Leveling Up: Turnabout Serenade From Apollo Justice Ace Attorney

As you might have guessed from my review, I’m not a big fan of Apollo Justice. Not to say I didn’t like it, but when you compare it to all the other Ace Attorney games, you start to notice just how inferior it is in comparison. It had some good moments, but plenty of bad moments as well. In my opinion, the cases in this game are the lowest-quality they’ve ever been, with the only really good one being Turnabout Corner. But the biggest low-point of this game for me is easily Turnabout Serenade. Apollo Justice’s third case is not only the worst case in the game, but one of the worst cases in the entire series. While not talked about nearly as much as Turnabout Big Top, Turnabout Serenade has a reputation among the Ace Attorney community for being extremely bad. But why? Why is it so bad? And how can it be made better? How can Turnabout Serenade be Leveled Up?

Turnabout Serenade starts with main characters Apollo and Trucy attending the concert of Apollo’s rival: the prosecutor and lead vocalist Klavier Gavin. As well as Klavier’s band, the Gavinners, the mysterious songstress Lamiroir and her blind pianist Machi Tobaye are there. Machi, Lamiroir and Gavin perform “The Guitar’s Serenade”, a song Lamiroir and Gavin wrote together especially for the concert. Shortly after however, LetTouse, Lamiroir’s interpreter is shot in the shoulder by a revolver and killed. Unfortunately, the young pianist Machi is the prime suspect, and it’s up to you to uncover the truth and prove his innocence!

Let’s start with the case’s simplest problem; “The Guitar’s Serenade” itself. As you work your way through the case, you soon come to realise that the song is a key clue in the murder, and is a vital piece of evidence for putting the true culprit behind bars. Using music as evidence is a pretty cool idea, so what’s wrong with it? The thing is, you have to watch the minute and a half song about 15 times throughout the case, and the majority of those times, you CANNOT skip it. It’s more annoying than anything, but the frequency at which it is shown has caused a lot of people to despise the song, despite it being pretty nice when you first hear it. What’s more is this simple problem has a simple solution. Except when it is absolutely necessary(the first time you watch it and when you’re looking for clues in the video), you should be able to skip the cutscene. This decision is baffling, and makes the case even more of a chore to go through at some points.

My biggest problem with this case however is the low-quality of the plot and the ridiculous amount of plotholes. Ace Attorney is usually pretty consistent with the quality of its writing, but Turnabout Serenade is an exception. For a start, the reason why Machi is the prime suspect makes no goddamn sense. He can be the only culprit because the only exit from the scene of the crime was a vent and he is the only one small enough to fit through it. Makes sense right? Here’s the thing though, the murder was done with a revolver, a revolver the characters repeatedly state is extremely powerful, to the point where it could QUOTE “dislocate the shoulder of a grown adult”. And you quickly find out the gun was fired twice. Tell me again how a 14 year old kid fired two shots from this thing without sustaining so much as a minor injury? The characters literally go over it a thousand times, and the game NEVER gives you the chance to point this out. Everyone just ignores the fact that is was physically impossible for Machi to commit the murder. Then, to add insult to injury, the body of LeTouse is moved all the way to the stage at the end of the first investigation, and the characters have the balls to claim that Machi did this too. Again, it is repeatedly stated that LeTouse is a hulk of a man while Machi is fairly small, even for a teenager.

Then there’s the first trial of the case, which is probably my least favourite trial section in the series. Every single objection you make is immediately shot down by Klavier Gavin, and not in the good way like von Karma. Whenever you point out a contradiction, he’ll take it and turn it into damning evidence against Machi, and by the end of the trial, you’ve made literally no progress whatsoever. The only reason the case even continues is because Lamiroir says she heard Klavier’s friend and fellow band member Daryan Crescend talking to LeTouse shortly before his death. Speaking of Daryan, he sucks. And I don’t just mean he sucks because he’s a despicable villain who’s extremely unlikeable. That would make him a good antagonist. No, he’s just an extremely dull and boring character. The only interesting part about him is his bad hair which isn’t exactly something to be commended. Apart from his breakdown, all his sprite animations are unremarkable and he has very little personality. His motive isn’t much better. He killed LeTouse because he found out that Daryan had smuggled an extremely precious item out of Borginia that could give him the death penalty. Why did he smuggle this item out of the country? For money. In plenty of other crime stories, this would be an acceptable motive, but in the wacky world of Ace Attorney it’s just unimaginative.

