I’ve never seen anything else like it. You move a cursor around and talk to people in order to find clues to try and solve the mystery. I guess you’d just call it a “mystery-solving game.” It’s the only game I know of it’s kind, but only because Nintendo’s Where’s Waldo? doesn’t count as “mystery-solving” or “a game.” And just when you thought Sega CD couldn’t get any better, they have a game that lets you read the newspaper. And if you get bored of that, they let you read the phone book, too. Thanks, Sega, I already don’t have a life, you don’t have to fucking laugh at me too, asshole. They didn’t even bother with an introduction, either. I guess they figured not enough people would buy it. That’s probably the same reason it came packaged with another game. And not just any other game, Sega Classics Arcade Collection, which comes with FOUR GAMES on it. They really weren’t hoping for a lot when they put Sherlock Holmes on the market. The game consists of three cases. The first is called “The Mummy’s Curse,” a case in which “The London Times” claims the main suspect of a murder is a mummy. I wish there was a way to tell the judge that you have honestly concluded that the murderer is, in fact, the mummy. I would use this function in every case, even the ones that don’t have anything to do with mummies. And then, the judge would say, “Well, I guess that wraps up this case!” and the entire courtroom would have one big disco party! Oh! Oh! Then the mummy would come in and sing the Monster Mash! Now THAT would be a fucking awesome game!
The first case has my least favorite video game clue, ever. Due to the bad sound quality of the Sega CD, when Sherlock asks someone if they’re sure they don’t have any enemies, he ends with, “Even Mr. Urubuglu?” ‘WHAT THE FUCK?’ I thought, and replayed the scene. “Even Mr. Buruguglu?” Again. “Mr. Buruguvlu?” “Gurubublu?” “Bublububu?” ‘Jesus.’ I went through the entire fucking phone book, looking for something that even remotely resembled “Ububugu.” When I finally got to “U,” there it was. Anthony Uruburu. URUBURU. The people who made the game have to know how bad speech sounds on the Sega. Why the fuck would they have somebody named Mr. Uruburu?
Finally, a phone-book simulator that causes aneurysms. And epilepsy.
You know, Sherlock’s logic doesn’t make any sense at all. During one scene, Watson tells Holmes that he “checked in with Mr. Al-Saud’s manservant, and-” Then Sherlock says, “And you discovered that Mr. Al-Saud was not at home.” Wanna know how he knew? Because Watson had crumbs on him from a bakery. And everyone knows you can’t have a pastry and see Mr. Al-Saud. It’s a physical impossibility. You would simply cease to exist. Also, Watson is a fucking idiot, as illustrated by this conversation between the two detectives:
SHERLOCK: “Pity, it appears that no one is in.” WATSON: “However can you tell?” SHERLOCK: (with annoyed tone of voice) “There is a sign on the door that says ‘WE ARE GONE FOR THE DAY.’” WATSON: “How terribly observant, Holmes.” SHERLOCK: “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
How about, “More than five fucking brain cells, my dear Watson.” The second case is “The Mystified Murderess.” Like the rest of the cases, this one has to be solved by looking at a strategy guide. In the past, my level of intelligence has been compared to that of a potato. But I really don’t think it’s my fault for needing a strategy guide for this game. The people you have to question are not talked about by anyone else in the game. I guess you’re just supposed to pick random names in the phone book and get really lucky. And for some reason, the clues that are necessary for solving the case have the least to do with anything. Like the clue where some bank nobody ever mentioned tells you something about a person being a customer there. And there’s no possible way you would be able to solve the case just by the necessary clues alone. Some important information has been left out, so Sherlock just fills in the gaps with his crazy assumptions. And the judge believes him. I guess England doesn’t have juries, so the judge just proclaims someone is guilty based on something that sounds plausible.
"So, why is it you suspect that Anthony Vansklagglegaard is the guilty party? Because Vance Vaasenhaussen went to the bank on Thursday? Brilliant! Well... good enough anyway, it's already past lunch. Have Mr. Vaansklaklglaarden executed IMMEDIATELY! Please."
Case three: “The Tin Soldier.” By now, you should have realized that all the mysteries’ titles sound like crappy Scooby Doo episodes, only less clever. Which is why I was surprised to see that the last case is actually fun at first, and I was very excited to see the change. I felt, appropriately, as giddy as an unsuspecting anime schoolgirl. But then, of course, here come the proverbial tentacles. As usual, it had clues I couldn’t find and then I just wanted to throw the whole thing out the window. Also, in order to solve the case, you have to know what the General called his ugly wife behind her back. This was the most important part of the case because the programmers ran out of questions to ask you. “I, the judge, find the defendant GUILTY of marrying a hag and not liking her, in the first degree…” When you feel you are ready to go to the judge with your case, it usually doesn’t matter because chances are, you missed some clue that you couldn’t possibly have known about. If you actually find all the clues and are still playing, you get to go to the elimination round, where the judge asks you questions like “Why did someone turn this chess piece backwards?” and “What did the General think of the beast he married?” And whenever you’re wrong, the judge ALWAYS seems to know. My question is: if he already knows whether you’re right or wrong, why the hell do you even have a job? He's obviously already solved the case before you and knows everything you're going to tell him about it, and he’s the fucking JUDGE. He’s not even a detective! Knowing this, couldn’t the game’s producer have saved me the trouble of pointlessly searching for clues I can’t possibly find by telling me this before or not making the game? What a dick.
GRAPHICS: 8 The graphics in this game are actually pretty decent, till I shoot the TV for playing crap like this. SOUND: 4 There is barely any music in this game, and even the little there is, isn’t fantastic. And the Sega executive who’s two-year-old thought up “Urugugu?” can die. PLAY CONTROL: N/A Moving a cursor around a menu takes about as much play control as navigating through a website. So congratulations, no matter what kind of problems you have, you’re qualified to play Sherlock Holmes. Well, unless you have epilepsy. FUN: 4 I think the main problem was the programmer must have used the game script to roll his own joint, so some of the clues were left out of the game, which is why you can’t logically get to the clues you need. Also, the humor in this game is only funny if you lived in a time when you were still afraid of your mom getting killed by Jack the Ripper.
OVERALL RATING: 4
Well, if you like frustration and lots of loading time, this is the game for you. Again, this might go back to me being as smart as a French fry, but if I wanted video game torture that pretends to let me solve things, I might as well have played Where’s Waldo? again.
This review is kind of short, but that’s because the game didn’t change much as it progressed and didn’t have an ending or credits to make fun of. And it didn’t even get possessed once. I tell ya, I got gypped.