294: The Case of Dad vs. Phoenix Wright

Brendan Main

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Jul 17, 2009
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The Case of Dad vs. Phoenix Wright

Brendan Main takes an unlikely route to convince his father that videogames aren't a waste of time.

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Onyx Oblivion

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Sep 9, 2008
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"Hey, dad, I know you're working through the sequel (And Justice For All) to that stupid lawyer game. Well, did you know that it has a sequel? (Trails and Tribulations) And that that game has a sequel? (Apollo Justice) And that that game has a sequel?" (Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)
And then there is going to be another sequel after that, too!

Yes. I did count the number of times you mentioned the sequels.

I, sadly, can't get my dad to play anything but Bejeweled 3. Best Christmas present I even bought him, though. He can't stop playing Butterflies mode.
 

Tiswas

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Not to mention Layton vs Wright :p

I'm still waiting on Franziska Von Karma: Perfect Whipping.

A game that plays half PW half Beat-Em-Up in which you use her whip to abuse, attack and get the truth out of witnesses.


Seriously however. The Ace Attorney series of games are some of the best out there. Whenever people buy a DS or a Wii I make sure to put the series down as games to play. It literally has became much like Okami and Little King's Story as games you MUST play (or really shouldn't be playing games.)
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Onyx Oblivion said:
"Hey, dad, I know you're working through the sequel (And Justice For All) to that stupid lawyer game. Well, did you know that it has a sequel? (Trails and Tribulations) And that that game has a sequel? (Apollo Justice) And that that game has a sequel?" (Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)
And then there is going to be another sequel after that, too!

Yes. I did count the number of times you mentioned the sequels.

I, sadly, can't get my dad to play anything but Bejeweled 3. Best Christmas present I even bought him, though. He can't stop playing Butterflies mode.
That's because Butterflies mode is awesome.
 

Onyx Oblivion

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Sep 9, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
"Hey, dad, I know you're working through the sequel (And Justice For All) to that stupid lawyer game. Well, did you know that it has a sequel? (Trails and Tribulations) And that that game has a sequel? (Apollo Justice) And that that game has a sequel?" (Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)
And then there is going to be another sequel after that, too!

Yes. I did count the number of times you mentioned the sequels.

I, sadly, can't get my dad to play anything but Bejeweled 3. Best Christmas present I even bought him, though. He can't stop playing Butterflies mode.
That's because Butterflies mode is awesome.
I know.

I love it, too. He was originally playing Zen mode. And then I was like "Try this!" against his grumpy wishes...And now he's got the house-hold high score of about 300.
 

HentMas

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Apr 17, 2009
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hehe, cant say i really relate to this, my dad has always being a gamer, he loves FPS´s, and he has finished all the Turok games... up untill the PC one that he never understood (its the QTE´s)

of all the Turok games, his favourite was the third one, he would go from lvl to lvl memorizing everything, where was this enemy, where was that life point, the part of the weapon, EVERYTHING

i remember sitting one day to play with him, he was starting Turok 3, he would get in, finish one level and restart the game, again finish the same level, and restart the game over and over and over, untill he knew by heart every nook and cranny

then he would go and advance up to lvl 3, and restart the game, play all the way to lvl 3 over and over

i dont know if that was enjoyablr, i just remember that roughly 4 months after he bought it, he came to me, proud and happy, to tell me "want to see how i finish the game?"

he did, with relative ease, i was astounded!, and he told me with a smug smile (yes, he is kind of a show off), "i had already finished the game 3 times before, i just wanted to show you the ending, because i know you will never get it right"

hehe, he was right, i never did finished the game, but he did, and after finishing it with the girl, he went and played it with the guy, thats when he came all exited to tell me "ITS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GAME"

my dad doesnt know any english, so he never did put attention to the story, even though i agree that Turok 3 was the most boring and awfull game of the franchize, i have to say, my dad enjoyed the game not because story, animations, mechanics, but because he was able to master it from zero, he loved that game.
 

GiantRaven

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I've never been exposed to the Phoenix Wright games before. They sound pretty convoluted and silly, which is definitely my kind of silly. I might have to check them out at some point, although I imagine my general ineptitude with puzzles might prove infuriating (god knows how I manage to get through an entire Professor Layton game without going insane).
 

Galaktia

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This was a suprisingly touching story.

