At this point, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is starting to become pretty damn brilliant. Last week I had only played the first tutorial case. It was alright for what it was, and if nothing else it managed to get me hooked on the grand scheme of things in this game. And really, what else was it supposed to do?
This second case was a bit of a step down in some ways. I liked how the classic Japanese demons ("yokai") were integrated in the story, but beyond that it had some noticeable flaws. The defendant was not particularly likable (not unlikeable either, but still), some of the witnesses could get grating and I found it kind of difficult to visualize how exactly the murder occurred. Our understanding of the murder changes at the drop of a hat in this case, which makes it way too hard to keep track of what I'm supposed to think happened at any given time. Finally, this case had way too many glaring typos. I mean, I get that in such a text-heavy game as Phoenix Wright some typos are unavoidable, but there's no excuse for having so many obvious ones. "I think this is very importantly!", Apollo? Really?
Still, the second case wasn't bad per se, it just fell kind of short. Fortunately, the third case is making up for that and then some. For me, it's managing to hit all the high notes time after time. The set-up is interesting, you get to play as Athena, the characters are fun and have some shocking secrets even early on, one of my favorite Ace Attorney characters makes a return, and so on.
But you know what my favorite thing about this case is? It takes place in law school!
- Not this one, fortunately.
As an honest-to-god IRL law student, I've always been fascinated by the Ace Attorney games and how they portray the law and lawyers. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold a grudge or anything. In fact, I think it's brilliantly ridiculous. Still, there's a lot of little things I notice in these games that are very weird and/or interesting from my perspective. I've even thought of writing a Cblog on the subject, but just never got around to it. Maybe I'll do that after finishing this game.
At any rate, I hope you can imagine how fun it is for me to be strolling around law school Phoenix Wright style. The school where they offer only three programs: Lawyer Course, Prosecutor Course and Judge Course. The school where one of your classes deals exclusively with the angle of your pointer finger as you accuse someone of being the murderer. And another about your air of confidence when you present evidence (that you totally nicked from the crime scene but don't tell the prosecutor that until the trial). Because who needs to learn about how the law actually works, right? And come now, who honestly cares about commercial law, administrative law, constitutional law and what have you? Nah, murders and the accompanying pointer finger is where it's at. Priorities firmly in place.
If the rest of the game is going to be anything like this, I'm in for fun times indeed.
Oh, also. Prosecutor Blackquill is great too. Even though it's a tradition for these games to have great prosecutors (please don't ask me to pick a favorite), he still managed to surprise me. At first I thought he wasn't all that, being kinda quiet until making a sword metaphor or two, but he has definitely grown on me.
Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) Iâ€™ve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why theyâ€™re being such a butthole.
Whatâ€™s far more interesting to me is when a villainâ€™s motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].
My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesnâ€™t necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, heâ€™s easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains Iâ€™ve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I wonâ€™t delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasnâ€™t seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, itâ€™s that good.
But hey, thatâ€™s just how I feel. Iâ€™m sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but Iâ€™ll deal with that should the time come. Iâ€™m sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.
All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this monthâ€™s Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.
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