and all come together in a brand new final chapter, not featured on the original mobile
version. Here, there’s almost a whopping 100 different
endings to choose from. But don’t get too excited though, none of
them make a whole lot of sense. Like on purpose, no sense whatsoever. And each one takes around 5 minutes to complete,
so, yeah, thanks for making me sit through 500 minutes of this, just to get that Platinum
trophy. Not a particularly high note to end the game
on! Any creation by SUDA51 is always treading
a thin line of too over the top and too safe. I think that here, he did a bit of both. He went too wacky with some of the plot and
yet too safe with its presentation. I don’t mind a visual novel having little
gameplay, but what gameplay there is here… falls flat. It ends up making an experience, perhaps not
as special as The Silver Case. But that’s why, whenever a character from
the original turns up, it briefly engages you just that little bit more. It’s still one hell of a ride. Thanks for watching.

8 Comments

  1. "There's NO MORE HEROES in this world, I guess" FUCK OOOFFFFFFFFF KnlDSKNLSDJKMDAJKSJMFS
    Loving this review tho; so many sloppy, lousy reviewers picked up this game unfortunately and trashed it cause it was not cute and chopped up into bite-sized pieces of information for them to slooowly chew up.

  2. oh shit the guy sitting down has a jacket, scarf, and facial features of travis touchdown in the new no more heroes 3 trailer. fuuuuuuuck suda you clever bastard

  3. "Fuck that final trophy!"
    .
    .
    .
    It shouldn't be worth it, right?
    .
    .
    .
    Why bother going for something so blatantly and purposefully time-consuming?
    .
    .
    .
    But you just can't stop yourself…
    .
    .
    .
    You've already gone so far in.
    .
    .
    .
    "If you don't do it now, then when?"
    .
    .
    .
    And those endings…
    .
    .
    .
    They can be anything from mysterious, to off-the-wall, to insightful, to parody.
    .
    .
    .
    So you keep going
    .
    .
    .
    Pushed on by the allure of what could possibly happen next.
    .
    .
    .
    This is all you do on your Sunday off
    .
    .
    .
    "WAS THIS YOUR DOING, SUDA-SAN?!"

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