And I certainly understand the odd position, I have experienced a similar experience with the Tekken games and street fighter games, as a dedicated martial artist, with a decent amoutn of knowledge I find the games, veritably painful and yet at the same time I play them. I complain about them certainly, but I play, and enjoy them, and I think part of the enjoyment is getting to complain about them, and getting too... I dunno, enjoy the idiocy.

:D I hope your dads ok mate.
 
May 25, 2010
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Excellent article. The Phoenix Wright games are well worth playing (at least the first three, I don't know about the rest of them, I haven't played them).

Sadly, I can't really get my dad to play anything these days. He used to game a little bit when he was younger. Stuff like Diablo, Starcraft, Command and Conquer and Half-Life are games he used to enjoy when he was younger. But not so much these days. He was briefly interested in Starcraft II, and I let him play it for a while. That didn't last long either. But it never occured to me to recommend some of the more intersting visual novel style games on the DS. I'll certainly be on the lookout.

GiantRaven said:
I've never been exposed to the Phoenix Wright games before. They sound pretty convoluted and silly, which is definitely my kind of silly. I might have to check them out at some point, although I imagine my general ineptitude with puzzles might prove infuriating (god knows how I manage to get through an entire Professor Layton game without going insane).
There aren't many puzzles in Phoenix Wright. Definitely not in the style of Prof. Layton. Most of the stuff in PW is pretty straightforward.
 

Brainstrain

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Surprising I'd find something on the Escapist that was genuinely sweet. My dad's been videogaming for a long time (there's a copy of Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sale in the attic on floppy discs). The only thing we really played together though was Beatles Rock Band and Avatar Drop.
 

Electrogecko

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This article hurt my brain. I love the Phoenix Wright games, and I love trying to expose my friends and family to things that I love in hopes that they'll understand my passion and share my experience, but never have I come accross a reaction to a game that was at all similar to that of your father's. I still don't understand whether or not he enjoyed the games or appreciates you imposing them on him.
 

dls182

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Jun 15, 2009
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That was a really great story. I'm glad to hear that your Dad's OK. I was a bit shocked when you said his heart stopped...

This also reminded me that I REALLY need to get around to playing the Phoenix Wright games
 

Space Jawa

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Brendan Main said:
I had no interest in following my dad's footsteps, and never wanted to be a judge. Instead, I write about videogames for the internet.
Sounds like my life (Well, aside from the part where my dad's a pastor instead of a judge). :p
 

Garfy

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My dad wouldn't know a video game if it ran up and bit him on the bum

I tell a lie, he vaguely remembers space invaders on the Atari 2600 :)
 

Aedes

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It was a lovely read.
My dad isn't into games but hey, doesn't matter. We both like computers. :p
 

Covarr

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I gave up on the Ace Attorney games after the second one. Rife with poor characterization and illogical puzzles (you know the ones, this item proves what I need, but the game wants me to choose THAT item), AA2 just wasn't a pleasant experience for me. None of the characters were relatable, and it seemed like they were trying too hard to focus on quirks rather than personality. Maya's behavior was based solely on her stupidity and like of cheeseburgers; Franziska's behavior was based entirely on her whip, etc. Backstories to explain characters' personalities felt like afterthoughts, ways of explaining after the fact why they are the way they are, and mostly interchangeable.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the first game, but the second one seemed like a pale imitation. One was charmingly campy, the other was ludicrously stupid. The fact that this man who didn't even like the first game was able to play through the second simply astounds me.

P.S. Thanks
 

therandombear

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I did something like this with my dad. Brokensword 1 and 2, we've both played through Brokensword 2 and either me or he have been taking turns to boast who solved different puzzles the fastest. However I can hold it over his head atm, that I have beat Brokensword 1, and he has not :3

He got a spare physical copy, discs, from me a few weeks ago though, since I re-bought a copy from GoG. So just waiting for the moment when he got time to sit down and get done with it, he's always stuck in some area ;)
 

RowdyRodimus

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No matter how many systems I get the one question out of my Dads mouth is, "Does it have Galaxian?" Ever since those long ago days of the crash of '84 when I picked it up for our Atari 2600 for $2.00 at Kaybee Toys, he has been hooked on that game.

He still has it (although we upgraded to the 7800 when that came out lol) and has already played his few games for today before he had to go to the doctor. The only other series of games he'll play are the R.B.I. Baseball games.

