Our Daily Beard – 03/02/13

Phoenix Wright. Are you familiar with his work? If not, read no more, and fie upon ye barnacles.

Nick, as his friends call him, started out in Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney.

I’ve been replaying this recently (and the rest will surely follow) because I really enjoy this series of games. I’ve been playing it on an emulator (yes, I do own the DS game too) because it means I can tap away at it casually while at work or listening to web radio. Huge thanks to the DeSmuME team!

These games put me firmly in mind of the old text based adventures of yore, not because of the content (nary a dragon in sight) but because of the format. You meet characters and read what they have to say without any voice acting, and yet somehow the game conveys their tone and mood, with only a handful of different poses/expressions for each character.

The speed that it prints the text, pitch of the beeping sound the text makes, little flashes and sudden stops that demonstrate sudden activity (like a whip to the face) all contribute to the voice of a character.

You examine the 2d scenery for little clues, you examine those clues in detail, you present evidence to get information from characters. It reminds me of my favourite Mega CD game, Snatcher. Yeah, I went there. The whole mechanic is classic pre-3d gaming and it’s a super vehicle for both the plot and the core gameplay, namely winning court cases through logic.

Anyway, you’ve played it. Why am I going on about it?

Because I want more ‘visual novels’. Remember Hotel Dusk? The DS is only the start- let’s see some more for iOS, and for the PC! People play casual games and browser games- take it further. Mini browser or desktop games that tell a story, interactive books with a gameplay element.

iOS and casual game developers, hear my cry. Unleash me. If there’s something I can do, its short stories and episodic stories. We can make some gripping-ass games. Crime mysteries (light-hearted and dark), sci-fi puzzlers, choose-ye-own fantasies, anything you want.

Oy, let’s just make Phoenix Wright Vs Snatcher.



by Bret

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