What’s more is that they could have easily given him a much more interesting and relatable motive! The item he smuggled, the “Borginian Cocoon”, can be used as a cure for the deadly disease “Incuritis”. Daryan was intending to sell it to the Chief Justice, as his son had the disease, but it would have made his character ten times better if someone close to him had the disease. This would kill two birds with one stone, giving a more convincing explanation for why he risked his life smuggling it, and creating empathy for him, making the whole situation much less black and white. I would also change the first trial scene drastically so that the player’s actions are what casts doubt on the case, like in the fourth case of the fourth Ace Attorney. Finally, I would fix the plotholes in a number of ways. Completely change the type of gun so it is one Machi could easily fire. Daryan’s hand injury could be explained away by him getting injured in the struggle with LeTouse. Introduce a way Machi could have transported the body, such as a dolly, and add incriminating evidence such as fingerprints to make it much more plausible that he was the one who transported the body. I would also get rid of the tiny window and the misunderstanding it causes as it just feels like it pads the case out. Of course, the case would need many more changes to make it good and possible even excellent, but my suggestions are a good place to start. And with that, Turnabout Serenade has been Leveled Up!

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Unpopular Opinions: No, Steam’s New “We’ll Accept Anything” Policy Is NOT A Good Thing

Steam and Valve are the centre of the news once again. It seems they can never catch a break. This time, they’ve announced a new policy for games looking to get onto the platform. Apparently, they will now accept anything that isn’t “illegal” or “straight up trolling”. Not exactly the most clear of terms… but who cares right? This is a victory for freedom, a killing blow to censorship! All those stupid game journalists don’t know what they’re talking about. Good old Valve is doing what’s right for the consumer once again! Take that SJW’s! Take that special snowflakes! WE won! To say I was shocked at the attitude most of the gaming community had towards this new policy would be an understatement. No, this is not a victory. And it’s certainly not a good thing. This decision will only fuck up Steam even more. Valve do NOT deserve a ‘thank you’ or a ‘congratulations’. Yet most people seem to be happy with this horrible new change to Steam.

One of the main problems I have with people defending Valve’s decision is that they are completely missing the point. This argument is NOT about censorship; it’s about quality control. Ever since Steam Greenlight was released back in 2012, the Steam storefront has been an absolute shitshow. It started slow at first, but quickly devolved to the point where 38% of all games on Steam were released in 2016. Holy shit. You might be thinking “But surely more games isn’t a bad thing” but the fact is that you CAN have too much of a good thing. Quality over quantity as they say. About a decade ago, a new game on Steam used to be a blessing, an extremely rare occurrence. Valve would only let the most high-quality of games onto the platform. While a game being on the platform was pretty much the Valve equivalent of the “Nintendo Seal of Quality”, the system wasn’t perfect and resulted in many developers, especially Indie developers, being locked out of PC’s biggest and most lucrative gaming platform. With Greenlight, Valve did a complete 180 and decided to throw quality out the window in favour of sweet, sweet cash.

Games that were buggy, broken and half-assed were shoved onto the store to make a quick buck. People started selling Unity Asset Packs on the platform as full games, with some asset packs even being published multiple times by multiple different ‘developers’. Games that didn’t even start, because they lacked the goddamn executable needed to play them were sold for actual money. The system Steam started with was by no means perfect, but it was certainly better than the cavalcade of shit we have now. With so much competition, the Indie developers who were locked out before were now inside, but buried and forgotten under a mountain of crap. Now, they’re looking elsewhere, because Steam is hardly even worth the small price of admission anymore. Developers, as well as consumers are suffering because of Valve’s nonchalance. Just look at the developers of Blossom Tales! They were suffering financially due to low sales on Steam, but upon releasing their game on the heavily curated Switch Eshop, they came back from the dead. If that doesn’t prove just how fucked Steam is at the moment, I don’t know what does.

Yet despite all of this, Valve is being treated like a hero. A saviour, a holy defender of free speech and faithful destroyer of censorship! But they’re not. Valve isn’t doing this to protect your right to freedom of speech, Valve is doing what they always do: choose the option that requires the least amount of effort and work on their part. People seem to forget that only a week or two before this whole incident, they were getting a lot of scorn for banning anime games and visual novels for being too ‘lewd’. Valve only react when there’s a major controversy that basically forces them to take action. But of course, they only have your best interests in mind…

Not that I’m saying Steam should go back to the way it was when it first arrived on PC. Like all good things, there needs to be a balance. It can’t just be one way; Valve and Steam’s consumers should have equal power. Both sides have disadvantages that can only be overcome by them working together. Valve could have potential bias that causes them to police the store and reject perfectly good games while consumers are too big of a force to be reliable. If you want an example, just look at the Steam Greenlight days. Developers like Digital Homicide were buying Greenlight votes and good reviews from people willing to sell out for some cold, hard cash. Steam have a responsibility to ensure their games are up to a certain quality before being allowed on the platform, and Steam’s customers can sort the games from there. When their powers combine, only then can Steam live up to its reputation as the best platform on PC!

In conclusion, NO, Steam’s new policy is a lazy, half-assed response to controversy that won’t be good for the platform whatsoever. I understand the concerns about censorship and policing, but that’s not what this is about. No-one is going to come and take away your school shooter games. They have a right to exist… just not on Steam. Steam is big, but it’s not like there are no other places on the Internet to share games. I am not asking for Valve to silence whatever voice I don’t like the sound of, I am asking them to make sure their games are up to a certain standard. Compare AID’s Simulator to Postal 2. Both are fairly controversial games with the big difference being that Postal 2 is a solid game with actual effort put into it. Anyway, that’s my take on the whole situation. What do you think? Do you agree with me, disagree, or are you somewhere in the middle? I’m interested to hear your opinions, so feel free to comment what you think below!

 

Guns of Icarus Online Review-Steampunk In The Skies

Game Name: Guns of Icarus Online

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac, Linux, Playstation 4

Developer: Muse Games

Publisher: Muse Games

Price: £3.99 or $4.99

Guns of Icarus Online is an odd game. You’ve probably heard of it. Seen your favourite Youtuber play it. Noticed it on the Steam store occasionally. But despite all this attention, there’s about as many people that regularly play it as your average endangered animal. The game was literally made free for a week and now, less than a week later, the game is back down to 300 concurrent players. Why is this the case? What repels people away from this game? Is its fanbase toxic? Are the devs douchebags on the level of Brendan Greene? Or is the game just straight up bad? Today, I’m going to be looking at Guns of Icarus to see if it deserves more players, or deserves its low playercount. So, let’s take a look at the ‘best airship simulator’ out there!

There are three roles/classes to play as in Guns of Icarus: Engineer, Gunner, and Pilot. They’re all pretty self-explanatory. Engineers go around whacking the ship’s various parts with mallets and spanners to fix them and keep the ship from exploding. Gunners use different ammo types on the ship’s guns to take the enemy ships down. Pilots are by far the hardest role. As well as piloting the ship, they double as the captain, meaning they come up with the strategy and plan of action, choose and customise the ship, and give orders telling the members of the crew what to do. These roles aren’t confined to their niches. Gunners can still repair, engineers can still steer the ship and pilots can still fire the guns. However, the roles are more specialised to their assigned jobs. Engineers can have up to four tool in their loadout but only one type of ammo. Gunners can have up to four types of ammo but only two tools. Pilots can have only one tool and one ammo type, but get access to special pilot skills that allow them to perform various manoeuvres with the ship. Each role also has a stamina bar, but they are used for different things. Pilots can use stamina to speed up the ship, engineers can sprint around to get to parts faster, and gunners can reduce the reload time of the gun they are on.

