Grasshopper Manufacture – the studio responsible for Killer7 and No More heroes – is going to remake its first game: The Silver Case. This fall, the point-and-click adventure game that first saw life 1999 will see its first release outside of Japan.
Activity Gaming Media will be handling localisation, and this will be the first iteration of the game in English. This is a delicate task given that much of the game’s story is told using 2D artwork, photos, and above all else text. Lots of text. The remake will utilise the Unity game engine, giving much of its look a new level of polish. The game’s story focuses on an alternate fictional Japan featuring a sprawl known as ‘The 24 Districts’, which becomes the site for several twisted murders. The story has two strands entitled Transmitter and Placebo, the former being the on-going case as sleuthed through by detectives of the HMD (high-degree murder division); the latter is drawn from the point of view of the press, specifically a freelance writer.
On top of this the original game had a sequel expansion entitled Silver Case, 25 Ward, which could well see new life. The 2009 DS game Sun, Flower and Rain was set in the same universe featuring several of the original game’s characters; the ending to FS&R was infamously confusing and will perhaps make more sense to the confused.
Perhaps even more intriguing than this was Goichi Suda’s comments on the remake; he seemed to insinuate that more remakes could be on the way for Grasshoppers cult titles: “It’s impossible for a lot of younger gamers to play a lot of Grasshopper Manufacture titles, even from the PlayStation 2 and GameCube eras, as you need both the disc and the hardware to play those games. So it’s becoming very much a reality that since these games can’t be played anymore something needs to be done. That’s a big part of the motivation for doing The Silver Case at this time.”
Suda’s quote is refreshing in that it sheds light on the cynicism surrounding so many re-releases. It is often easy to look at a re-release as a cash-in because they often are; however, with games like this it is more about adding something valid to a great game. So much more than this though, it is about giving a new generation of gamers the chance to play something they missed the boat on. We could be seeing some iconic game re-emerge in the near future; watch this space.
The Silver Case will be released this fall for PC through Steam, Playism and other online release platforms.