[Nintendo Switch] Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE Review

by EdEN, Owner

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE from Spike Chunsoft and Too Kyo Games is an interesting lucid-noir adventure that shines on Nintendo Switch. Check our Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE review!

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Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE from Spike Chunsoft and Too Kyo Games is an interesting lucid-noir adventure that shines on Nintendo Switch. And yes, before we go any further, the game does indeed have a Danganronpa vibe to it, which is to be expected since key staff members worked on that series at Spike Chunsoft, who are now at Too Kyo Games. It’s a game that has been inspired by the work of one Tim Burton, with a dash of film noir to kick things into overdrive. We’re also getting 3D models for the characters instead of the 2D character portraits in the Danganronpa series.

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE tells the story of Yuma, who is being haunted by Shinigami, a purple spirit that will end up helping Yuma take on unsolved mysteries. Once Shinigami greets you after booting up the game, the first step will be to select the overall difficulty for the game, with the options being Lenient, Mean, Troublesome, and Adorable. The difficulty will have an effect on how Shinigami behaves… except that the difficulty you choose won’t really change things since Shinigami will be your lenient, mean, troublesome, and adorable partner for this journey! The good news right away is that all of the cast features voice acting – in English, no less – which helps to make each character stand out.

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The first case you’ll be working on will be Massacre on the Amaterasu Express, which will act as the game’s tutorial. Yuma is lying on the floor of a storage room when Shinigami flies around, knocking down some books in the process. As expected, Yuma has no recollection of who he is or what is going on, which you’ll know right away as he takes a look into a mirror and has no idea of what is happening. At least he manages to remember that the condition he’s suffering from is called amnesia!

The good news is that Shinigami kindly points to Yuma to check his pocket. He finds an envelope that has a notice from the -Human Resources for the World Detective Organization that is addressed to Yuma Kokohead. He’s been dispatched to the Special Autonomous Zone of Kanai Ward for an indefinite period in order to board the Amaterasu Express to Kanai Ward to then proceed to the Nocturnal Detective Agency, which is the Kanai Ward Branch for the World Detective Organization. Once there, further instructions will be presented.

Once you gain control of Yuma, you’ll use the left analog stick to walk or run around as you use the right one to swing the camera around – which you can reset by pressing in on the right analog stick. The A button will be for interacting as needed. By conducting detective activities, you’ll get to earn Detective Points (DP). Investigate and gather info to obtain as many DP as possible! Earning DP is important since once you collect enough DP you’ll get to level up, thus boosting your Detective Rank. When this happens, you will receive Skill Points, and your Memory Cap will increase – more on these in a bit.

By checking the mini-map on the bottom right corner of the screen, you can review where your next objective – something to investigate or someone to talk to – will be. Press the ZR button when you need to zoom in on the mini-map. You can also open up the Notebook menu by pressing the Y button. This is where you can review information about the Case Files to learn more about your next objective so that you can always remain on top of things. You can also review a case’s summary after completing it. When new information has been updated, you will notice that there’s a “New” marker next to the Case Files section.

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The same applies to the Profiles and Glossary sections. The Profiles section will allow you to check out some additional information on the different characters that you’ll meet during your time with Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE. At first, the only entry in the Profiles section of the Notebook will be for Yuma since he’s the only character you’ll have met up to that point. Once you contact other members of the World Detective Organization, new profiles will be added. The Glossary section allows you to review some of the in-game terminology for places and events that have taken place.

How will you take care of each of the mysteries you’ll be sent to solve? As to not spoil things too much, allow me to discuss the first case in the game, which, as mentioned before, will act as its tutorial. Once you board the Amaterasu Express, you’ll be informed that the train is fully automated and that there’s no staff on board. The first and last cars control the train, with the third and fourth cars being for passengers to rest in. The first and fifth cars have restrooms, and they also have an infirmary.

The second car is the dining car, and it’s where passengers will be able to unwind and relax as they grab a bite and get something to drink. There’s a backup control room on the third car. This is an important room since if there’s any emergency on the train, a passenger can enter the backup control room to use the intercom to get in touch with the company that runs the train. It’s in the second car that you’ll get to meet some of the Master Detectives.

