Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ace Attorney? Prosecution Pro!

Okay guys who put this semen in my pants? Whoops it was me!

So anyways, as I've mentioned before, I love the Gyatuken Saiban series (known as Ace Attorney in the States) a pretty good deal. The latest game in the storyline came out in February I think, and I bought it and subsequently beat it. I was initially dissapointed and frustrated with the game, but the second case was awesome, and the final case made up for EVERYTHING. It went from the worst installment of Ace Attorney in my eyes to one of the best, in the span of that single case. Holy crap can this team weave a frickin amazing story. Dudes seriously!

And right after I beat the game, there was an announcement that there would be an announcement(um wait a minute) sometime in April, and it would involve the Ace Attorney series somehow. Well it was revealed via Famitsu last night, and it's a spinoff that's been way overdue: a game that gives us the characters and writing we love, but actually significantly changes the gameplay, which is good because it was getting a bit stale after four games of more or less the same thing.

The focus of this new game is hinted at in the title being "Gyatuken Kenji" (Turnabout Prosecutor) instead of "Gyatuken Saiban" (Turnabout Courtroom). People on the internet have been calling the game "Perfect Prosecutor", but this name is fan-made and not official by any means. Anyways, the first thing the Japanese title gives away is obviously that the main character is a prosecutor instead of a defense attorney this time, and turns out that it's no other than champion badass of the franchise, Miles Edgeworth! Yaaaay!

The other new revelation from the game's new title is the absence of the word "Courtroom". You are probably wondering, "Why is that? Actually wait why am I wondering this. They probably just wanted to draw attention to the fact that you're a prosecutor this time, the fact that it replaces the word Courtroom is irrelevant. You're stupid, stop talking", and it's awfully mean of you to come to that conclusion. I think you're a jerk, reader. Especially cause it IS relevant! From what we know so far, Edgeworth doesn't do the whole trials thing at all in this game, and instead all the emphasis is in investigating crime scenes and interrogating the eccentric cast members of the game. And because Capcom probably realized that hey, making an Ace Attorney spinoff out of just the boring parts is probably a bad idea, the usual interface of the franchise is mixed with a brand new approach.

That's right, you actually move the character around on the screen instead of navigating by clicking on pictures! You actually get to see your character interact with objects and stuff instead of listen to him narrate what he's doing with static images. And while this seems like a step backwards in some ways, the interrogation sequences still have the glorious animated character portraits. There's a lot of familiar gameplay elements, but it looks like the game will still feel completely different from the main series. I have yet to determine whether the approach taken here is a good thing, but it's hard to be upset. I mean, look! Gumshoe is your sidekick! Best game ever!

Oh, Gumshoe! Life hates you, and that makes you adorable.

Moving on, I was initially going to let loose with various speculation about where this game's going to go, both in terms of storyline and the franchise's future, but that was before I saw the first screenshots, which weren't what I was expecting at all, and make it pretty clear that it's too soon to say exactly what's going to happen. Even so, I think I'm going to conclude by hazarding a guess as to where this goes in the game's timeline.

See, the events of the Phoenix Wright trilogy are so tightly packed that I severely doubt that Turnabout Prosecutor takes place between any of those three games like some people are suggesting. Especially since at the end of both the first and second games, Edgeworth is taking a freaking plane out of the country. And although it'd be pretty sweet if this was a direct prequel to the first Phoenix Wright game, it makes the most sense for the game to take place in between Phoenix Wright 3 and Apollo Justice, more specifically right after the events in which Phoenix loses his badge. This would be awesome because it'd answer the "What happened to Edgeworth and Gumshoe?" question that I asked myself after playing AA4, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that asked that question.

Even though it's pretty obvious that they eloped.

Yeah, that's right.

Gumshoe eats Edgeworth's ramen noodles every night.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wario's Fart Attack, aka Why Brawl is Amazing

So I'm a pretty big fan of the Smash Bros series. Early last month the latest game in the series, Super Smash Bros Brawl, finally came out in the States after two years (and two delays), and I bought the game mere hours after it was released to the general public. And then I played it, which is generally what people do when they buy video games, and it was AWESOME. As in almost as good as all the hype, which I thought would have been impossible. Over the span of a month, I have unlocked every character, every stage, all the music, and am (I think?) a mere dozen Challenges away from beating every one in the game. Now you know what I've been doing instead of making blog posts!

