Sq. Enix’s The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story ($19.99) was a surprisingly good time, but additionally one of many greatest surprises from the writer in a very long time. From its exhibiting within the Japanese Nintendo Direct to getting confirmed for international launch and eventually hitting consoles and PC, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story has been fairly a journey. Since launching, the FMV mystery-adventure sport has gotten a number of notable updates enhancing the general interface and controls, however I all the time questioned how lengthy it will take to hit cellular. Lower than a yr after debuting for $49.99, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story hit cellular every week in the past for $19.99 bringing the whole expertise to iOS and Android units worldwide. Having performed The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story on PS5, Nintendo Change, Change Lite, PC, and Steam Deck earlier than, I’m very impressed with most issues in regards to the iOS model.
For my evaluation of The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story, I’m going to cowl why that is my favourite FMV sport of all time, the way it performs on each iPad and iPhone, examine the totally different variations briefly that will help you discover what to purchase, and likewise what wants fixing in potential updates. I’ve stated this earlier than, however The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story feels just like the closest expertise to an interactive model of an enormous price range Netflix drama.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story has you sort out a number of murders going down over the span of a century in an FMV sport, and its manufacturing values are superlative. It’s in contrast to something I had performed earlier than, and I nonetheless take into consideration how the builders pulled this off throughout a pandemic as effectively. As an FMV sport, you’ll spend many of the 14 or so hours runtime watching scenes play out, however the way in which the solid takes on totally different roles throughout totally different time intervals throughout the story is incredible.
Because the title suggests, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story focuses on the Shijimas, and begins with you taking up the position of thriller novelist Haruka Kagami assembly them. The story offers with murders, betrayal, household heirlooms, curses, and extra. On paper, I believed I’d get uninterested in the identical solid all through, however that is the very best showcase of the actors’ expertise with how they managed pulling off a number of roles and the way it all match completely into the overarching narrative and cause for this taking part in out. As a story-focused launch, I’d advocate shopping for or attempting this via the demo in case you have a distant curiosity.
Barring watching the story progress via a video and making some choices, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story has you placing collectively clues and mysteries to kind your speculation as Haruka Kagami. This entails scrolling via a timeline grid and putting hexagonal items accurately. It isn’t quite simple, however generally going via the motions of varied choices to seek out the answer you’ve already found out may get tiring. This part performs out like a mix of a primary matching sport as you discover the right patterns on the items. The resolution section comes after this the place you employ your speculation to attempt to unravel the issue.
As a smaller solid than I anticipated, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story does rather a lot with its expertise. FMV video games reside and die by their performing and manufacturing for the movies, and I’m but to see one ship on immersion like The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story did since I performed it final yr. Barring Nanami Sakuraba who performs the protagonist Haruka, Mansaku Ikeuchi is well my favourite of the solid. The unique actors spoke in Japanese, however there’s an non-obligatory English voice monitor. I used to be happy to see the choice, however the English dub right here ought to’ve been higher. I caught to Japanese for my playthroughs throughout all platforms after testing out the English choice for a number of hours.
Hayashi Yuuki’s rating for The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is wonderful. The totally different variations of particular songs that play based mostly on the period in-game are wonderful. The total soundtrack is nice, and I’m glad Sq. Enix lastly added it to streaming companies worldwide when the cellular model of the sport was launched. The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story was a spotlight of 2022 not only for its story and actors, but additionally its music which I proceed listening to outdoors the sport.
Visually, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story appears beautiful. The encoding performed for the movies isn’t good, nevertheless it appears nice on my iPad Professional (2020) mannequin nearly on a regular basis. There are some cases the place I’d have most well-liked larger decision movies although. As a sport designed for 16:9 shows, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story does have black bars with paintings to replenish the display relying in your machine. There is seemingly no method to zoom in or change the paintings utilized in these components. There is an choice to vary the standard of the 3D gameplay parts which apply to the hypotheses.
When it debuted on PC and consoles final yr, I wasn’t a fan of the controls. The cursor motion was too gradual even on PS5, and it simply felt sluggish on Change in components. It was additionally a bit annoying to undergo the Reasoning Section with selecting up hexagons and putting them on the grid. A post-launch patch dramatically improved how I felt in regards to the controls, and I nonetheless hoped to see contact assist added on Change. It by no means arrived. On iPad and iPhone, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story performs nice, however I want it ran at the next body price in these components. Granted, I don’t have the most recent units, however I might’ve favored a efficiency mode for the Reasoning Section at the very least. The controls throughout the precise FMV sequences are good on a touchscreen.
I used to be inquisitive about how The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story would deal with the set up dimension on cellular given it’s over 15GB even on Change. On iOS, it’s worthwhile to obtain an extra 1.53GB in-game simply to begin the prologue after the preliminary App Retailer model is put in. Past that, the remaining chapters might be downloaded on demand if you attain them in-game or from the title display. The whole remaining obtain dimension is 13.68GB for the complete sport.
My points with The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story on iOS particularly are the shortage of iCloud save syncing, no controller assist (minor difficulty), and a few interface components not being excessive decision. Having 4K video assist for the in-game FMV sequences isn’t possible given the file dimension of these movies on PC and PS5, however Sq. Enix ought to’ve made certain the sport’s interface appears crisp on all units. Controller assist isn’t wanted, however I don’t get why they didn’t go away it in since this sport is accessible on consoles with controller assist already. The lack of iCloud sync is annoying. It might’ve been nice to play this like watching one thing on Netflix by resuming throughout units. I’m happy that The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story doesn’t have on-line DRM for launching the sport like Sq. Enix’s Voice of Playing cards trilogy on cellular.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story – PS5, Change, Steam Deck, PC, and iOS in contrast
The greatest method to expertise The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story proper now’s on a 4K show on PS5. it has the very best visuals, DualSense options, and extra. The PC model with the 4K DLC pack is an in depth second, however the PC model has no Steam Cloud assist in its present state. Following these two, I’d go along with a more recent iPad as the easiest way to expertise The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story on the go. It has nice visuals and performs brilliantly. It isn’t as intuitive on a smaller display so I might go iPad over iPhone until you will have an iPhone 14 Plus or comparable sized display. The Change model has the slowest loading, some efficiency points, and the bottom high quality for the movies in comparison with different platforms. Steam Deck can provide a greater expertise due to 1080p movies downsampled on the system, however the display isn’t pretty much as good as an OLED Change or any current iOS machine I’ve entry to.
My suggestions, assuming you will have entry to the methods, are PS5 for those who don’t care about portability and iPad if you need the very best moveable expertise. You’ll be able to check out the free demo for The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story on PS5, PS4, Change, or a Home windows PC proper now to get an concept of the way it appears and controls in your platform of selection.
Whereas I hope it will get a demo in some unspecified time in the future on cellular like on different platforms, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is a gem of an FMV sport, and one among my favourite Sq. Enix video games in over a decade. The story is incredible and the actors had been wonderful throughout the board. All of this was elevated by its magnificent soundtrack. Having hit cellular with all updates included and controls effectively, The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story on iOS is the very best moveable model of the sport. My favourite model remains to be the PS5 launch, however I’m very happy with how The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story turned out in its cellular debut. Hopefully the few points I’ve might be sorted in updates.