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There are roughly 1,000 Master Detectives that are part of the World Detective Organization, and they all have supernatural powers that are put to good use during an investigation. They’re known as Forensic Fortes. These include things such as clairvoyance or mind reading, which they train to improve. It’s thanks to mastering a Forensic Forte that someone is recognized as a Master Detective and given a Detective Deed. If someone is a Master Detective, then it will say so in their license.

You’ll meet an interesting group of Master Detectives during this introductory case, which is a very special situation because Master Detectives usually gather since they’re always working on their own solving cases around the globe. There’s Zerge Eraser, who comes from a detective agency far in the front lines. His Forensic Forte is Thoughtography, which means that he can translate images from his memory into electronics. There’s also Aphex Logan from the detective branch in the easter slums. His Forensic Forte is a bit of mystery as well since all he will mention is that it’s sort of like a radar.

Next up is Melami Goldmine, with the Forensic Forte of Spiritism. This allows her to use her body as a medium to be able to summon the soul of the deceased… as long as she’s wearing the clothes of that particular departed! There’s one catch, though. In order for this to work, Melami’s clothes’ size and that of the person who died must be a match, so she won’t be able to act as a medium for people who are way smaller or bigger than her. Oh, and she hates wearing filthy, reeking clothes for obvious reasons.

Another Master detective is Pucci Lavmin. Her Forensic Forte is Audial Aptitude, an interesting skill that allows her to focus on any sound from far away. She can hear distant whispers, footsteps, or even heartbeats. As you can probably imagine, being able to hear someone’s heartbeats can help her tell if someone is lying or can’t be trusted. No one is safe when talking about a secret if Pucci is around! You’ll also get to meet Zilch Alexander. His Forensic Fort is a very interesting one. Thanks to Animal Investigation, Zilch can control animals to gather intelligence, reaching areas that would otherwise be inaccessible to humans!

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During this introductory case, you’ll also learn about the Mystery Labyrinth. As its name suggests, the Mystery Labyrinth will be where you can explore to interact with the mysteries of a case that are materialized. The Mystery Labyrinth will be influenced by the case you’re currently investigating, which means you’ll run into some colorful presentations, only to then dive into a darker experience. Oh, and Shinigami will take on a humanoid form as she assists you during your time through the Mystery Labyrinth!

Remember how I mentioned that by obtaining DP, you would get to level up, thus obtaining Skill Points and an expanded Memory Cap? Skill Points are used to gain access to Labyrinth skills. These Labyrinth skills are then slotted into Memory, which is why it’s important that you upgrade your Memory Cap so that you can equip more and more skills. Labyrinth skills are split into Evasion, Solution Blade, and Stamina skills.

Evasion skills will allow you to lower the overall challenge you’ll face during action-oriented segments in the game, such as how things unravel during a Reasoning Death Match. What’s a Reasoning Death Match? It’s a direct confrontation against the Mystery Phantom, who is trying to keep you from solving a case. It’s the materialization of the person that is trying to prevent the truth from being revealed. You’ll have to avoid the Mystery Phantom’s statements by moving left, right, crouching, or jumping as needed. The Solution Keys obtained during your investigation will need to be used to find the contradictions in the Mystery Phantom’s statements to use the Solution Blade to deal damage.

Solution Blade skills are, therefore, related to the aforementioned Solution Blade, which will allow you to, for example, remove and eliminate incorrect answer choices so that you can have an easier time battling against the Mystery Phantom. And while Evasion and Solution Blade skills are very important, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider improving some Stamina skills! Spend your Skill Points on Stamina skills, and you’ll be able to boost Yuma’s overall hit points, which will make it less likely that you get a game over.

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Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is an outstanding game that shines on Nintendo Switch. As a fan of the Danganronpa series, I was certainly curious to see how Too Kyo Games and Spike Chunsoft would handle this new game – which includes several staff members that worked on the aforementioned series – to make it stand out. I’m here to say that this one is a must-play on Nintendo Switch, offering a Rated M for Mature mystery experience that you’ll certainly remember. Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is out on Nintendo Switch with a $59.99 price tag. You can also get the Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE Deluxe Edition which is available for $89.99. This one includes the base game, a digital artbook, the digital soundtrack, as well as the Season Pass that will allow you to download four DLC substories

This Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Spike Chunsoft.

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