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    jp's Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS)

    [September 23, 2010 04:55:14 PM]
    Finished! Woohoo!

    That took a LOT longer than I expected, and is probably my biggest complaint about the game. The pacing felt awkward with, after reaching a certain point, every single scene feeling like IT was the climax of the game. This went on for at least 3 hours of it was quite exhausting towards the end (and I started playing at night, in addition to on the train out of sheer desperation!).

    On the other hand, the game is interesting, funny at times, enjoyable, and entertaining. I can see how some people would complain about the lack of "actual gameplay", but I would argue that a lot of the fun of this game takes place inside your head. For me, at least, I found I really enjoyed thinking about the different clues and evidence I found. It was "in my head" in that I was actively engaged in trying to figure everything out. This should count, no? Just because I wasn't pushing buttons doesn't mean I wasn't playing, right? Anyways...

    There's an interesting twist/turn near the end of the last chapter. Everything is starting to come together and Miles is on the verge of nailing the "big boss" who, it turns out, is a foreign ambassador. The problem is that he simply doesn't have the right evidence to get him. Except he does.

    Earlier in the game he receives some evidence that he can use. It's real. However, it has been obtained illicitly and would be inadmissible in court. Technically, Miles shouldn't use it and you (the player) have to decide what to do. Should you use the evidence knowing the suspect is, in fact, guilty, and that it's only the provenance of the evidence that is shady? Or, should you not use it...staying within the (legal) system and admitting that the criminal will have to go free.

    I decided to use it and, according to Gamefaqs, it doesn't really matter what you decide because the evidence is used anyway.

    However, I thought the question was interesting and, once I'd made my decision, Miles justified his choice in an interesting way as well. The problem with the ambassador is that he's above the law, which is also the problem with the leader of the smuggling ring (the ambassador) who, as a criminal is also powerful enough to be above the law (thanks to his influences and corruptive capabilities and whatnot). So, how to do you bring someone like that down? Miles argues that laws are made by people for people, and when some are outside of that, the law needs to adapt in order to "bring them back in" as it where. So, he justifies his decision due to the circumstances of this particular criminal who otherwise would never face justice. When the system is failing, it needs to be flexible and adapt since its existence is only justified by the continued agreement of those who are bound by it.

    I found it a remarkably profound question that was (surprisingly?) in context with what the game is about.
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    [September 16, 2010 04:38:59 PM]
    Ah. The joy.

    I might have missed the Phoenix Wright games which is odd since I think I've only played one. But hey, playing this definitely feels very comfortable and familiar, which is a good thing, especially after what I would characterize as the Scribblenauts letdown. I recognize many of the characters (Dick Gumshoe, Ema Skye) while others seem familiar (Wendy Oldbag, Mike Meekins) which is fun. I wonder who else will appear? Phoenix Wright himself?

    Its curious to play Miles Edgeworth since my recollection of him was that he was a sneaky prosecutor who would try to get away with anything if it meant winning a case. I seem to remember the implication in one of the cases that he had tampered with evidence or something like that. He's essentially the opponent, or "bad guy" in the game I played earlier. This time around, he's the "good guy" as defined by his strict adherence to objectivity, facts, and truth.

    It's an interesting reversal of sorts that highlights what I would call an underlying theme of the series: the importance of truth and reasoning. I guess this applies to all lawyers, there is no right and wrong, only the truth. So, even though two lawyers may be opponents in a courtroom, they can still be friends outside of it. Truth must prevail.

    Now, what I find interesting isn't the truth/reasoning aspect. Rather, it is how they are central despite the passion and emotions exhibited by pretty much all the characters in the game! They get upset, they scream, they gasp, they moan, cry, wheeze, yell, cry, and so on. But, despite all of that, they understand and recognize logic and reasoning when they hear it. So, while agent Shi-Long Lang may SEEM to undermine your investigation and it LOOKS like he just wants to move along, ultimately he will always hear you out and will, in fact, change his mind if you are reasonable. So, it's a series about persuasion through reason, which is kind of cool. So long as you find a contradiction in someone else's logic, or have evidence to refute a supposition, and so on, you're fine. People will get along. Even the criminals will bow down and acknowledge the power of truth and logic.

    Sure, it may be unrealistic, but it is a refreshing approach and definitely a different direction from games where persuasion is operationalized through manipulation (say the thing the other person wants to hear in order to get what you want) or affinity (become like someone the other person likes in order to get them to agree to what you want). In other games, if you want to convince someone, you have to (somehow) empathize with them, know something about their character, their motivations, goals, desires, etc. So, maybe you'll talk to them in a certain way (pick certain options from a dialogue tree) or you may do certain things (give them a gift, perform a favor). None of that goes in this game.

    It's truth and reason above all. Very Kantian, I guess.

    (I just checked, I've only played the original Phoenix Wright, and that was 3 years ago. Wow! Some of those characters are extraordinarily memorable)

    (another small note, one of the cases takes place in an airplane and there's an issue over some spilled "grape juice". I was amused that they have used that instead of "wine", especially since the art makes it obvious that it's wine the game is talking about. I guess this must have been an issue in order to secure a lower rating from the ESRB?)
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    jp's Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 10 September, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 23 September, 2010

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Probably too long, but worth it.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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