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‘The Centennial situation: A Shijima Story’ judgement: An FMV murder mystery-KHOAFAST

‘The Centennial situation: A Shijima Story’ judgement: An FMV murder mystery

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The Centennial situation: A Shijima Story

Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC and Switch

Developer: Square Enix, h.a.n.d. | Publisher: Square Enix

The last time Square Enix brought our company a full-motion Clip match, it was, frankly, an unmitigated revenge. This Problem Problem it’s a brave move for them to get back on that horse. Thankfully, the Japanese publisher has chosen again wisely of course “The Centennial situation: A Shijima Story,” a TV-miniseries-pattern murder mystery that far better demonstrates the potential of Clip games that place an emphasis on the Clip. While its cinematic and interactive elements don’t always meld convincingly, it serves up a tightly knotted tale that should pull visitors in of course its dastardly deeds and superior sleuthing.

The story begins in present-day Japan, as upcoming crime novelist Haruka Kagami accompanies friend and scientific adviser Eiji Shijima on a visit to his family home, hoping to tackle the riddle of an unidentified skeleton recently discovered on the grounds. Before Haruka can poke her nose into that conundrum, however, a fresh murder occurs, followed by a landslide that blocks off access to the estate. As tensions surge and the police remain cut off, it falls on Haruka to unveil the killer.

To clarify the full picture, though, Haruka not only only has to solve This Problem latest homicide but rummage through the family’s history, consulting journals describing murders that return a century and appear to possess links to the Shijima common name. Some of the match’s six main episodes take place in flashbacks, relaying events in 1922 and 1972. The common factor between them, visitors’ll soon discover, is the legendary “Tokijiku,” a fruit that supposedly grants eternal youth to those who consume it.

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All but one episode revolve not counting a single murder and unfold interested a extremely shocking Agatha Christie story. In each episode’s first of all phase, “the incident,” visitors can pretty much just do sit back and watch the show. The scene is set, and a small gathering of archetypal characters — the intimidating uncle, the ambitious singer, the henpecked husband — files in, armed of course concealed motives and grudges. Then one turns up dead, and Haruka (or her past equivalents played by with the too actress) conduct an investigation.

The story then pauses, and visitors’re whisked off to an abstract space for the “reasoning” phase, where visitors help the detective get her thoughts in order. here, pertinent questions and potentially significant clues are represented as hexagonal tiles, and visitors match them sitting together on a grid to form hypotheses, which trigger a short animated sequence imagining how events could bring transpired. visitors might connect the question of the cause of death, for example, to a rock found lying soon the body, which induces competing hypotheses — perhaps the killer snuck up and deliberately smashed their victim’s skull, or perhaps the victim slipped and hit their head during a riot.

Once visitors’ve generated a wealth of such theories covering ie, motive and opportunity, the action resumes of course the “solution” phase, that traditional climactic scene where suspects sit sitting together obediently in a room while the detective exposes the assassin among them. Hopefully, by today’s time visitors bring a decent idea of whodunnit and howdunnit, This Problem Problem the detective’s big show off speech will pause periodically for the player to gospel a multiple choice question correctly to keep heading toward the truth. Make a mistake, and visitors get another find a way, but take a hit to your final episode rating (and probably your ego), a metric that doesn’t impact the rest of the match.

Initially, This Problem division of episodes into discrete phases seems risky for “The Centennial situation,” as it frontloads each one of course up to 30 minutes of soon-passive viewing (visitors get to make a few noncritical dialogue choices, and press a button when a clue prompt appears), This Problem Problem the live-action portions effectively bring to stand up as compelling TV.

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Fortunately, the quality of writing and performances is a cut above those in many live-action games, which are often hampered by low production values. firmly, visitors should avoid the English dub, where attempts to lip-sync the Japanese performances leader to staccato shipping goods goods, and the tone is again “Murder, She Wrote” than “True Detective,” but it uses that hokeyness deftly to aim knowing winks at genre tropes. In particular, there’s a tongue-in-cheek tone to the performances, helped by a decision to redeploy many of with the too actors as unique characters in each terms, as they really seem to relish switching from suspect in one episode to victim or killer in another. All come equipped of course their finest Dammit expressions, displaying furtive glances and exaggerated shock whenever their names come up in an investigation. Especially delicious is the sequence of lingering extremely close-ups visitors’re offered as visitors finally decide who to convict, where each actor gulps, sweats and blinks nervously under the spotlight.