He likes watching my brother and I play our new games but to him you can't top Galaxian, so there's no reason for him to play anything else.
 

randommaster

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Electrogecko said:
This article hurt my brain. I love the Phoenix Wright games, and I love trying to expose my friends and family to things that I love in hopes that they'll understand my passion and share my experience, but never have I come accross a reaction to a game that was at all similar to that of your father's. I still don't understand whether or not he enjoyed the games or appreciates you imposing them on him.
His dad likes them like a bad movie. You don't watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show to learn about genetic engineering, you watch it because it's completely absurd and you want to see what happens next.

My mother was like this with games. She got her first taste with Banjo Kazooie and me and my siblings told her to jump into the lava to get more lives. She did, and we laughed. She began playing more, though, and ended up being the first to beat Gruntilda, at two in the morning, no less. She went on to play Dr. Mario for the N64, getting crazy good, and SMB3.
 

ANeM

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This is a testament not to his casual nature, but rather to his single-minded devotion and perseverance. He used to flip on Dr. Mario on the NES on the hardest setting, music set to "Chill," and methodically empty out that jarful of viruses pill by pill without breaking a sweat.
Spooky. My father used to do the exact same thing. While not a judge, he is a corporate lawyer, and I fear he has the same sort of opinions about video games...
 

Arlocke

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This was a very amusing read. My dad used to say "goodies" as well. We don't really talk much anymore... or at all, really... but I'm still close to my mother and she doesn't really get gaming I don't think. But she's pretty supportive of me studying game design at college.
 

The Random One

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That was a great article, but the only thing I can think of to reply is: goodies is an excellent word. Definitively better than 'items' or 'inventory'. Than 'loot'? Possibly.
 

Abbyrose07

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Cute story...unfortunately the only thing my father is interested in playing is Halo...lol.
 

ckam

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Great story, man. It does seem pretty cool that he's oddly compelled by such a game, but that's just the way to make bonds greater and better.
 

miva2

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haha awesome.
I like listening to other people how they experience a game. my dad often tells about what happened in his far cry matches. bu there's no that connection of lawyer/gamecritic or anything comparable, that's pretty cool.
 

havass

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That was an awesome article. Was surprised to find something heart-warming on The Escapist...and I got shocked when you said his heart stopped. I thought he'd passed on. :/ Thankfully your dad's fine now. And still playing Phoenix Wright. >:D
 

Black Watch

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That is cute man. Real cute. I wish I could get my dad into videogames but he doesn't take a shine to anything unless it is a military shooter... even then, when I let him play CoD or MoH, he finds it to be too complicated.
 

Electrogecko

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randommaster said:
Electrogecko said:
This article hurt my brain. I love the Phoenix Wright games, and I love trying to expose my friends and family to things that I love in hopes that they'll understand my passion and share my experience, but never have I come accross a reaction to a game that was at all similar to that of your father's. I still don't understand whether or not he enjoyed the games or appreciates you imposing them on him.
His dad likes them like a bad movie. You don't watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show to learn about genetic engineering, you watch it because it's completely absurd and you want to see what happens next.

My mother was like this with games. She got her first taste with Banjo Kazooie and me and my siblings told her to jump into the lava to get more lives. She did, and we laughed. She began playing more, though, and ended up being the first to beat Gruntilda, at two in the morning, no less. She went on to play Dr. Mario for the N64, getting crazy good, and SMB3.
Well I'd say there's a difference between something you watch because it's so bad and something you watch because it's unpredictable and absurd....you can have both, and it wouldn't make the movie good or make you want to continue watching, but if you genuinely want to finish something, even if it's due to seemingly cheap tricks, I'd say that you found it compelling and were successfully entertained.

As far as I know my dad has never picked up a single video game. My mom, on the other hand, used to play a lot of Super Mario All-Stars (specifically Super Mario Bros.) and Tetris 2 for the SNES, and she was exceptionally good at both. But for her to beat Banjo Kazooie....absolutely absurd. She says she can't handle the 3rd dimension virtually....I don't remember her ever attempting a 3d game, and she stopped playing video games altogether a long time ago. (unless it's solitaire on the comp)
 

randommaster

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Electrogecko said:
randommaster said:
Electrogecko said:
This article hurt my brain. I love the Phoenix Wright games, and I love trying to expose my friends and family to things that I love in hopes that they'll understand my passion and share my experience, but never have I come accross a reaction to a game that was at all similar to that of your father's. I still don't understand whether or not he enjoyed the games or appreciates you imposing them on him.
His dad likes them like a bad movie. You don't watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show to learn about genetic engineering, you watch it because it's completely absurd and you want to see what happens next.

