Review: Detective Gallo (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Review: Detective Gallo (Switch)

by Michael Brandse 

A point and click adventure like the good old days. For better or worse. 


Detective Gallo is a point and click adventure, that seems to have been heavily influenced by classics such as Day of the Tentacle. As far as gameplay goes, Detective Gallo plays it relatively safe. You will be walking around the world collecting items, sometimes combining items with other items and giving those items to NPCs to progress the story. There are some exceptions, but they are rare. As the game progresses, what the game requires for you to progress becomes more and more cryptic and you may find yourself spending time simply trying out all sorts of item combinations in the hopes that you manage to combine something you overlooked. However, the game also has a couple of other failings which by themselves may be very minor, but combined become an annoyance. For instance, the walk speed of the titular Detective Gallo is very slow, without an option to speed it up by for instance holding a button. This becomes an annoyance when you have to backtrack a lot to find that one clue that enables you to progress the game. All in all, the gameplay and overall design in Detective Gallo could use some work.

However, rather than gameplay, a point and click adventure depends a great deal on its writing. Detective Gallo went for a more humorous approach, much like the Lucasarts adventures of old it seems to draw inspiration from, but unfortunately it doesn’t manage to be very funny. I think the developers were trying to go with a wacky sort of humor, but more often than not it just ends up being random instead. Most of the writing is simply not very consistent and things the game thinks we should find hilarious are completely undermined only moments later. Another issue is that many characters in Detective Gallo seem to be underutilized. For instance, there is a lady who has a massive crush on Gallo and is somewhat of a stalker. There is a lot of potential between this character and the genuinely unlikable Gallo, but other than some conversations and a few instances in where she is necessary to advance the game, the character is not used at all. I would have loved to see her be an actual stalker, for instance.


Graphically speaking, Detective Gallo is all over the place. Its static environments are stellar. The world of Detective Gallo is colorful and whimsical and elicits a feeling of the Saturday morning cartoons kids growing up in the 80s and 90s used to watch. The characters are also well designed. They do tend to follow certain stereotypes, but in a game like this where all characters need to be easily remembered, I feel that’s a good thing. Animations however leave much to be desired as they often only have a few frames of animation. It’s something I would have expected in games from 20 or so years ago, but nowadays I expect better. As for the music, I think the music of the game is okay. The game uses a lot of jazz themes, which suits the whole detective genre. Voice acting was also rather strong.  

While Detective Gallo has some things going for it, such as its excellent artwork, overall there are too many things working against Detective Gallo to make it stand out in any way. Especially its lackluster writing is a big strike against the game. Even though it tries, it simply is not very funny. As such, Detective Gallo is hard to recommend to anyone but the most hardcore point and click adventure fan.

Final score: 5.0

No comments: