Every game developer has to start somewhere, even for legendary game designers such as Goichi Suda, more commonly known as Suda 51. The designer, the founder of niche game developer Grasshopper Manufacture, has had his hand in games that many would consider strange but unmistakably original.
From the lunacy of No More Heroes, Killer is Dead, and Lollipop Chainsaw to the deep fantasy of Sine Mora all the way to insane action experiences such as Liberation Maiden, Suda 51 has proven to be a very talented and excitingly fresh mind in the world of games. It all started out small though, and it began with The Silver Case, a visual novel style adventure.
The Silver Case is described as a long lost game from the vivid portfolio of Suda-51. Originally, The Silver Case was released in 1999, in cooperation with ASCII Entertainment. That year, the game was released for the PlayStation One console. The game was exclusively released in Japan, never entering the United States. The game had a very positive response, and despite this success, a release to the United States was just not possible. However, that all changed over the course of the next decade, with more transparency of international video game releases. The Silver Case was re-released in Fall of 2016, fully remastered from the ground-up, for PCs. Today, the game finally makes its way to consoles.
The game revolves around a contemporary Japan, in a city known as The 24 Districts. A series of gruesome, high-profile killings begin to occur throughout the city and start to alarm the police department, as well as the citizens of the city. Two experienced detectives are dispatched from the High-degree Murder Division of the police department to track them down. All the murders trace to a single serial killer, known as Kamui Uehara. Through a series of text conversations, point-and-click, and some involved moments, players will go into the world of a deep murder-mystery and uncover the startling truth.
I personally played the game back in Seattle, at Pax West 2016. The Playism booth was promoting the game, and I had a moment to check it out. The entire game is extremely reminiscent of 1990’s geek culture, such as Anime, intellectual crime-solving stories reminiscent of Law & Order, and a small degree of science-fiction and cyberpunk.
My particular demo had the detectives interviewing the lone survivor of an unexpected ambush on a SWAT Team. As I had played the demo, I walked along the events, with my player moving through the woods. A large team of at least six members accompanied my character. However, tragically the further I moved in, the more dire the situation became. Their blood-curdling screams echoed through the headphones as each was murdered one by one. For whatever reason, my character was spared.
Whatever was going on, it was up to the player, and these detectives to figure it out.
Now that The Silver Case is available on PS4 and Xbox One more players will get the chance to solve this long lost mystery.