We’ve seen a lot of remasters this generation. Some of them have just been slightly smoother versions of games from the previous generation, but there’s been a few that have brought old school gems to a whole new audience.  The Silver Case is the latest game to fall into that category, bringing its intriguing tale to Western home consoles for the first time. The remaster brings with it spruced up graphics and cutscenes, plus a quicker movement speed whilst also allowing gamers the freedom to turn the remastered settings off. It’s a nice touch for those that want to fully ride the nostalgia train, but the additions really do make the game better so it would be wise to keep them on.

At its core The Silver Case is a visual novel with point and click elements. It’s a fairly linear adventure, but one that tells an intriguing science fiction story with some supernatural elements to boot. At times the plot can get confusing, which isn’t helped by some issues with the localisation, but there’s a great sense of atmosphere in the game as it tells the story of detectives trying to solve a series of crimes. That’s quite the feat considering its limitations graphically.

Despite being a remaster of the game released back in 1999, it hasn’t been given the kind of graphical overhaul that brings it up to the standard you would expect on the PlayStation 4. The way it displays its images, though, is something that helps it stand out. Rather than filling the screen all the time, the imagery throughout the game takes place in boxes that occupy various parts of the screen. The boxes are filled with a range of things depending on what’s happening. Most the time it’s 2D or 3D art, but photographs and live action videos also appear from time to time.

It’s an interesting way to display the content which makes it stand out, whilst also masking some of the graphical problems due to the smaller window sizes. When the visual novel aspects of the game aren’t playing out you’ll only have one box you’ll need to worry about. As you move from point to point around your 3D environment in first person you’ll occasionally come to an area you can make contact. Sometimes it will just be talking to a person or interacting with a computer to read an email, but occasionally it can be more complex. You might have to open your inventory and try using an item. You might even have to try and solve a puzzle.

The puzzles in the game are never overly hard but can definitely cause some head scratching. Especially if you don’t find the clues. The developers seemed to accept that this might happen though, and have allowed the option on most puzzles to bypass them with a simple click of a button. It’s a nice option to have for those that want to just absorb the visual novel side of the game.

As you progress through The Silver Case you’ll unlock new chapters, which include different protagonists, and find a way to piece together the overarching story. Each chapter does a good job in feeling self contained whilst still adding something to the overall plot of the game. It’s a shame voice overs aren’t included though as it would really help bring each individual chapter alive a bit more.

The Silver Case is an intriguing package that provides an insight in to the early works of Suda51, one of gaming’s more interesting personalities. The game might’ve aged but its quality still shines through. It’s a shame the graphics weren’t spruced up more and the visual novel/point and click combo is definitely not something everyone will get on with. The story is intriguing though, and once you’re absorbed into it you’ll want to find out what’s happening, even if the dialogue is sometimes lacking in quality. If you’re a fan of the genre or the work of Suda51 then you might want to consider The Silver Case. Even if it’s not up your street it’s still nice to see a piece of gaming history finally available to Western gamers.

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You can watch me play a tiny bit of the start of The Silver Case below and hear some of my first impressions.

 



Author

Brett Claxton

I like video games. That's why I write about them. I've played them for years and in that time I've found a love for creepy horrors, indie darlings and the oddities that come out of Japan. Although my main purpose on the site is to write up news and reviews I'm also one of the main Let's Play video creators of the team (or, as I call them, Brett's Play videos). You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bretteh2