YMMV / Criminal Case

  • Archive Panic: Good luck if you've just recently started to play the game. Grimsborough arc itself has total 56 cases to be solved. Pacific Bay has 59, and more updates are still coming with the World Edition. Not to mention each case (except Case #1 without the Additional Investigation) may need a few days to complete, unless you speed things up using cash.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Jack Archer. He was a popular character at the start of World Edition, but as time went on, his immature side started to show. While many fans still like him, others find his overly whiny behavior annoying, particularly in the Africa finale, and tend to prefer Carmen Martinez as a partner.
    • Asal Hawaa has become this, even moreso than Jack. After breaking up with Jack, she becomes a massive Smug Snake and not only treats Jack like an idiot, but taunts the player about the Bureau's failures after the events of Africa. Some find this to make her a more interesting character, while others are put off by her smugness.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In Case 47's AI, Jack and Michelle accidentally drink some hallucinogen and spend the afternoon acting hilariously weird from the high. It comes out of nowhere and after a few mentions directly afterward, it's put behind them after Lars promises it won't happen again.
    • Case 50's AI has Lars looking for a missing Jack, only to discover that he was dared to dress up as a pretty girl by Chockas D. Lux. This has nothing to do with the rest of the case, and at Jack's urging, is never mentioned again.
  • Broken Base:
    • When the number of points required to earn stars was decreased drastically (roughly by 80%). Some viewed it as a way to make the game more appealing to casual players who'd lose interest playing the same scene a dozen times. Others viewed it as a way to rush people through the game to make sure they'd always be waiting on a lab and be more likely to spend money.
    • On the subject of police pets, some people love the non-dog animals. Others think the non-dogs are cartoony and obnoxious and that it should have been kept strictly dogs.
    • A lot of bad things have been happening to Amy Young that make fans either endlessly pity her or think that it's just overkill. Her new attitude doesn't help her case on either end.
    • At the end of the Sahara Region, the revelation that Chief Ripley faked her death has been met with mixed opinions, especially throughout the Eurasia region. While some fans are happy that she's alive, others complain about her fiery attitude and constant scolding of the player to find SOMBRA, despite them finding several good clues that would help figure out SOMBRA's identity, even wishing that her death would've been real.
    • The opinions on Case 42 (In Plain Sight). It's one of the most dramatic cases of the season, and while the plot and drama itself had been well-received, some fans dislike the case because of Michelle's needlessly nasty interrogations, and the fact that Lars and Angela will be separated due to Angela being SOMBRA's mole.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: There's almost no saint victim. Virtually, victims in every case are loathed by more than one suspects for one reason or another, regardless they deserve to be treated as Asshole Victims or not. As noted in Narm below, the game shamelessly depicts many victims in negative way and the suspects openly thrash-talk them as if they never learn how to not speak ill of the dead.
  • Ear Worm: The background music, which plays and loops continuously throughout game-play.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Eduardo Ramirez, the Butt Monkey of a Grimsborough PD officer whose role in many of the initial cases is meager at best, and mostly appears to become the brunt of jokes. He is also one of the most popular characters in the game, so much so that he was brought back in the Pacific Bay arc as a private detective (and he is the first Grimsborough character to make an appearance in the new city).
    • Asal Hawaa started out as just another suspect, then her status as a secret agent and Wild Card status to the Bureau made her a very likeable character to fans. Her relationship with Jack also rubbed fans the right way.
    • Sandeep Sadhra, a happy-go-lucky tuk-tuk driver who is always nice to the player and doesn't hold grudges against anyone who's wronged him. He's very well liked to the point that fans were furious when he was brutally killed off.
    • Elliot Clayton, the Bureau's tech expert, was one of the more popular Bureau members when first introduced due to his character design and concept. His appearances in World Edition are mostly limited to analyses and cameos, but his popularity with fans only increased as he was revealed to be a Defrosting Ice King with Hidden Depths.
    • Michelle Zuria was only important for two arcs dying unceremoniously at the last one, and a supplementary character for a third. But she was well liked among fans for her personality and Story Arc.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Serial killers Tess Goodwin and Duncan Young are very popular with fans despite their lack of remorse for their victims. Tess ends up murdered in the second to last case of Grimsborough, upping her to martyrdom for her fans.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Lars's usually hilarious knock-knock jokes have a Dark Reprise after Angela's betrayal of the Bureau:
    Lars: I've got a new knock-knock joke, and my whole life is the punchline! Knock-knock! Who's there? I'll tell you who's not there, my wife! Because she turned out to be a murderous SOMBRA spy!
  • Genius Bonus: The space-obsessed astronaut wannabe, Yelena Tereshkova, has her name based on the first woman in space Valentina Tershkova. It kinda makes her obsession a little more understandable.
  • Growing the Beard: The second half of Pacific Bay was notable for having intriguing character arcs and interesting stories within each district, as well as delving into Frank's difficult past. When World Edition came after that, it brought with it a suspenseful plot that spans the entire season, and goes into the bonds the main characters have with each other as well as their personalities.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Rewatching all the Pacific Bay Cases with Frank turn into this after the 56th case, where he's revealed to have betrayed the team and becomes a wanted fugitive. And then after The Wastes, it becomes a Tear Jerker since he died a hero trying to stop the supercomputer. Before that, his wife is killed by Alden Greene and his only surviving daughter is unable to come out of her coma.
    • Likewise, when it's revealed that there's a SOMBRA spy amongst the main Bureau personnel. This is especially depressing since World Edition not only fleshed out all of its main characters, but showed how close they were to one another and the player character. After seeing what lengths the Bureau would go to protect its members, it's jarring that one of them would still order the rest of their personnel to be killed.
    • After the events of Case 42, it's hard to rewatch any scene with Angela and Lars without feeling sad.
    • During the cases that featured Grace and her fiancee, Luke Harris in Grimsborough, the two were clearly happy and looked out for each other. When Grace reappears in World Edition, she reveals that she broke off the engagement, not giving a clear reason.
    • Asal and Anya's standoff in Mongolia becomes this after Anya nearly kills Asal in Case 54.
    • In World Edition case 21, Jack makes a passing comment about Dupont's age making him vulnerable, and Dupont angrily responds that he's in the prime of his life. This becomes heartbreaking in the World Edition finale, where Dupont is shot by the killer, and his old age causes him to die of his injuries.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Jones first hears about the Crimson Order, he doesn't buy it and remarks "What next? Aliens run the world?" Later on in Pacific Bay, there are aliens disguised as humans living in Rhine Canyon.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The interactions between Elliot and Benjamin Scott are interpreted as this by some fans. Elliot is very eager to meet Benjamin during his first appearance, and his interactions with the latter are the first time he shows his true nature. Benjamin, who acts stuck-up and spoiled around the adult characters, tends to be much nicer when talking to Elliot. When it's revealed that Benjamin ran away to the Sahara to escape his clingy (but loving) parents, Elliot spends his next two AI appearances trying to convince him to go home to safety.
    • In the final case of the Sahara, when Elliot finds footage of Benjamin acting like an extremist, he becomes saddened and calls it "a new low", even for that investigation. Later on, he manages to comfort Benjamin when he is ashamed for all the bad decisions he made in the Sahara. When he tells Benjamin to remember the good parts of his adventure, one of the things included in that list was "met a tech genius."
    • Some fans see Jack and Lars' close bond as a basis for shipping them. Indeed, Jack seem to act as Lars's primary emotional support, and could talk sense to the latter in ways that his own wife, Angela, can't. Exemplified further when Angela is revealed to be the SOMBRA mole, and Jack is the only reason Lars hasn't been Driven to Suicide yet. The South American region in particular puts a heavy emphasis on their bond, and in Case 47, Jack gets high and hallucinates about feeling cozy in Lars's arms. In North America, the other Bureau members (and Asal) all support the idea of the two being together.
  • I Knew It: Most fans were not surprised about the revelation that Duncan Young is the Night Walker — in fact, Pitchingace88 has been quite expecting this development since the earlier cases in White Peaks. Many were not actually happy about it, though, and would have preferred it to be anyone else.
  • Memetic Badass: Many fans apparently sees Honorable Dante as the most Badass characters among the cast, even though he only appears at the end of each case and never participates in any of the action scenes.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Just about any murder that wasn't an accident or whose perpetrator wasn't sympathetic would qualify for this, but several individuals in this game deserve special mention.
