"Only they can solve the mystery of that island"
"Detective Conan and The Young Kindaichi Files: The Chance Meeting of the Two Great Detectives" Commercial
I'm re-reading books, so I might as well replay videogames, right?
Readers of this blog might have noticed that I like the two manga Detective Conan and Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo. I like them very much, as the two are pretty much my introduction to the world of Japanese detective fiction and both series definitely played a big part in my 'education' of the genre.More generally, these two series are easily the most popular orthodox detective manga series in existence and are considered household names in Japan. And in 2008/2009, someone had the great idea of mixing the two series. Which is pretty big, considering that both series are from two different publishers (Shogakukan and Kodansha). At first, the collaboration of Conan and Kindaichi consisted of a magazine that reprinted old stories of the two series together, which wasn't exactly the things fans wanted, I think. We did get coffee, a Conan and Kindaichi branded The Game of Life and somewhat weird crossover art though.
But then suddenly a crossover Nintendo DS game was announced and all was forgiven. February 2009 was the month the world was given the first and only true crossover between Detective Conan and Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo in Meitantei Conan & Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Meguriau Futari no Meitantei ("Detective Conan and The Young Kindaichi Files: The Chance Meeting of the Two Great Detectives"). Few things can defeat the smile that appeared on my face when I first saw the trailer. I still don't know who came up with the idea of making a crossover between the series, but you have my eternal thanks.
Also because this was quite a decent game. The story starts when Edogawa Conan (and his entourage consisting of Kogorou, Ran and the Detective Boys) arrive at Dusk Island to investigate a series of kamikakushi (people being 'spirited away') that happened on the island. At the same time however, Kindaichi Hajime, not-really-girlfriend Miyuki and Inspector Kenmochi arrive at Dusk Island, as an old classmate of Miyuki begged them to help prevent a horrible event that was about to happen at Dusk Island. The two detectives each start their own investigations on the island, but Hajime and Kenmochi end up... being spirited away! Miyuki joins up with the Conan-troupe, hoping to find Hajime. Meanwhile, Conan manages to solve a murder that happened on Dusk Island, only to hear that the murder has something to do with a tragedy that happened 25 years ago on Dusk Island, that started with a unsolved murder in the library. Back to Hajime and Kenmochi, who wake up in a place that kinda looks like Dusk Island, but... different. Almost as if... this was the Dusk Island as it was well, roughly 25 years ago. And then the duo is forced to solve a murder in the library to clear their own names...
As a detective game, this is entertaining, but also very predictable. It is standard adventure-fare with a lot of talking and location-hunting. You accumulate keywords during the story-part of the game, which are used as items. At times, you are asked to combine two keywords (items) to make a deduction and at the end of a case, you are asked to fill in a flowchart with keywords through questions like 'who was the victim', 'what was used by the murderer for the X trick', 'who is the murderer', which leads into a confrontation scene with the murderer. There you are prompted several times with questions to show you understand what the trick is (and also includes some things like finding contradictions in testimonies), but it is all quite easy if you know what's going on.
The same team that developed this game also made the Nintendo DS game Meitantei Conan Aoki Houseki no Rondo ("Detective Conan Rondo of the Blue Jewel"), with practically the same game engine and it sadly enough has the same problems like this game. The stories can be entertaining, but the game pretty much forces the solution upon the player, instead of letting him free.
A much more natural change from novel to game is the sound novel, like with Kamaitachi no Yoru. There the story indeed changes based on the input of the player, so if a player doesn't know what is going on in a case, he usually ends up with a bad ending. It is a lot harder to improvise yourself through those games. The 'downpoint' is that those games need massive writing resources, as the writer has to come up with a great number of possible deductions (=storylines) the player may have that may or may not lead to bad endings.Of course, I have written things about detective adventure games in the past already, but as someone who likes games and detective fiction (and apparently as one of the few people actually interested in the combined topic), I am always inclined to comment on this.
But crossover magic does make this a game worthwile to play if you like the two series. It is really fun to see Hajime and Conan working together on a big case and there is enough fanservice available to make you forget the sometimes rather easy game. The cases are not among the best the two great detectives have seen, but the seperate cases, the main storyline of Dusk Island and the little references to the two series work cumulatively to become a enjoyable work for fans (and it is an OK detective game too). I for one would certainly see a sequel to this game!
Original Japanese title(s): 『名探偵コナン＆金田一少年の事件簿 めぐりあう2人の名探偵』