Square Enix’s new game, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story, is a live-action whodunnit
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The case of the centennial: a history of Shijima
There are only a handful of titles that manage to do the crime genre well by striking the right balance between great gameplay and captivating mystery.
Square Enix’s latest title, the live-action The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story, seeks to bring a new experience to the niche genre.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story has an interesting storyline that spans different time periods. It focuses on the Shijima family who have been plagued by unexplained deaths over the past century.
One of the family members, Ejil Shijima, visits his old friend Haruka Kagami, a mystery writer, in one of her book signings.
Invite her and Akari to her once-in-a-century succession to her family home at the foot of Mount Fiji.
He explains how his family devoted many years to medical research to stop the aging process and his family heirloom called the Fruit of Youth.
He wants Haruka to participate by pretending to write a story about the family, but he really wants me to investigate the Fruit of Youth and a recently discovered skeleton.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is a gripping mystery that has a good pace with interesting characters.
There was never a wasted scene or character, each scenario had a certain significance that could be used in your mystery.
The well-crafted story makes nothing obvious and makes players work to decipher every mystery. This is definitely one for crime fiction fans.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is a live-action game that is basically an interactive movie.
It’s shot well and could easily pass for a TV show, with the high level of production values, especially with the costumes appearing to be an authentic recreation of that era.
The game has dual audio, with English and Japanese, but I’d stick to Japanese audio with subtitles as nonexistent lip sync with English audio can be really jarring.
The Centennial Case is an interactive game in which players will be able to watch the scenes unfold in real time.
Each case will be set in a different time period with the same actors playing different key roles.
The game is set in several stages, the first being the crash stage where players will watch the scenario as they interact with the cast to find out more information by noticing the clues on the screen.
Players will be able to pause and rewind scenes to find everything they have missed.
Once the scene ends, players will enter the Reasoning Phase where they are transported to a Cognitive Reasoning Space, which is essentially in Haruka’s head.
This is where players will use all the information and clues they have gathered to come up with a hypothesis by matching them on a puzzle with hexagonal pieces.
You can go back and replay the scenes to take another look at the clues. This system works by placing each clue on a grid that leads to different guesses that the player will use to build their case against the suspected killer.
The game will automatically add any clues you missed to the cognitive reasoning space, I feel this kind of water down the investigative element of the game like you missed something, you should really be punished for it.
The player will then enter the Solution phase where he will choose the correct hypothesis to find the killer. If you make a wrong choice it will lead to a bad end but players will have the option to try again.
The Centennial case requires a lot of attention to deduce what the correct clues are, I found that choosing something that seemed logical wasn’t always the right choice.
It is great that there is a high level of penalty required to pass this game, but I feel that in some places it holds the hands of the players.
The space of cognitive reasoning may seem a bit confusing at first, but once players get into the swing of things, it becomes a rather enjoyable experience.
There is also a hint system called Insight, this will help players match relevant clues to the right place.
This will cost one Insight point and can only be reused once fully loaded.
I feel their game should have incorporated some kind of local co-op as it’s really fun to play with some friends around.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story creates a surprising addiction, which comes down to well-crafted narrative and a large cast of characters.
I’ve heard there were times when the game lacked that extra bit of challenge it needed, but overall it will test your logical thinking. The game is much shorter than expected with no reason for a second game once you have all the correct endings.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is now available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows