(I'm calling unpleasant male fans of anything bronies now. Heinlein bronies and Civil war bronies and etc.)

There are people on SA upset that the SDR2 kids don't have "strong motives" like the SDR kids. Here, let me translate that for you: "The characters in this game are on average smarter, nicer, and less cynical than the ones in the last one, so they're not as cool with casually murdering each other." Let me abbreviate that for you: "This game is somehow too mature for me, and by the way where can I find sexy fanart of dead teenaged girls."

That it is possible for SDR2 to be too thoughtful for someone over the age of fifteen makes my head hurt. It's a Battle Royale/Phoenix Wright crossover, grow up five minutes' worth and you'll get over it.

The first game would not have succeeded the way it did if it had had this cast of characters, because the first game succeeded largely on the basis of shock value. This is not entirely a bad thing! Because the shock did not come primarily from the violence itself, but from the disdain that the game leveled at the tropes it was making use of.

You could imagine these guys sitting there brainstorming like, "god, I hate people who draw fanart of Mia Faye with her boobs even bigger. Can we hurt their feelings?" "I cannot believe people actually like Kristoph fucking Gavin, I want to make them uncomfortable with their life choices."

So no one should have expected the second game to feature an exact fucking clone of the social dynamics in the first one. The creators of SDR are a contrary bunch of dudes who do not actually like their fans. The chances that they were going to pack the sequel with hardcore-unrelateable psychopaths, exactly like they did the first game, were always nil.

Be grateful that you got Saionji and Sekuhara-Chef and sit down, you big babies.
I had seen this picture before, but I hadn't realize it was official art. Please note the reference photo Edgeworth's got there.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8

Does this cross the "goggles required" line?

View Answers

4 (50.0%)

No, Maya's presence creates sufficient ambiguity.
4 (50.0%)

This quote about Lang is also great:

Originally the designer wanted him to be shirtless, but was told no. So he gave Lang a feather boa, figuring that if his nipples were covered that would make it okay, but it didn't. He even tried to justify it by saying Lang was in astronomy club in high school, and he wanted to show off the 7 scars on his chest that make up the constellation Orion. The director did not buy that either.

How many of the Phoenix Wright people just wandered over from some kind of bara game studio? (Bara game studios do exist, right?)

It is relevant to all of this that I just finished Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, which is roughly as stupid as you'd think it would be, given that title. I know that the earlier games had some really strained internal logic at times, but this was just a huge mess. The writers clearly had no idea how the last plot arc was going to end even, like, halfway through it. I mean, there was a ninja there? But they never came up with anything for him to do, so he was just kind of there. Ninja above the mantelpiece, having no effect upon the plot. I think they didn't have time to write him out when they realized they weren't going to be using him.

Also, at one point Edgeworth explains how the bad guys used a ceiling fan as a pulley to move an object that should logically have weighed at least two hundred pounds. THE FAN CANNOT DO THAT, EDGEWORTH. And there's no buildup to this, and you've got to select the ceiling fan from a roomful of objects when Edgeworth says, "This object will show you how the thing was moved!" Why am I supposed to be able to guess Edgeworth's nonsensical theory? He could've at least given me some kind of hint that his stupid dystopian alternate universe was one in which you can grab hold of the fan and let it spin you around. He should have had the decency to say, "This object that spins in circles and is probably pretty dusty on top will show you how the thing was moved!"

There's obviously no way to fix this stuff in localization, but the translation was pretty bad, too. There were so many typos.

I actually did pick the fan, but it was because it was the only thing left in the room that hadn't yet been involved in an act of villainy, so I figured it must be its turn. DON'T MAKE ME METAGAME, EDGEWORTH, YOU'RE THE WORST PROSECUTOR ANYWAY


I love this comic.

Franziska is the best character and if you don’t agree then you are wrong.

(Crossposted to SarahPin.com, Dreamwidth, and LiveJournal. You can leave comments at whichever.)

Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.

Sibling, I charge you with the sacred duty of eating that edamame in the freezer.


I am not sure how I feel about this. I don’t know if I want to listen to Edgeworth talk that much. But if it’s a prequel, Mia might be in it! So that’s good.

Originally published at I Am Completely Serious. You can comment here or there.

Man, pirating software is hard work. I have like a whole new respect for message board assholes.

