Overall, I find The Centennial Case a compelling mystery and game. It is a well-done interactive drama. The multi-generational story isn’t just a gimmick, but an inspired choice, and everything comes together in a perfectly satisfying and thoughtful way in the finale. It constantly surprised me with its production values across all fronts (except the disappointing translation) and kept me entertained and asking questions the entire time. I am particularly pleased with the reasoning system as a vessel for solving mysteries in an interactive environment. I will be there on day one for any follow-up games and recommend any mystery fans check out The Centennial Case.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story, but it’s definitely an oddity in today’s gaming landscape. It’s more “interactive film” than a video game, and you should definitely go into it with the mindset that it’s something that’s meant to be watched instead of played.
In the history of gaming there have been experiences where everything about the game is fantastic except for the actual gameplay. The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story falls into this category. The well-written story keeps the player captivated through the entire playthrough while the music perfectly complements each scene. The acting cast is top notch, especially if the original Japanese audio track is used. The hexagon system of coming to a hypothesis can get quickly tedious, and with no penalty for a wrong conclusion or choices that have any impact more than the illusion of involvement, there isn’t any replay value. But the lackluster gameplay aside, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is a wonderful story that should be experienced and one of the better attempts at an FMV game.
While The Centennial Case has an interesting story to tell—and it's quite an enjoyable story at that—it's better told in a different medium. As a game, it struggles to balance the narrative with gameplay. Because it hands players the solutions, it then has to butcher reasonable logic or outright lie to prevent them from stampeding through each case. Had it just been a TV show, the red herrings could've been used as diversions that the protagonist cleverly dispels to find the truth. Instead, The Centennial Case feels like a TV show providing pop quizzes with only wrong answers.
SummaryThe complex and interwoven mysteries you’ll unravel in this investigative adventure are centered around the ill-fated Shijima family, which has suffered a series of inexplicable deaths over the last century. As Haruka Kagami, it’s up to you to use your powers of deduction to uncover the truth behind these mysterious events and the ‘Fruit...