Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “gamefly”

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Gamefly.com)


When Phoenix Wright became a defense attorney, all he wanted was to help innocent clients. Unfortunately, he lives in a world where it’s guilty until proven innocent. Not only that, but he has to face prosecutors who care more about winning than they do about justice. Can Phoenix beat the odds and prevent innocent people from rotting in a jail cell, or worse?

Despite the Americanization of the game, the legal system is strictly Japanese. In Japan, at the time they released the game, it’s guilty until proven innocent and that leads to complications. Therefore, you can imagine that defense attorneys didn’t achieve many victories. Therefore, the game’s essence is that of a defense attorney fantasy. Phoenix does have a hard time proving his clients’ innocence but, in the end, something always happens that proves his clients innocent. The game takes place 20 minutes in the future with the fantasy element of spirit channeling. It’s also quite serious save for a few ridiculous moments worthy of an anime, such as Phoenix cross-examining a parrot. I am not kidding.

For those of you who don’t want any spoilers, you might want to skip to the very last paragraph of my review. Spirit channeling plays an active role in the game by having Maya contact Mia Fey, her sister and Phoenix’s mentor. Despite the game using Mia for fan service, I absolutely loved the character. She is every bit as capable at her job as Phoenix is and maybe more. All I know is that, without her, Phoenix would have never won. Many people feel that her being used as fan service undermines her, but I feel that the game could have easily portrayed her as a beautiful woman with no intellect whatsoever or a woman hoping to make it big while crying about her beauty because no one takes her seriously. Instead, Mia is a confident person who doesn’t let anyone stand in her way and proves herself to be more than just a pretty face. Plus, to me, it seems more sexist to give all the strong intelligent women small breasts but maybe I’m just being a bad feminist. Speaking of Mia, I do love the game’s portrayal of women. It’s quite common in anime for the women’s main desire to get married, Sailor Moon and Wedding Peach being a couple of examples. In this game, the women have no desire whatsoever to tie the knot. For example, Maya and Ema, Phoenix’s sidekicks in the game, want to be a spirit channeler and a scientific investigator respectfully.

Despite Phoenix being the main character, the game is about the prosecutor, Miles Edgeworth. He starts out as a ruthless man who would do anything to get a guilty verdict. As the game progresses, his worldview starts to change as, little by little, he cares more about finding the truth than he does about his perfect record. In the fourth case, he’s forced to come to terms with all the lives he ruined by being in the defendant’s chair. In the fifth case, he becomes an ally to Phoenix while considering turning in his own resignation.

The game play is quite unique. You travel through different locations collecting evidence and gathering information from as many people you can find.

During the trial, you listen to witnesses testify and use the evidence you gather to point out any contradictions in what they have to say.

If you can’t find any, you can press the witness until you find it. The fifth case is the only one that takes advantage of the Nintendo DS gaming system by also having you spray luminol and dust for fingerprints.

This game is intriguing and addictive. I give it 9 out of 10; I laughed and almost cried during some scenes.

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (Gamefly.com)

After finding the city of Ambrosia, Professor Layton receives a letter from an old friend to come to Monte d’Or.  It turns out a man called the Masked Gentleman has been using an artifact known as the Mask of Chaos to cause incidents all over the town.  Now Professor Layton must face his past in order to save the future of himself and those closest to him.

The game alternates between playing in the past and playing in the present.  In the past story line, we discover how Layton became interested in archaeology in the first place.  That and Layton has one screwed up past.  I don’t want to give anything away but can you imagine forever living with the knowledge that if you had agreed to leave a dangerous place, your friend would still be alive?  However, I will admit that his friend, Randall, does seem a bit self-absorbed.  He constantly tries to get Layton interested in archaeology despite his repeated claims that he has absolutely no interest in it.  Yes, I am aware that Layton does get an interest in it later on, but the fact remains that Randall tries to push his interests on other people.  He also wants to go on a dangerous mission despite his girlfriend, Angela’s, concern for him.  I’m not saying that he deserved what happened to him.  I’m just saying that if you want to go on adventures you can’t have a family that’s constantly worried for your safety waiting for you at home.  In the present, Layton travels the city with Luke and Emmy looking for information about the Masked Gentleman and trying to discover the secrets behind his dark miracles.  Again, I don’t want to give anything away but I felt that Professor Layton forgave the Masked Gentleman way too easily.

The game play is the same as any other in the series.  You travel around the city solving puzzles.  Each one you solve awards you with a point system called picarats.  The more you collect the more bonuses you can unlock.  You also have to complete three mini-games in order to unlock more puzzles in the bonus section.  Oh, and you can participate in a horse racing mini-game which I actually enjoyed even though it had no point.  There are also these puzzles in the past where Layton and Randall explore the ruins of an ancient civilization while avoiding mummies and giant boulders.  This was my favorite part of the game because we truly get to see Layton in his natural habitat.  Yes, I am well aware that archaeologists in real life don’t avoid mummies and run away from giant boulders but for once, the game came across as less like Sherlock Holmes and more like Indiana Jones.

This game is exciting and challenging.  I give it 7 out of 10; despite a few plot issues, I truly enjoyed it.

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