Nintendo reveals Detective Pikachu, an oddball 3DS Pokemon spin-off that puts gamers in the shoes of a talking, coffee drinking, mystery solving Pikachu.
Originally hitting Japanese shelves in 1998, the Pokemon series has gone on to become a bonafide worldwide phenomenon, amassing itself a string of hit games, spin offs, and tie-ins. But with such a big anniversary – the big 2-0 – it seems as though Nintendo is looking to take Pokemon in new directions. Eyebrows were raised at the Bandai Namco-developed brawler Pokken Tournament, and now Nintendo is looking to release the beloved franchise’s most oddball spin-off yet: Detective Pikachu, casting players as a deep-voiced, talking, coffee drinking, Sherlock-aping mystery solving Pikachu.
While the game was originally announced back in 2013, under the title Meitantei Pikachu: Shin Konbi Tanjou (roughly translated as “Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Team”), Nintendo gave the world its first look at the bizarre spin-off with a new trailer released today. The trailer, which primarily features pre-rendered graphics, introduces gamers to the titular Detective Pikachu, a fiery, mystery-solving Pokemon that is capable of human speech.
While most pocket monsters are satisfied saying only their name, Detective Pikachu delivers full-blown monologues in a deep, bassy Japanese voice that hardly matches his cute and cuddly exterior. It’s a development choice that is odd, to say the least. Prepare yourself, then check out the trailer below:
While the trailer revealed little in the way of concrete information concerning how the game will play, the brief snippets of gameplay do show that Detective Pikachu will join forces with a young boy, and that the game will be set primarily in a bustling metropolis. Detective Pikachu will be far from the only Pokemon featured in the game, as the trailer shows the little detective crossing paths with Aipom, Pidove, Murkrow, Trevenant, and a regular “Pika, pika” spouting Pikachu.
Despite just being revealed today, Nintendo capped off the trailer by announcing that Meitantei Pikachu: Shin Konbi Tanjou will be available to Japanese gamers on 3DS on February 3rd. There is currently no word yet from the Japanese developer on an anticipated Western release date, though.
With collectible 3DS’s, Pokemon trading card re-releases, and more planned for the “Year of Pokemon,” it’s clear that Nintendo is pulling out all the stops for its biggest franchise. While Detective Pikachu is certainly weird, Pokemon fans will likely be counting down the days until they can get their hands on the out-there game.
Detective Pikachu releases February 3, 2016 for 3DS in Japan. No North American release date has been revealed.