    • Alden Greene is pegged for most of the Financial Center arc as a Corrupt Corporate Executive who's suspected to be involved in some very questionable transactions, who believes money can solve any trouble, and who's a Smug Snake in general. Then he murders recurring character Rachel Priest with an injection that causes her to die a horrific death, in order to keep her from revealing the unethical Super Soldier program he's about to bankroll.
    • Margaret Littlewood appears to be a kindly, if a little nosy old lady who loves dogs. Then comes the dog pageant event, and this seemingly harmless woman becomes a monster when she killed 3 dogs and one of the dog's owners, then attempted to kill Jones to scare the police from continuing the investigation, just to win the event.
    • The Rorschach Reaper is already a heartless Serial Killer and master manipulator. Who then goes on to hypnotize Jones into attempting to murder the player character.
    • Milton Grimmes is the head of an organization that is implied to be behind almost all of Grimsborough's murders, including the murders of Rachel Priest and Adam Bentley. Then, he points a gun at the player character.
    • Erikah Mabayo is the second Serial Killer in the game behind the Rorschach Reaper, and it shows. Even beforehand, she is responsible for several minor crimes in Bayou Bleu, but in Case 10 it is discovered that she killed 4 24-year old prostitutes for no real reason, including one of the only sympathetic characters in the bayou, singlehandedly ruined Harvey Fitchner's career, found the only witness and blackmailed him, then started the voodoo craze to give herself power.
    • Duncan Young is the third Serial Killer and he has absolutely no remorse for his actions as the Night Walker. He froze at least three women in ice and stabbed a man with an icicle all because he felt insignificant after getting shot on duty. Not to mention that he taught himself how to walk again but remained in his wheelchair to likely garner sympathy. It doesn't work when he's finally caught as not even his sister feels sorry for him anymore
    • The Sword in World Edition starts off by shooting Chief Ripley, forcing the Bureau to find her attacker in the Sahara. The leader then starts toying with them in every case, all the while manipulating others to do his dirty work and beheading one of them when he wasn't useful anymore. In the very last case of the Sahara, he kidnaps an innocent little boy, nearly kills Armand Dupont, almost driving a teenager to extremism, and tops it off by an attempt to kill Carmen and the player when they arrest him. Luckily, Jonah Karam shoots him dead before he can.
    • The COSMORUS mole crosses this when she launches SOMBRA's satellite without a care that the safety of the entire world would be compromised by her actions. Her reason for this? She wanted total control of the Russian government, and didn't care if she had to endanger the entire planet by doing so.
    • Ayush Patil deserves a special mention, especially since he's just a one-shot character who doesn't appear in a district finale. He had a god complex and used sociology as an excuse to release a deadly, man-made plague onto the public of Bangalore, where he hoped to do some population control. The virus kills thousands and sickens several more, including Lars, who was trying to help stop it. When he is arrested, Ayush shows no regret whatsoever, even feeling proud of himself for "unleashing a new era". Even as he's sentenced to life in jail he continues to take pride in his despicable actions. The amount of damage he caused in just one episode is jarring and considered unforgivable.
    • Similar to the above example, one case of World Edition gives us Anbu Devanesan. He's another one-shot villain outside of a district finale, but quickly established himself as one the fandom loves to hate. He kills an innocent woman just because she stumbled upon his suspicious activities, and does everything to make sure that the Bureau's suspicions will be placed on the other suspects- including crying all the time, faking a suicide attempt and hiding behind his lawyer. The player manages to break through the facade when they find all the evidence, but unlike most killers, this guy doesn't stop when he's placed under arrest. Elliot exposes him as a SOMBRA agent, and he reacts by taking the boy hostage and hurting him, even shooting Jack when he tries to stop him. When Carmen and Jonah show up, Anbu smugly threatens to kill Elliot in front of them, but is thankfully stopped and given a life sentence. While his crimes of murder and money laundering are already heinous, his kidnapping of Elliot is what everyone considers unforgivable.
    • Subverted with Angela Douglas when she's revealed to be a SOMBRA agent. While In-Universe her actions are considered irredeemable, some fans still consider her a sympathetic character, and it helps that the entirety of her motives have yet to be revealed. By the end, though, given that she was willing to bomb the Bureau and her callous assertion of Dupont's death, most fans found she lost her sympathy.