In Guns of Icarus Online, teamwork is crucial to victory. And no, I don’t mean just getting on the goddamn payload Genji! I mean ACTUAL teamwork. In fact, Guns of Icarus Online is possibly the only multiplayer game out there where teamwork is a major factor on the outcome of the game. If you want to win, good communication and teamwork is pretty much a requirement. This is a double-edged blade. On the one hand, it gives the game an incredibly steep learning curve, one that’s probably even steeper than most MOBA’s out there. On the other, it means the community is very friendly and willing to help you learn and get better at the game. In my opinion, the community is one of the best aspects of Guns of Icarus. Never before have I seen a game community so helpful and welcoming. Everyone is so nice, and my captain always made sure I knew what I was doing and taught me important tricks to improve my play.

There are also numerous events every single week. Even I couldn’t resist participating in the “Crewcible”, a competitive event for players new to the game. However, this may be due to the community’s size. Guns of Icarus is quite a niche game, and its steep learning curve doesn’t help this. When I first started playing, the player count rarely went above a hundred. It increases substantially whenever there’s a sale, but very few of the new players actually decide to stick around and it soon peters out. Personally, I don’t mind the small playerbase, but do keep in mind that you’ll see familiar faces extremely often, and you’ll often go up against or be with hardened veterans regardless of your actual level and experience with the game.

A lot of the fun of the game comes from customising your ship and character, and experimenting with different builds to find the most effective way of dispatching your foes. There are 13 different ship types to choose from, and they’re all wildly different in terms of playstyle. The ever-popular Pyramidion has powerful forward focus-fire and brutal ram strength. The Stormbreaker, while weak in defense, is extremely fast with a quick and merciless four gun combo. The Galleon is slow and moves like a turtle, but it also has the nigh-impenetrable armour to match. There are also around twenty different types of guns for you to put on your ship from the rapid and explosive hwacha to the long-range flak cannon to the heavy knockback-focused minotaur. On top of this, as a pilot you can choose three pilot skills. Items that increase your ships stats in exchange for dealing damage to a certain part on your ship. For example, Phoenix Claw massively increases turn speed, but deals damage to your engines. Skilled pilots can make use of these skills to perform some pretty insane manoeuvres, and they’re fun to use as an amateur as well.

Choosing what ammo to bring is also an important factor. Lesmok increases range but reduces your gun’s clip size. Greased increases firing rate, but gives your shots so much spread that you may as well be trying to aim drunk. Heatsink ammo makes your gun immune to fire but reduces shot speed. Then there’s tools. As well as your standard kit, there’s also buff hammers, which buff parts of the ship, and repair kits which heal parts over time instead of all at once. The level of depth to this game is simply astounding. You can also customise your character’s appearance and your ships to an extent, but it’s quite shallow. This isn’t helped by the fact that the models are kind of ugly and a lot of the cosmetics are paywalled as microtransactions. You can get free items by participating in the Dev Games(a ‘fight the developers’ event) and winning, but appearance customisation is overall pretty disappointing in my opinion.

There’s also six factions for you to join for some simple, but welcome extra content. Upon starting the game for the first time, you’ll be given the option to choose one of the factions. Personally, I chose the environmentally friendly Order of Chaladon. Once you’ve chosen, you gain access to a world map, where you can spend coin earned from battles to conquer and defend territory. The more coin you spend, the more you’ll level up in your faction, get rewards and earn a reputation, possibly even becoming a Faction Leader! They add some much-needed personality and character to the game as well as giving you something to do while waiting in a lobby. Unfortunately, a lot of the Faction content is locked behind the Alliance Expansion, making it feel like the developers are waving a carrot in your face to force you to buy it. Despite these omissions, Guns of Icarus offers plenty of bang for your buck. With over 800 achievements and constant updates adding new maps, ships and more, it’s well worth the £3.99 entry fee. You heard me right, you can get it for less than £5, which is a damn good deal.

Guns of Icarus Online is an extremely underrated game. The team-based gameplay is fun and has plenty of depth. The community is one of the best out there despite its small size. It’s only £3.99 and yet it has hundreds of hours of content, almost 1000 achievements and is constantly being updated. Once you get past the initial difficulty and alienation of the game’s mechanics, there’s a lot to like about the game. It’s not devoid of problems, but Guns of Icarus is like the very airships it’s based on. While there may be a few cracks in the structure, they can be repaired, and any big problems can be extinguished with the click of a mouse. What you have left is one magnificent flying machine manned by one jolly crew; a community. It almost puts the Wright Brothers to shame.