So like I've mentioned, the game is wonderful. I can't keep away from it, and I think I know why. I mean, there's actually a lot of reasons. The character roster isn't perfect but it's close, the single player mode is awesome and filled with nostalgic/hilarious/badass cutscenes, the amount of unlockable content and Nintendo fanservice verges on ridiculous, and Sonic manages to be in a fun game for the first time in almost a decade. (Well, that's harsh. I should have said a fun console game for the first time in almost a decade.) And yet, I think what gives me the most joy in this game is the ability to kill people with my butt.

Wario is one of my favorite characters in the entirety of Nintendo's big pile of franchises, and I both wanted and expected him to be in the next installment of Smash Bros even before Brawl was announced. What I didn't expect was for him to be introduced as the comic relief character, representing his spinoff series, WarioWare. I guess this came as a surprise for me since I wanted him as a Smash character before WarioWare even existed, so I always figured that when he was introduced to the Nintendo fighting legacy, it would be as a representative of the Mario franchise, and wearing his yellow duds. And of course he wasn't (though his original outfit is an alternate costume), but at least it was a pleasant surprise, because I freaking love the WarioWare series! It's amongst the most fun I've had playing video games.

Like the WarioWare series itself, Wario's character and moves were introduced as very goofy and in stark contrast to the kind-of-ridiculous-but-always-takes-itself-seriously fighting style of most of the other combatants in the Smash roster. Seriously, Captain Falcon jumping around flamboyantly and shouting out names for all his attacks looks like freaking Hamlet when put next to Wario eating his motorcycle. And everything he does is pretty much that silly, from his normal attacks to his running animation, but somehow Sakurai and Game Arts come up with an attack over the top enough to make all that seem...

Wait, wait, wait. I'm totally overhyping with those last few sentences. Let's try this again.

The dude farts, okay.

Everyone does it, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Wario in particular just has a unusually strong need to do it in public, on top of people, and once every two minutes.

Anyways, I already loved Wario, but this attack in particular, oficially dubbed the "Wario Waft", is probably the main reason I'm making him one of my "mains". One reason I love it so much is since it changes in strength and appearance the longer you go without using it, it's an attack that has a pretty wide variety of use. For example, if you use it without letting it charge at all, it actually works pretty well as a fourth taunt.

However, if you wait until it's fully charged, and then use it while you're right next to your opponent, the result is devastating, and probably one of the strongest attacks in the game. I was actually reading a couple of character strategy guides the other day, and was surprised to find out that a fully charged Wario Waft by itself will do nearly 40% damage %, with pretty crazy knockback. (To compare, Jigglypuff's Sleep move only does about 23% damage.) The guide goes on to say that if you use the fully charged attack during the effects of Wario's Final Smash, where he runs around in pink pajamas calling himself Wario-Man, the damage and knockback doubles. For those of you unsure what I mean, it's basically equal to hitting you with a Home-Run Bat, except Home-Run Bats don't usually come out of my butt. Unless you get me drunk enough, wink!

And despite those ridiculous stats, the attack's actually pretty balanced. You have to wait a full two minutes before you can use it at its full capacity (though the process can be sped up slightly by using his Bite attack to eat a lot of items), and then you only have one shot at being right next to your opponent when you use it, and if you mess it up you have to wait another two minutes, by which point the match will probably already be over. Not to mention that for the one-hit KO, you have to be lucky enough to catch and use a Smash Ball on top of the other requirements, meaning that it will almost never happen against an opponent of equal skill. As a result, it's really satisfying to pull off. I would say that doing it successfully causes the opponent great frustration and embarrassment, but what actually happens is that I stomp around giggling like a retard while the other player sits there wondering how I can possibly be older than him.

Whatever, okay? My name is Daniel Thoreson, and I think it is TOTALLY AWESOME when video game characters use farting as a proper game mechanic, especially when that character is Wario, and double especially when it happens in one of my favorite games ever.

So there you go, five paragraphs about farts. Tune in next time, when it takes me less than a month to update!
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