Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Comeback Adult

Oh, hey there! Long time no see! Unless you just happen to be browsing through my archive in chronological order, in which case short time no see, I suppose. It's been [Note to self: look up how long it's been since my last post] days since my last post, and I'm sure that by now you've all weathered the storm of your crippling internet comedy addiction withdrawal. Let's do something to fix that, shall we?

Now, I am nothing if not a reasonable man. A woman very close to my heart once said that “Reasons are for chumps”, and I am nothing of not one of those. I would not be writing this if I was not compelled to do so by circumstances. What this means on this blog is that I have something new to hawk to my audience. Also, it's not like I really have much else I can do. I mean, I could study for final exams, but I'm afraid I'm still not nearly chump enough to go to such terrifying extremes.

What I'm here to talk about is Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney. If you're wondering how exactly one plays a game about being a lawyer, well, search me. I finished the entire first game, and I've only a tenuous grasp on what exactly I've done. Except for the part where I had unusually strong feelings for Miles Edgeworth. My memory of that is quite explicit.

Watch out, Payton Knobeloch. Looks like the dream boat has set sail.

Usually, it seems that people ask for some kind of comparison, some game that's similar, so they can understand. The problem with this is that they can't. The most similar game I could come up with would probably be Zero Escape, and even then, the strongest similarity is that much of my personal happiness revolves around getting strangers to play them. There are characters, stories, intrigue, and desperate hours of  examining the same room over and over and over and over again until you're prepared to confess to the crime yourself, do literally anything to get the plot moving again. And there are puns. Oh Gods, the puns. I'm not sure his first name is ever revealed in the game I played, but the first lawyer you go up against is named Payne. Winston Payne. Say that out loud. Really feel it in your gums. Now say “Winced in pain”. Welcome. Welcome to the new plane of wordplay you have transcendentally arisen to. We've been waiting for you. I've written upwards of 25 sonnets, (After plugging the works of others for so long, is this really any surprise?) yet the sum of my work pales in comparison to the sheer majesty of those three syllables. “Winston Payne”. Beautiful.

Actually, I kind of lied earlier. I will now revise my testimony for the court. (Side note: Now every thing I say is a testimony. It's fun times.) This is not a game about being a lawyer. This is not a game about law. This is a game about JUSTICE. Despite being a defense attorney, a man whose sole job is supposedly to get his client declared innocent, the Judge explicitly tells you that your homework is to find the murderer. The majority of the game actually takes place outside of court, investigating crime scenes, questioning witnesses, and conducting research. You may recognize this as a veritable casserole of legal misconduct, the least appetizing casserole since my ill-fated "asshole casserole" (I like rhymes, okay?). Phoenix is as flagrantly guilty as the people he locks up. Those things are meant to be left to detectives and scientists. But this game takes place in the future, right? (Oh, by the way, it takes place in the future, despite the lack of new technology, to explain the massively overhauled legal system.) Maybe in this crazy future, the jobs of detective and attorney have melded into one career, not unlike the post-apocalyptic future of Judge Dredd? Well, the problem with this theory is that there are actual detectives that you interact with, and dupe into giving you autopsy reports, and say all kinds of hurtful things about, even after they save your life. Furthermore, Wright even tells his spunky female assistant that what he's doing (And has been doing for much of the game, at that point) is illegal, so she should shut her damned trap. The real danger in this is that Wright often pulls out decisive evidence that he's never shown anyone before, with no proof that he didn't just pull it out his ass. He knows literally nothing about evidence law (All two rules of it) until the final case of the game. In a world where stoic yet sensitive prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is constantly plagued by suspicions of forged evidence, it's a wonder no one suspects Phoenix for whipping out a bottle of sleeping pills without any kind of evidence that he didn't just pick them up at Walgreens.

So if you're looking for a game that accurately portrays the American Justice system, you're out of luck. If you're looking for a game that accurately represents the Japanese Justice system, you're probably slightly less out of luck, but still pretty out of luck. But if you're looking for a game with witty dialogue, touching moments, indescribably fun gameplay, and just the absolute best pun names you've ever heard, I think you are very much in luck. I've also heard that it has some pretty bomb-ass music but I wouldn't really know much about that, because... umm... my DS was so legal when I was playing this game that it blew out the speakers.

Your Honor! That testimony is clearly retarded!

Also, to all of the parents that I know read this blog: Do NOT let young children play this game. While it may look like nothing but cartoon graphics and wholesome, family fun, this is a game about murder. There is blood, and death, and a curious amount of clocks. But note the "l" there. There's also this:

I think you know what I mean

The prosecution rests.

Well, now that I've got all of your hopes up that I'll go back to blogging regularly, we get to the fun part. Where your hopes are all dashed against the jagged rocks of my apathy. Delicious. While summer is beginning rather soon, I'll be busy trying to come up with a convincing lie about how I'm spending summer doing something other than playing Ace Attorney. And once I've finished that, I'll apparently be writing. Like, fiction. The stuff that books are made of. I've been roped into working on a literary project whose nature I am not at liberty to divulge, and on top of that, I was goaded into writing an entirely different thing by the same person. (Who I suppose is only a few posts away from being named secondary content manager) Don't expect either of these writings to actually be finished, because seriously, writing is so, so hard. You'll be lucky if you end up with a series of Tvtropes links loosely describing a sequence of events. 

And with that, I must sign off, because as it turns out, I do have studying to go do. TWIST ENDING: I was really that much of a chump all along!