Apollo-ing Behaviour

Right off the bat, let me say my output for this month has been garbage. I’d argue not quality wise, but that’s for you to decide. What I’m referring to is the quantity of my work is in line the theme of October; it’s been horrific.

There’s no personal tragedy to blame, no real reasoning that would inspire sympathy. I’m just trying to finish Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice, plain and simple. Its sequel, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney- Dual Destinies, releases digitally this Thursday on the 3DS eShop, and I really need to go in knowing what happened in its predecessor. This task has also meant I haven’t written about what is likely the ‘biggest’ handheld release of the year, Pokémon X. Just what kind of blog am I running here?!

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If you’re at all familiar with the Ace Attorney series, you know this isn’t something one can just breeze through. If you are not an Ace Attorney veteran, let me tell you something. These are not a game you game breeze through. There’s mountains of dialog, and when the opportunity to become stumped is present the hours fly by.

These games always start off with me thinking I’ve got the ‘brain’ behind the series’s puzzles down pat. Kind of like using cartoon logic for LucasArts point and click games, you really have to think a particular way to present the right piece of evidence at the right time. The reason these games take me so long is I’m completely wrong in my understanding, and each entry in the series ends up feeling like my first.

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However, as much as I’m enjoying Apollo Justice (oh, and shout out to 2008), it is certainly the weakest entry in the series. It iterates on all the facets that bother me about the franchise, and leaves me wondering if a lot was done to pad out the length.

What bothers me most is ‘memories’ of prior events popping up at a steady clip. There’s no worse offender than the third case, which recalls conversations I had only a minute earlier, and constantly replays concert ‘footage’ that’s been compressed to hell and back.

I’m not sure it’s my memory that’s failing when Capcom can’t seem to recall how to make an Ace Attorney game flow properly.

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I don’t think the series carrying on without Shu Takumi (the writer and director of the first three Ace Attorney games) is grounds for failure, but his departure is apparent as far as scripting goes.

As well, this ‘perceive’ system doesn’t sit well with me. It feels clumbsy to guide my sight around the subject, watching for behavioral ticks. I’ve already found the portion of their testimony that rings false, and in many cases know the evidence I will end up presenting, so why this extra bit of leg work? This system makes a return in Dual Destinies, so I’m hoping it’s better implemented this time around.

Thankfully, Apollo Justice‘s tone and writing is spot on. I adore the new characters, as they display a confidence moving the series forward without relying on a mass of old favourites. While I whine about it flailing about with flashbacks and recollections, it doesn’t mean they aren’t well written. Apollo Justice‘s biggest problem is the bar its predecessors set. It may not meet my expectations, but it’s still an amazing treat.

And if nothing else, Ema Skye remains my Snackoo Waifu.
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