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Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth Ian's avatar
Edgeworth has a cravat
Over the last few days I've played about the first case and a half of the new lawyering simulator, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. As I always say, I don't play these games during prime game playing time, for me they’re more for playing before bed or on commutes. Unlike the Tokyo underground system where everyone is playing Monster Hunter co-cooperatively at all times, people playing hand-held games are quite a rare site on the London Tube. The only real risk doing this is that I’ll completely forget that I have to stop playing at some point and end up in Bermondsey, or Ruislip or some end of line place you’ll probably get shanked just for asking the wrong person to please not shank you.

Awesome: Edgeworth is better than you

Whether he's belittling a witness's for their sloppy logic, pointing out all the ways which Gumshoe has failed, or tapping his fingers impatiently as someone bores him with their idiocy, Edgeworth knows he's better than everyone. He is actually genuinely better than everyone as well, which only makes him more irritated. He's also a man of refined taste who can afford to fly on the most incredibly ridiculous airline that has ever existed in fiction or non-fiction. Just like playing a renegade Shepard in Mass Effect, it’s very enjoyably to play a character who is a bit of a dick, and completely the opposite of the goody two-shoes Phoenix Wright or the complete nonentity that was Apollo Justice.

Boresome: The Homer Simpsons Effect

I can understand that it's hard to get the balance of writing for a character who can be broadly summed up as stupid, but I think so far they aren't getting it quite right for poor abused Dick Gumshoe. Phoenix was always nice to him, as it was clear he was always suffering under Edgeworth's put-downs or Franziska’s whip, so with him you got more of a balance of Gumshoe being well-meaning as well as incompetent. Playing as Edgeworth though, you are the one giving him a hard time, and I feel like the writers are making him more stupid than he's ever been to provide enough material for the continuing berating. The man is a detective after all, so he's not an idiot. He's clearly passed an exam or two in his life, I think it's not unreasonable to expect him to at least pay attention to what's going rather than just saying "Hurr, this is complicated." and stamp his feet.

Awesome: New Structure

On one hand you could say that they've just crossed out "Witness Testimony" and written "Argument", then crossed out "Cross Examination" and written "Rebuttal", but there's more to the change of structure than just this. The game mixes up the various elements that were present in the earlier games more so you don't get stuck in the twenty consecutive cross-examinations which made up the court phases of most cases. Here you switch between wandering around, investigating, getting in arguments, and mixing up your logic far more often, and the game flows better and is a bit faster moving as a result.

Boresome: Tiny Sprites

One of the most obvious changes to the game is that you have a little Edgeworth that you can walk around the screen. As a replacement for just clicking parts of the screen to examine things like in previous game and as a way to differentiate the game from it's predecessors, this works just fine. The game seems to want you to use a really bad virtual touchpad thing to do this, but ignore it and just use the d-pad. Unfortunately they try to use these sprites in place of the real hi-res sprites for some conversations. These don't really work, and you end up losing any kind of sense of people's reaction or mood as the sprites are too small to convey such things.

Awesome: Logic!

Edgeworth likes to think about things calmly and logically, often while sipping some a fresh cup of tea. He does this by pressing his left eye-brow and activating the logic mode (activated with the left bumper for symmetry). In this mode is a list of facts that you can try and combine to reveal either new facts or make Edgeworth realise things. In each Ace Attorney game the main guy has a crazy power, like Phoenix Wrights psyche-lock seeing magatama and Apollo's stupid nervous twitch spotting microscope mind bracelet thing. Edgeworth just thinks about stuff and shouts 'Eureka!'. The process isn't particularly hard, but mostly makes sense and never gets in the way like the twitch detecting did.

Boresome: Water into Grape Juice

A comparatively minor issue, but for some reason the characters are all pretending that the wine everyone is clearly drinking is in fact grape juice. In a game dealing with people being bludgeoned to death with blunt objects, I find it a bit weird for this to be censored. The game is rated 12 in the UK and while I'm no lawyer I don't think there is any problem with 12 year-olds reading or knowing about wine.

Awesome: Edgeworth is better than you - New Structure - Logic!

Boresome: The Homer Simpsons Effect - Tiny Sprites - Water into Grape Juice

As there are still two of the four characters on the game box that haven’t even shown up yet, it’s a fair guess that I’ve barely scratched the surface of this game. The last couple of cases are usually gargantuan and last me for weeks, and I can totally can’t wait. Tags: