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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Let's Investigate Famicom Detective Club... Worth It?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Open-ended question. Hope I don't need to be a detective to answer it.

Among the many interesting developments from the February 2021 Nintendo Direct were the announcements for the remakes (and the first time they're existing in any form outside of Japan) of two Famicom Detective Club games. The two have now released: Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind—they're sold for $35 individually, or you can buy them as a two-case collection for $60. (The two hyperlinks with the game names last sentence are to their official launch trailers, and the last hyperlink goes to the page where you can buy it.)

Here's the overview trailer for both:

This is in the same genre as the Ace Attorney games, which I recommend without hesitation. I believe people when they say that the Famicom Detective Club games have great stories and writing. That said, you look at The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, and that's also two previously Japanese-only games in one bundle. Except those Ace Attorney games are longer/have more content, and their bundle is only $40 versus $60.

Famicom Detective Club The Missing Heir tatami mat burned Nintendo Switch
I recognise this place... It's Kurain Village, right?!

Now, Ace Attorney and Famicom Detective Club don't have to compete with one another or anything. It's perfectly acceptable and probably preferable to buy and play and enjoy both adventure series. I'm just kinda hesitant to buy something that I know is kinda overpriced. Not that I have anything better to spend with my money, mind you, and perhaps I should be evaluating how worth the purchase is based on how impactful of an impression the story will leave on me, not how long I'll be playing it for, which sounds like under 20 hours put together.

This would actually be the sort of game that Nintendo WOULD put on sale (for the one or two times a year first-party games go on sale)...except Nintendo probably considers the $60 bundle to already be a “sale” from a base price of $35+$35, so that probably will never happen. So this'll be the lowest-priced Famicom Detective Club will get, especially because these are digital-only games (outside of Japan, anyway). So you can't get it used or through any other method besides the Nintendo-controlled Nintendo eShop price. I also don't think there's any circumstance where you'd want to buy one of the games and not the other.

Anywho, Famicom Detective Club tries to justify its price by boasting high production values on the graphics and music and voice-acting... which is Japanese-only voice-acting. I think I'm gonna find that irritating after a bit, but hopefully I can turn off the voice-acting since I'm pretty sure I'd prefer no voice-acting over Japanese voice-acting. (I'm clearly a dubbing > subbing person.)

In terms of which game to play first if you (or I) get the bundle, The Missing Heir was made first, but The Girl Who Stands Behind is a prequel to it. I think it's recommended you play in order of release and not chronology, but it also might not matter much. ...I'd do it by order of release as long as I can remember which one is which when (if) I get them.

Ludwig is currently leaning towards, “oh what the heck, go buy the games and play and finish them before The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles release”, but if you have a strong OBJECTION to that (to his knowledge, there isn't any objecting in Famicom Detective Club games), let him know in the comments section. This article wasn't about convincing you, but Ludwig convincing...himself. Perhaps with your help.


  1. If that's Kurian village then that must be...MORGAN?! Y'know the thought just occurred to me that a great way to lead the story away from Phoenix and into Apollo justice would be to have Apollo defend Phoenix in a couple cases and have Morgan come back and be the overarching villain. I mean right now she's just sitting in jail, but look what she was able to get away with last time. I don't think her story is a loose end, but I'd have nothing against them bringing her back. oh and I quite liked Apollo justice actually, but I know there are many who were less than thrilled with it.

    But as for Famicom, I don't think I'll get it. Appreciate the idea of localizing decades old games, but not enough interest on my part. You should get it though, and give us a review. I really do hope the game sells well enough to garner some more interest in it at Nintendo. Do you think that if this game sells well Nintendo might revive the IP? Obviously it probably wouldn't have the same writers or programmers but I don't think that would be too big a problem for a company like Nintendo.

    1. It could be one of those unnamed assistant women!
      C'mon I don't have to review every game I get. >_>;;
      I don't think Nintendo would revive the IP, but instead think about localising other formerly Japan-only titles...

      (How many times will Apollo defend Phoenix? That was already his first case!)

    2. Yeah but that was hobo phoenix, he might as well have been some rando bum from the street. Would have made no difference. And yes, you do have to review every game you've ever played ever. But i think you'd be okay to just stick with these overpriced switch games. I think if it sold moderately well, Nintendo would consider reviving the IP, I just don't know if it would have the same feeling that it's original writers gave it. That, and so much has changed I the world that people are thinking with totally different mindsets, different mystery ideas maybe? In any case an IP like this seems 'easier' to make at least compared to the other Nintendo games with all their complex mechanics.

    3. Non-hobo Phoenix is perfectly capable of defending himself.

      It's "easier" to make but also with less potential return! (Which might be why CAPCOM hasn't shown Ace Attorney 7 yet but has released many Monster Hunter and Resident Evil games?)

    4. No need to show AA7 when your localizing something of moderately high demand. I think they're scratching their heads trying to come up with another star prosecutor that they haven't already made before. Prodigy? No. A Criminal? Nope. Rockstar? Did it. Child prodigy? Don't think so. Masked man? Booorriiinnng. Why can't we ever have a prosecutor that relates to the story but isn't dressed in a ridiculous outfit?

    5. Yeah, but wot about the past several years? <_<

      The greater ridiculousness in the new lawyer generation reflects Gen Z's sensibilities and what happens when they grow up.

  2. I've played 100-hour games with Japanese voice acting, so that's not going to bother me at all. I haven't played these yet, but I will eventually.


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