  • Narm: The game's depiction about asshole victims where they are very loathed by most, if not all, suspects in the case they're killed; is almost as cheesy and laughable as how asshole victims are depicted in Detective Conan.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Vanna Alabama appeared for only one case in World Edition, but her entire appearance is so over-the-top that it's hard to forget.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: RussAmy for the ever-popular Russell/Amy, while MariJack for Marina/Jack seem to have popped up occasionally in the wikia page. JoRina has also been used for the Jonah/Marina ship.
    • Funnily enough, Jack/Lars is called either "Jars" or "Lack".
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: While not outright hated, Jack was a very divisive character, with several fans finding him annoying. However, in the Americas he undergoes some major character development due to his close bond with Lars, and developing strong friendships with Jonah and Michelle (both of whom he previously disliked). It helps that in North America, he's more mature when he acts as the player's partner.
  • Rewatch Bonus: If one rewatches/replays the World Edition cases after Michelle joins the Bureau, there are many small, easy-to-miss details that foreshadow her death at the hands of SOMBRA's king, and the suspects of that case.
  • The Scrappy:
    • In the 2014 Criminal Case Wiki Awards, Miriam Young won the game's "Most Annoying Character" title (by a very huge margin) due to her cold and domineering personality, and her cruel treatment towards Amy (who, by contrast, was voted as the fan favorite). Not only that, several fans have gone as far as saying that she should be in jail instead of Duncan even though he's the Night Walker.
    • Albert Tesla also qualifies, for abandoning his son, thinking himself to be Pacific Bay's God, nearly destroying it and killing fan-favorite Frank Knight when he attempts to stop him. He's even voted the game's "Most Annoying Character" of 2015.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The "Scrapbook" system, where players can unlock random pictures/screenshots/thumbnails from cases by obtaining "sticker packets" were very poorly received by fans. The feature probably isn't so bad in and of itself, but the major point of complaint was the fact that these sticker packets replaced the energy bonuses that the player can "buy" using stars (so instead of trading your remaining stars for orange juice, chips or burgers, you can only use them to buy sticker packets or cash instead).
    • Changes to the playing card system. The original system granted allowed the player to distribute a random playing card once a day to every friend, and, once a royal flush was collected, the hand could be turned in for a prize (a bag of chips for hearts, an orange juice for spades, 20 experience for diamonds, or cash for clubs). The new system keeps the experience, but instead gives the player a free cash-purchasable boost for the other suits. Given that boosts are used immediately when purchased, this was seen as unnecessary and aggravating.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: When the Pacific Bay team was first introduced, Amy was frequently shipped with Jones, whom she never interacts with due to them coming from different districts. Of course, when Russell makes his appearance later on, people began shipping her with him instead.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • It All Ends Here (Case 51 of Grimsborough) rocks the Grimsborough Police Department in an unexpected way. A wannabe socialite named Adam Bentley is found murdered, execution style, with a gunshot wound to the head. The murder weapon was provided by the incarcerated Tony Marconi but the killer is none other than Chief Samuel King. King was ordered to execute Bentley under the orders of The Crimson Order and when apprehended, he explains his motives to Jones and the player. With tears in his eyes, he takes his own life to try and protect his granddaughter since he couldn't protect his wife.
    • The final case of Ivywood Hills reveals that Holly Hopper's apparent suicide in the previous episode was fake, and some fans have found this to be "ridiculous", "nonsensical" and unnecessary.
    • A more legitimate Shocking Swerve is when Chief Marquez is accused of being Colonel Spangler's killer.She's innocent, thankfully, but a lot of people didn't see that coming including the team.
    • A Killer Among Us (Case 59 of Pacific Bay) is, without a doubt, the biggest Shocking Swerve since It All Ends Here back in Grimsborough. Four of the five suspects in the murder of Danny Moto are all members of the Pacific Bay Police Department and the fifth is Karen Knight. The killer is revealed to be none other than Frank Knight, who was actually warming up to the player as a friend and a partner. He killed Danny because of the younger man taunting him about the leader of the Paradise City heist and trying to bring his family together. While he's willing to accept the consequences for his actions, Karen puts a gun to Chief Andrea Marquez's head and demands that Frank be let go. The Chief, not wanting anyone to be hurt, agrees and they escape the courthouse to head to The Wastes. It's also revealed that Karen herself was the sixth person in the Paradise City heist.