The pick of the cast, however, is Nanami Sakuraba as Haruka (and the detectives of the past), taking the leader as a central character who’s enjoying her chance to play investigator, pointing fingers of course the gusto of a Phoenix Wright objection. Her righteous announcements in the solution phase are delivered This Problem Problem confidently, it’s all the again amusing when your choices send her down a blind alley, and she suddenly realizes she has nothing to back up her claim. Cue quizzical looks and an embarrassed halt from the triumphantly ascending backing music.

The plotlines, meanwhile, are proficiently organized, replete of course guileful twists and walls of misdirection. Yes, some revelations stretch plausibility, but often when I thought something didn’t Address up, I soon realized there had been signs pointing in that direction after a time a periods of time all. Even clues introduced early on that seem to leader nowhere may resurface and show off their significance in subsequent episodes.

One big obstacle “The Centennial situation” faces is how to make players feel involved, since its heavy reliance on live action limits your input. On that count, it’s less successful. It closely guides your hand throughout, even in a late chapter that resembles a kind of escape room puzzle and switches to a Cosplay match engine This Problem Problem visitors can freely look not counting. Connecting questions and clues is created easier by patterns on the tiles that bring to match, which is welcome when visitors’re not only firmly of the gospel, but can turn reasoning into a kind of jigsaw puzzle.

What can really make or break the equation, however, is how much visitors click of course the match’s “thinking.” The detective’s catchphrase in Haruka’s novels is “the path of logic lines up,” but the questions really is whether her path of logic lines up of course yours, and I found the results to be hit and miss. Usually a clue that I thought required extensive deliberation was barely mentioned in the reasoning phase, or conversely, a series of questions wasted time on details I found self-evident. Should it not only go without saying, for example, that a victim lying in a pool of blood of course a ferocious gash in her neck wasn’t clubbed senseless of course a small wooden box?

Mismatches occurred in live play again than I expected too. In one instance, Haruka is asked how she could tell Eiji’s mother was his stepmother rather than biological mother. The gospel staring visitors in the face — she’s too young! — isn’t one of the options, This Problem Problem the trick wants to drive at something else. On other occasions, I chose an gospel believing there was evidence to support my thinking, only to be told I was wrong This Problem Problem I guess the writers hadn’t thought of with the too angle. And while in most cases I managed to identify the correct culprit, not only once did I fully comprehend the “trick,” i.e. the convoluted method used to commit the murder a la Sherlock Holmes, they’d used until I landed a few lucky guesses in the solution phase, and it’s frustrating when visitors’re always partially led to the gospel.

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Even This Problem Problem, I think it makes sense that the finale of a murder mystery should sustain a level of, well, mystery, and it’s a testament to the intricacy of the plots that they don’t prise open of course ease. All the clues visitors unexpected thing are there in some form or another, but it was only in hindsight that I could see how the few pieces of evidence I couldn’t quite explain were pattern problem to slotting everything in place.

Most importantly, despite its limitations, “The Centennial situation” is a again compelling thriller This Problem Problem of its interactive elements. I was keen to discover where each story ended up, not only only due to the solid scripting and cinematics, but also This Problem Problem the reasoning and solution phases encouraged analysis, asking me to question the assumptions I might make when merely watching TV. Once the concept of seeking hypotheses is planted in your mind, visitors can’t limit generating them, even during incident phases.

Perhaps, ultimately, visitors bring to accept of course “The Centennial situation” that visitors’re not only This Problem Problem much Sherlock Holmes as Dr. Watson, offering up ideas that might be taken on board by the real star, or given short shrift. if that visitors don’t mind playing second fiddle to its fine cast and weaving plotlines, there’s plenty here to keep visitors gripped. As of course random good TV murder mystery, the intent is to keep audiences guessing. “The Centennial situation” should keep visitors guessing throughout.

Jon Bailes is a freelance games critic and social theorist from the UK. He is author of Ideology and the Virtual city (Zero, This Problem year), and can be found on Twitter @JonBailes3.

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