My mother was like this with games. She got her first taste with Banjo Kazooie and me and my siblings told her to jump into the lava to get more lives. She did, and we laughed. She began playing more, though, and ended up being the first to beat Gruntilda, at two in the morning, no less. She went on to play Dr. Mario for the N64, getting crazy good, and SMB3.
Well I'd say there's a difference between something you watch because it's so bad and something you watch because it's unpredictable and absurd....you can have both, and it wouldn't make the movie good or make you want to continue watching, but if you genuinely want to finish something, even if it's due to seemingly cheap tricks, I'd say that you found it compelling and were successfully entertained.

As far as I know my dad has never picked up a single video game. My mom, on the other hand, used to play a lot of Super Mario All-Stars (specifically Super Mario Bros.) and Tetris 2 for the SNES, and she was exceptionally good at both. But for her to beat Banjo Kazooie....absolutely absurd. She says she can't handle the 3rd dimension virtually....I don't remember her ever attempting a 3d game, and she stopped playing video games altogether a long time ago. (unless it's solitaire on the comp)
I was thinking more along the lines of liking something that's not well-made. The PW games aren't good reproductions of an actual courtroom, so his dad notices all the details that are wrong. It's not the whole game, just various details. It's like when you're a biologist and you hear characters talking about "higher stages" of evolution.
 

Brendan Main

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randommaster said:
The PW games aren't good reproductions of an actual courtroom, so his dad notices all the details that are wrong. It's not the whole game, just various details. It's like when you're a biologist and you hear characters talking about "higher stages" of evolution.
Or when some supposed kung-fu master is bragging about their unbeatable style, and says that they know 23 ways to kill somebody with their left pinky.

First off, that's way too many. There's six, okay? Only six. Seven if you count the Wushu Inverted Lotus Strike, but any idiot knows that those scrolls have been lost to the sands of time.

And second off, in a pinch, your left thumb will do just fine.
 

randommaster

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Brendan Main said:
randommaster said:
The PW games aren't good reproductions of an actual courtroom, so his dad notices all the details that are wrong. It's not the whole game, just various details. It's like when you're a biologist and you hear characters talking about "higher stages" of evolution.
Or when some supposed kung-fu master is bragging about their unbeatable style, and says that they know 23 ways to kill somebody with their left pinky.

First off, that's way too many. There's six, okay? Only six. Seven if you count the Wushu Inverted Lotus Strike, but any idiot knows that those scrolls have been lost to the sands of time.

And second off, in a pinch, your left thumb will do just fine.
That depends entirely on what two fingers they are using to pinch you. The tricky Qi-chu Thumb-pinky Over-hyphenated Ankle Throw is tricky to pull off, but nearly impossible to counter without hyper-extending your kidneys.
 

The Wykydtron

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I wonder what his reaction to Godot would be? Lazer Face throwing coffee at the defense? WTF?!
 

scottsteve

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I was smiling until the last sentence of the first paragraph of page four. That's when the emotional significance of the piece hit me.
I honestly have to say that this is the one of the best articles I have seen on this site, from a story telling view and entertainment. Thanks for sharing this.
 

NaramSuen

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That was a very well written and thoroughly entertaining article. My father is of the opinion that video games went downhill after Pac-Man, with the possible exception of Ms. Pac-Man.

On an unrelated note, there was Hebrew word in my captcha.
 

Lord_Seth

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Covarr said:
I gave up on the Ace Attorney games after the second one. Rife with poor characterization and illogical puzzles (you know the ones, this item proves what I need, but the game wants me to choose THAT item), AA2 just wasn't a pleasant experience for me. None of the characters were relatable, and it seemed like they were trying too hard to focus on quirks rather than personality. Maya's behavior was based solely on her stupidity and like of cheeseburgers; Franziska's behavior was based entirely on her whip, etc. Backstories to explain characters' personalities felt like afterthoughts, ways of explaining after the fact why they are the way they are, and mostly interchangeable.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the first game, but the second one seemed like a pale imitation. One was charmingly campy, the other was ludicrously stupid. The fact that this man who didn't even like the first game was able to play through the second simply astounds me.