I made Mom play the first chapter of Phoenix Wright the other day. She yelled inscrutable legal stuff at it the whole time and refuses to touch it again.

I also totally broke the blog the other day trying to do a test-run of copying it to a new server. I’m all grumpy at WordPress now. What is this forwarding bullshit you do? This is massively inappropriate, and the solution is fucking non-intuitive and for some reason broke all my Unicode characters. I’m not upgrading to this fucking 2.5 of yours until it’s been out at least three months and I know I can recreate all this work I’ve done messing around with PHP and hacking these fucking plugins to make them fucking work like I fucking want. Fucking.

The Mexican restaurant in town always has Star Trek playing. It’s really depressing to me I can hear a random line of dialog from Voyager and go, “Hold it, that totally contradicts that stupid episode where the Doctor’s fucking registry got corrupted or whatever!” I need rewrite privileges for my brain. That is space I could be using for kanji.

Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.

I started playing Apollo Justice last night. It looks like the torch singer dream did mean something. It just wasn’t apparent until I started the game. I don’t know what it means yet, but surely this will become clear as I progress.

(Seriously, I must have read some spoilers at some point and then got them lost in my brain, because the dream knew way too much about the plot.)

Last night, apparently in reaction to yesterday’s terrible dietary crime, I dreamed about eating sprouts. I had bought several varieties from the store, and I removed the roots and ate them. That was the whole dream. It was pretty vivid. I could taste and smell the sprouts and everything.

Figuring that my brain was probably trying to tell me something*, I bought some sprouts when I went out to buy curry stuff today. Unfortunately, I accidentally got daikon sprouts. Which taste like, you know, daikon. I hate daikon. I’ve covered them with kimchi and am determined to work my way through them today. My subconscious went to a lot of trouble on this one.


* Probably an unwarranted assumption. I had another dream earlier in the night where Apollo Justice was a 20’s torch singer. I don’t think that means anything.

(Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.)

Mar. 12th, 2008 10:02 pm

Originally published at I Am Completely Serious. You can comment here or there.

You’d think the people who localized Professor Layton would be paying attention to what the people who localized Phoenix Wright were doing. But I guess not. Evil women with mysterious doubles should clearly always be named Dahlia, and the double’s name should be that of a purple flower.

Anyway, this game is really cute, but I have to have scratch paper around when I’m playing it.


For writing class today, we made posters describing where we’re from, because language school is sort of like pre-school, but with more emphasis on vocabulary relating to intoxication. A scene from today’s class:

*I am dubiously considering the way I wrote “marijuana,” because I think it might be wrong.*

Great Artist-san: What is the kanji for “kami”?

Dragon-san: What? “Kami” for paper?

Great Artist-san: No, no, “kami-sama” - “kami” for God. I have to write “Brazil: God’s Country!”

Me: What?! No! America is God’s country! Don’t you people have TVs?!

Fuzzy-san: Hungary is obviously God’s country.

Great Artist-san: Is Taiwan God’s country?

Dragon-san, disgustedly: No.


I just upgraded WordPress in hopes that it will make comment notification start working. Thus far it seems to have broken my ability to preview in-progress posts and use the Open-ID thingie. Fuck you, WordPress.

Oh, Godot.

Mar. 10th, 2008 12:24 am

Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.

I still haven’t written the follow-up to my previous Big Huge Phoenix Wright post, but I’ve just finished Trials and Tribulations, and I’m going to post massively spoilery thoughts about that real fast:

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.

“Oh, my god! You have a whip! Why do you have a whip!?”

“For whipping.”

Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.

The platonic ideal of a fandom-breeding piece of canon is a story that’s full of massive holes which, 1) nonetheless do not damage the story’s emotional structure, and, 2) could be filled in without making it collapse under its own weight.

That is an excellent description of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

This game has two of those particularly large holes. One is the one I mentioned before: that, though the game generally acts as though it is not aware of this, Phoenix Wright is a deeply unethical, self-absorbed, and, when unguarded, really creepy individual. He steals most of the evidence he uses in court, or else lies to or manipulates people to get it. He is capable of empathy, but rarely exercises it willingly or comfortably - whenever he is forced into some insight into another character’s inner life, he breaks a sweat, grimaces, and makes smart remarks to himself.

He’s apparently only really comfortable with dealing with other people’s feelings as weapons - that is, “motives.” In general, only when he’s accusing someone of a crime or a lie is he entirely comfortable in engaging their humanity.

