Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

J74- Seven Sins Meet Five

Itís usually not a good idea to slap your de facto leader, but under times of high stress and existential doubts, sometimes thatís the first thing that comes to your mind. Good thing Chastity left because this is something she wouldnít want to be involved in. As much as she would enjoy seeing Lust get beat down, of course...
I actually did some looking up online to see if that was a bitch slap or a pimp slap, but it appears theyíre both backhanded slaps. My education fails me.

Quick Reviews:
Ultimate Spider-Man Clone Wars- Just a really great story arc and a vast improvement on the original. The clones are all pretty interesting each with their own unique spin on the character (ha, pun!) and offer some nice additions to the Ultimate universe that I hope pop up again later in the comics, as creepy as their presence may be. The story is one of the rarer times when they manage to advance Parkerís life at the same time as Spider-Manís and all of his associated villains and government connections. I could see people being cheesed about the change they made to the villain of the arc, if only because heís one of THE main Marvel villains and it takes a lot to screw with those, but they donít take him out of the realm weíre familiar with.

Harvey Birdman (video game)- I was conflicted whether to review this as compared to its spiritual brother, Phoenix Wright, or as compared to the show, so itís bit of a mish-mash of both. As far as the game play goes compared to Phoenix, itís extremely straightforward, no-frills, and outside out of maybe three completely nonsensical moments, extremely easy. However, thatís entirely how I want it. The more time you spend going through the game and its motions, the less youíre interacting with the characters and the writing, which are the main crux of a show with a budget most of us could probably afford. It does suffer the same negatives as PW, the main being that unless you present evidence on precisely the right sentence, it counts as a failure against you. The real life equivalent to this would be presenting a knife with the defendantís prints and the victimís blood on it, a videotape of the defendant killing the victim, and five eyewitness testimonies but having the judge throw it out because the defendant hadnít mentioned a stabbing yet. The other big thing is the needless hoops you have to jump through in testimony. Two in-game examples are that at one point you have to present an item covered in oil to prove someoneís allergy to it. You have a bag with the oil on it and an article of clothing coated in oil. Present the clothing, and itís a strike against you. Present the bag, and you win that part of the case. That just doesnít make sense. Another is that you have someone on the stand, youíre poking holes into his testimony, and he says at one point that he loves his job. You have in evidence a stack of freshly made resumes he was sending out and if you present them at that point, they went through the trouble of making a special voice-over to say that youíll probably need those at a later time (you can only present something once and then it vanishes in court?) and then they dock you a strike anyway. You end up needing them to prove he speaks a certain language, even though if you watch the show, you know that everybody in the show knows he can speak it...
This is long but Iím keeping at it anyway. Compared to the show, the gameís a mixed bag. All the main characters are there (with stand-ins for Reducto and Phil; pretty low for Colbert to not participate), the cases could be straight out of the show or at least unused plots, and very true to Birdman, Harvey rarely actually ever ďwinsĒ a case, he simply doesnít lose it (at one point you win a case by killing the prosecutor/defendant). Potamus, X, and Mentok have some great one-liners and Freezoid gets a lot of play, which is great. However, the writing falls flat most of the time. It comes across like the writers just banged the script out over the weekend rather than putting some real thought into it or working hard to make it as funny as the show. Philís regular innuendo rarely gets a laugh and the whole package just comes across as pretty low brow or juvenile. And yes I know how ridiculous that sounds when itís a game about Birdman, but if you play it, youíll probably understand. The ending, however, is fantastic and could be straight out of the show. The music over the end credits is worth a listen too.
Iím a major, major fan of the show but even if you are too, Iíd say rent the game at most. Mainly because the game is only four to five hours long, tops. Paying more than a rental fee or borrowing it from a friend is giving companies license to just rip you off. Also note that there are some bugs in the game too. I guess you could argue some of the animation bugs were intentional given the source material, but more importantly, I unlocked three of the five hidden features but only two of them are actually unlocked. When you beat a case, be warned, do not stop playing because the game does NOT save after you finish. I know it sounds ludicrously stupid but if you complete a case, unlock the next one, return to the main menu, and quit, when you come back, youíll be back at the end of the previous case. You have to start the next case and get to a point within it that you can save. Really frustrating.