P.S. Thanks
The second game is generally considered to be the weakest of the first three games. I'd recommend checking out the third (Trials & Tribulations), it's a big improvement.
 

The Youth Counselor

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My grandmother, my mother, and sisters all loved Tetris. But my dad never liked video games from day one and criticized them frequently.

I only recall two times where he played a game.

The first time, he watched my friend and me play Mortal Kombat II at a bowling alley. He kept criticizing how it was tasteless gratuitous violence that would surely spawn a terrible generation. Then he asked to play, and without ever touching it before, kicked my ass four matches in a row. I didn't let him, win. He refused a rematch, claiming it was a waste of money.

The second time, was when I had to make a quick run to the bathroom while playing Mafia. When I came out, I had seen he was laughing maniacally after having crashed the car and unsure how to get back in, and was randomly spraying a Tommy gun into crowds.
 

omegawyrm

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Hopefully He makes it through the second game, some of the cases in there are unbearably nonsensical. You basically have to break the 4th wall by applying something with one character that you learned as another character to have the slightest clue how to beat the last case (It does introduce Pearl though, who is adorable). I hope he makes it to 3 and 4, I found those much more satisfying.
 

carpathic

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THis felt like an extremely touching article about finding ways to connect with your father.

Bravo! You elicited real emotion and I quite enjoyed reading about your father's travails!
 

bimbley

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Thanks Brendan, this is really personal but manages to avoid being overly familiar or soppy. I think a lot of people will recognise the willing but confused parent, who doesn't quite 'get' gaming. Yours is a great example of the way any media, including games, can be used to find common ground with those we might struggle to do so with otherwise.

-Bimbley
 

smudgey

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Great article! Sorry to hear about your dad's health scare.
dls182 said:
That was a really great story. I'm glad to hear that your Dad's OK. I was a bit shocked when you said his heart stopped...

This also reminded me that I REALLY need to get around to playing the Phoenix Wright games
First one's on the App store now, bit cheaper than buying the DS version.
 

Taunta

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This story was very heartwarming. I think it's so funny that he has nothing but complaints about it, but obviously he likes it enough to keep playing.
 

FogHornG36

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The game logic may seem odd, but thats partly because they are not using the American court system that we are used to, innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of fact rests on the prosecutor.
 

Smokescreen

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Very nice. A cool story illustrating how games of any sort can bridge the gap between people.
 

Signa

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GiantRaven said:
I've never been exposed to the Phoenix Wright games before. They sound pretty convoluted and silly, which is definitely my kind of silly. I might have to check them out at some point, although I imagine my general ineptitude with puzzles might prove infuriating (god knows how I manage to get through an entire Professor Layton game without going insane).
If you played those old point-and-click adventure games, then you will know what to expect from Phoenix Wright. Instead of "use item with object" commands, it's "use evidence with contradictory dialogue segment." You sometimes can figure out what happened before the game tells you, so you have a bit of a classic murder mystery story on your hands. Only it's better, because half of those murder mysteries don't leave you with enough info to figure out who did it. PW wants you to figure it out, and then trap them in their own lies.
 

venn2011

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Wow... this article was just beautiful. It really shows that games aren't just for kids-- it really can be an enjoyable(?) entertainment for all ages.

(I put '?' next to the word 'enjoyable', since, well... it's subjective, especially when it's 'love-to-hate' situation like in the article)

This article gives me some hope because I really love gaming & want it to be part of my life for the rest of my life. But my family thinks otherwise (to them games = for kids) and is still waiting for me to 'grow out of it.'

MetaKnight19 said:
This might sum up what I think.

http://objection.mrdictionary.net/go.php?n=4796875
http://objection.mrdictionary.net/go.php?n=4981887
 

Norix596

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I saw this piece a year or two ago - at that time I had no knowledge of the Ace Attorney series -- recently I took a look at a playthrough of a case in AA:pW 1... and then the next... and the next - shortly I was hooked - I just loved the drama, (most of) the characters and of course the music. By now I've experienced the original trilogy and working through the adventures of Apollo Justice - I plan on getting the upcoming AA 5 when it comes out to play for myself.

Anyway, I thought about this piece and began looking for it -- it was just as sweet and now much more understandable as I recalled.

Thanks to MegamanNG on youtube for letting me experience this wonderful series.