    • The Impossible Dream (Case 6 of World Edition) has the player saving the day yet again by stopping the Promethians from seizing control of Europe. When the team's celebrating their victory though, the Chief is suddenly shot and killed with a poison dart, prompting the team to fly to Africa to find her killer.
    • In Plain Sight (Case 42 of World Edition) is the case where a mole in the Bureau finally steps up and commits a murder. While fans have been guessing the identity of the mole since the secret was out (with most people predicting Ingrid or Jack), the real shock was the mole turning out to be Angela, who was not only the Bureau's kindest member, but wasn't a suspect in the first chapter of the case due to needing to perform Lavinia's autopsy. The fact that she's Happily Married with 3 children also makes her Beneath Suspicion to many viewers, prior to the reveal.
    • The teaser for The King's Shadow (Case 48) didn't reveal who the victim was, which had many fans guessing prior to the case's release. What no one had expected was for Michelle to be killed off so abruptly, especially since she had been starting to find her place within the Bureau.
    • The teaser for Case 52 also confused several fans. The victim is well-hidden from view, and due to how the last case ended, many players believed the victim to be Jack Archer himself. The description for that case didn't help matters, since it hinted that the majority of the case would be spent protecting a Unified Nations Ambassador from harm. Then the case is actually released, and it quickly escalates by having Jack be wounded by the killer, then the UN Ambassador is killed and becomes the case's victim.
  • Squick: When Lars triggers his peanut allergy in Case 41, his face is shown to be massively swollen, to Carmen's horror.
    • Case 48 reveals that Michelle had been lusted after by Ignacio Munoz, a creepy Antiquarian much older than she was. Not only did he stalk her since the Bureau left Argentina, but he himself admits to having sick fantasies about being with her. Elliot and Carmen are disgusted when they find out.
  • Strangled by the Red String: During the farewell party in the Season 1's finale, it was revealed that Nathan had started seeing Harper Stone, one of the suspects in Case 50, despite the two only interacting on-screen once (and, unlike Cathy, Harper has only made one case appearance).
  • That One Level: Difference Bonus scenes are not very popular or easy to play. Double-vision, the tendency to change which part of the scene you'll be playing, not to mention removing actual search items that could potentially be confused for the "differences" are some of its major problems.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Many fans were disappointed that Roxie never got her own character arc in Pacific Bay. Paradise City was a very good opportunity for her to finally get into the limelight, especially since she seemed very familiar with the district and her having an affair with the heist leader, Louis de Rico, could potentially add her character depth, but no such thing ever happened.
    • Lily Karam, Jonah's half-sister, was introduced as a suspect in Chapter 41. And though she wasn't the murderer, she was certainly behaving suspiciously, even after being cleared of the charges. Her remark that she's planning to leave for Brazil seem to indicate that she's going to play a major role in future events. But she never appeared again after that (even when the player did have to go to Brazil), she was never even mentioned again.
    • Jack is the only Bureau member whose past profession is unknown, but other than a few small mentions, nothing is ever revealed about his past, and he only has pure intentions throughout the series, which disappointed some fans. Not helping matters is the Ship Tease between him and Lars after Angela's arrest, which didn't have much of a resolution by the end of the season.
    • Elliot had a lot of potential as a main character, since he was shown slowly warming up to the rest of the team and implied that he came from a rich, neglectful family. But other than some character development and being held hostage in Case 32, he only gets some small cameos outside of analyses, and some of his fans are disappointed that his past wasn't explored more. Even the aforementioned hostage situation was forgotten about shortly after it happened.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • With the reveal of Frank's ex-wife in Innovation Valley, there was a huge potential for more Character Development in Frank similar to the other team members. Instead, Frank is rarely seen and shoved aside except when Amy is infected with nanobots from the district villain, the robot Aphro-Dyte. Even fans of Amy weren't happy to have her for more than two cases in a row.
    • Not to mention that the Big Bad of Innovation Valley was a robot who had been seen in one previous case rather than one of the programmers, the anti-robot league, the ambassador of a dictatorship nation, or Karen Knight.
    • Many players were hoping to reunite with some of their former teammates from Grimsborough and Pacific Bay when they reached the US region. Apart from Grace, no such thing happened.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: The player character. While other characters hit bars, go on vacations, party the night away or pursue romance, your character's only off-duty distraction appears to be eating the occasional hamburger with their colleagues.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/CriminalCase