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.
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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