What makes this more dramatic is the way he behaves towards the single character for whom he does willingly and consistently exercise empathy. Here, I shall cut for spoilers for episode 4 and up.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.

Oh, my god, Phoenix Wright is such a jerk. This is probably the most realistic thing in the game - that the trial lawyer in his early twenties who’s won all his early cases is a borderline sociopath with no respect for any of his colleagues, including, apparently, his genius mentor.

But I can’t figure out if the game realizes he’s a jerk. I think it sort of does? People mock him a lot. And the puzzles are set up so as to make him seem less observant outside of the courtroom than inside. Inside, when the player solves something, Phoenix’s dialog is such that he seems to have solved it himself. Outside, when the player solves something or triggers an event, the NPC’s, particularly Maya and Mia, tend to be ahead of him.

Which is kind of weird, in that outside the courtroom, the player does everything from Phoenix’s POV - you never see him, only the NPCs and the settings he’s moving around in. When in court, though, whenever the player makes a decision, the POV switches to 3rd-person, and the player watches him talk. Intuitively, this seems kind of backwards, but I actually think it works really well. (Though I cannot explain why - maybe I need to actually play some other adventure games before I try and start analyzing the design decisions here.)

Well, no, wait I have a theory - outside the courtroom, nothing Phoenix does really matters. The stuff that happens out there is just preparation for whatever case he’s working on. (”This blurry photograph is intriguing. I won’t show it to anyone - I’ll save it to use as evidence.”) The storylines always resolve inside the courtroom. Not showing Phoenix himself during the out-in-the-wild sections depersonalizes his actions by making it feel like the player is alone with the puzzles. This lessens the emotional intensity of these parts of the game. When Redd White punches Phoenix and threatens him in his office, it has less force than when Edgeworth makes fun of his skill at cross-examination in front of the judge. In the courtroom, you can see Phoenix and his facial expressions and reactions. That personalizes the proceedings, and makes it clear that This Part Is Real.

I guess this is why you can’t see yourself in an FPS or the Myst games - it depersonalizes the stuff you’re doing, and makes you concentrate entirely on whatever the game thinks is most important, rather than on your character. In the FPS’s, that’s the killin’, while in Myst, it’s the environment. And I can’t offhand think of an RPG, even a 3D one, even one of the ones where Protagonist doesn’t talk and has no personality, where you can’t see him/her on your screen.

(Wait - am I all a crazy person, or is the default view when you first log into World of Warcraft one where you can’t see your avatar? Or is it just that that was the way thegeekgene set it up, and I ended up with her settings…)


Feb. 4th, 2008 06:41 pm

I have my Yarrr Card working! I played Diddy Kong Racing today. All those years of playing it on the N64, and somehow I had no idea that this game had a plot. I have no idea why this game needed a plot. The opening cut scene was long and unnecessary.

I think I at some point suggested that Mom play Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I must now rescind this recommendation. Actual lawyers - or even people who live with actual lawyers - or even people who have read a John Grisham book - must never, ever play this game. These people will attempt to act in accordance with basic legal ethics, and will thus be unable to advance in the game. You play a defense attorney, and in the second section, in which you’re representing a woman accused of murder, you have to:

1) repeatedly manipulate a gullible police officer into giving you information and evidence

2) pump a witness for the prosecution for information

3) go through said witness’s things while she’s in the bathroom

It is also strongly encouraged that you,

4) tell a woman who lives on a mountaintop and doesn’t understand how lawyers work “yes” when she says, “Are… are you my lawyer?” (You’re not. You’re not a public defender. This game is down on public defenders.) One of the other dialog options is to say that it’s up to her, but the reaction I got when I did this strongly suggested that I should have chosen to lie.

Also, the game thinks that fuchsia suits are bad. Both the first two murderers wore fuchsia suits. I’m pretty sure Mom has at least one fuchsia suit, and whatever I may think of the choices she’s made in this matter, I can see that this game would only offend her.


I’ve been trying to try all the different wagashi at the Seiyu. Today’s was a pink thing with a leaf wrapped around it (I think it’s called a sakuramochi?). They were remodeling, so my wagashi smelled like industrial sealants. I ate it anyway and now fear I’ll never be able to eat a pink wagashi again without associating it with caulk.

(Originally published at SarahPin.com. You can comment here or there.)

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