My Sherlock Holmes sense was going off at the announcement of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE. Who doesn’t love a good whodunit? From the minds behind Danganronpa, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE brings a dark fantasy detective action game to the world. Enter Yuma Kokohead, an amnesiac detective-in-training, and his partner, Shinigami, the spirit haunting him. This interesting duo tackles mysteries! End the reign of mysteries in this lucid-noir detective adventure! Our friends at Spike Chunsoft gifted us a review copy for the Nintendo Switch. Let’s check it out!
The setting, Kanai Ward, A city of rain, is gripped by innumerable mysteries, under the complete control of a megacorporation. Master Detectives from around the world, each possessing unique powers, must overcome the challenge of uncovering the truth. With Shinigami by his side, Yuma joins the investigation as a trainee of the detective agency. With expertise, cunning, and cleverness, each Master Detective has a supernatural ability known as a Forensic Forte. Using these abilities, they can gather facts and clues beyond the reach of an ordinary person. Convenient, right?
Before we get into my thoughts and review, I want to mention that this is in no way a comparison between Danganronpa and RAIN CODE. I will be using Danganronpa as a reference, but this is by no means a comparison. Enjoy the review!
Right off the bat, this is a story-driven game, with lots of dialogue and a bit of cliché-ness. The main character doesn’t remember who he is, or if he has a Forensic Forte (sounds like a couple of main characters that we know of) Yuma Kokohead is in the same situation as a few other main characters that we know of, but his situation has a twist to it as you learn from Yuma’s unlikely companion, Shinigami. Shinigami is a Death God bound to Yuma by a contract, and of course, learning about the details is a breach of the contract. I believe that the mysteries are very well thought out, and the build-up to entering the Mystery Labyrinth can take a long time – 30 minutes to an hour’s worth of build-up to the labyrinth.
In terms of gameplay, I didn’t have any expectations for RAIN CODE. However, knowing that it was made by the folks who made Danganronpa, I thought they would keep the same type of gameplay i.e. First Person View. I was pleasantly surprised when I could take control of Yuma and see everything around me. It’s refreshing to control the character and not look through the eyes of one. Of course, to solve a mystery, you need to investigate and review your clues. The investigation period is self-explanatory as you need to investigate for clues. However, these time clues are called ‘solution keys’ instead of ‘truth bullets’ and how you use them…well…Shinigami helps you with that.
Another interesting take is what is known as a Mystery Labyrinth. This is where you put all your skills to work and utilize the Solutions Keys, the Mystery Labyrinth also stands in the way of the truth. You have to solve puzzles related to the case in the Labyrinth to solidify your conclusion. However, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. As long as something or someone is standing in the way of the case, they will also appear in the Mystery Labyrinth, which will put you into another mini-game called a Reasoning Death Match. This is similar to Danganronpa’s debate scrum. However, it’s not timed, and you can repeat it as often as needed. During the Reasoning Death Match, you are going against the person(s) trying to stop you from reaching the truth by shouting their lies at you. This is the unique part. You can control Yuma to avoid their words and cut through the noise and their lies by using the solution keys you’ve gathered and cut through to the truth. I found it amusing that the characters look similar to a Death Metal band member, but it is a Reasoning Death Match. The puzzles in the Mystery Labyrinth vary from choosing the right door, choosing the right rail car door, recreating the crime scene, Death God Puzzles, and more!
I also want to mention that Shinigami plays a big part in helping you progress, as long as you choose the right answers and come to conclusions via her parodies of anime like Revolutionary Girl Utena, Attack on Titan, and more.
The art style is reminiscent of Danganronpa. What stands out the most are the eyes of each character. Each character has a different type of design in their eyes, and if you’re paying close attention, you’ll notice that Yuma’s eyes look similar to a key, interesting. There are also several fan-service-y instances, and pics of Shinigami as she is helpful but has questionable intentions and dialogue.
There are many great things about RAIN CODE, but the graphics were one main issue. This isn’t the fault of the game. However, I believe it has something to do with the Nintendo Switch’s abilities. The character models are blurry, anti-aliasing doesn’t exist, and it’s noticeable. Despite this big flaw, the game is still playable but noticeable on Yuma, Shinigami, and the Mystery Labyrinth.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed playing RAIN CODE. You can tell how much work went into creating each of the mysteries, the build-up, and solving the mystery despite the consequences of finding the truth. If you like a good ole whodunit, using your skills to find out the perpetrator, I recommend picking up Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE!
Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE Review
Sounds like Umbrella, Looks Like SHIN-RA but is actually Disney
Mysteriful mysteries and a refreshing take on seeking the truth and solving mysteries even if it's against the law and with dire consequences!