Pros:

  • Incredibly cheap for what’s on offer
  • Hundreds of hours of replayability
  • Over 800 achievements
  • Gameplay is fun and intense
  • Loads of customisation options for your character and your ships
  • 13 different ships, all with their own unique layouts, stats and playstyles
  • Decent graphics
  • One of the best game communities out there
  • Constant updates keep the game fresh
  • Factions are simple, but satisfying, and have a lot of lore behind them

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Extremely small playerbase
  • Expensive cosmetic microtransactions
  • Player models are a bit ugly
  • Soundtrack is dull and very monotonous
  • Most of the faction content is locked unless you get the Alliance DLC

Nitpicks:

  • Engineer and gunner roles could be considered uninteresting compared to the pilot role.
  • There are a few useless tools and pilot skills

Verdict: 8.5/10

 

Captain America: Civil War Mostly Spoiler Free Review-This Is War!

After watching Infinity War the other week, I was more than happy to delve deeper into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And what better film to start with than possibly the best of the bunch? I remember Captain America Civil War causing quite a stir in 2016, similar to the stir Infinity War caused just a couple of months ago. Among fans, this film seems to be a favourite. Adapting the “Civil War” comic book storyline from 2006, it pits hero against hero in an epic clash that shakes the Avengers to their very core. While its cast is nowhere near as big as Infinity War’s, there are still a lot of characters in Civil War that all need time to shine in the spotlight. With so many characters, does Captain America Civil War suffer from the same problems Infinity War had, or does it manage to surpass it? Let’s find out!

Civil War starts out with Captain America and his team attempting to stop supervillain Crossbones from stealing a biological weapon. Although they succeed in stopping him, the day is far from victorious. After being defeated, Crossbones tries to blow himself up and take Captain America with him. Wanda Maximoff(Scarlet Witch) barely contains the explosion, and throws it out of range. Unfortunately, it blows up a building and several Wakandan humanitarian workers with it. Normal humans being scared of superhumans has always been a hot topic in Marvel, but this exacerbates the situation to the point where the UN decide to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will force Earth’s superheroes to accept government oversight, retire, or go rogue.

Iron Man supports the accords due to his guilt over civilian deaths, but Captain America doesn’t like the idea of the government controlling the Avengers and deciding what they can and can’t do. Things only get worse when a bomb(what is it with this movie and bombs?) goes off at the conference and kills the king of Wakanda, and the primary suspect is Captain America’s old and brainwashed partner: Bucky Barnes. Before long the Avengers are forced to pick sides, and they quickly begin to fight amongst themselves. As superhero is pit against superhero, a sinister figure in the shadows seeks to irreversibly tear them apart forever.

Easily one of my favourite parts about this movie is the villain: Zemo. Don’t be deceived by his stupid-sounding name, this guy is arguably the smartest and most deceptive villain the Avengers have ever faced. He has no real superpowers, but he doesn’t need them. Through wit and trickery, he’s able to do something no other supervillain has been able to do: turn the Avengers against each other. I wish I could say more about him, but for the sake of spoilers I’m going to leave it at that. As far as I’m concerned, he’s easily one of the best parts of the movie, and puts MCU Thanos to shame! I just wish he got more screentime.

Overall,the quality of the story is top-notch. There are a few questionable moments, but nowhere near the amount Infinity War had. Every scene is put together to make you sympathetic to both sides. Throughout the movie, you really feel their strife and emotion at having to fight former allies. Well, except Ant Man and Spiderman. They’re just kinda roped in to make the big airport fight scene a bit more lively and as a bit of comedic support. While both of them are acted extremely well and they made me laugh about a dozen times between them, they feel a bit out of place. Ant Man has been a criminal before, and has expressed a desire to try and have a normal life with his family many times. Yet he decides to join Captain America’s team and become a wanted man again despite no real incentive to help them? Spiderman is a little more acceptable, but how the hell did Stark figure out his identity was Peter Parker, and why was he the first and only person he went to for some much needed backup? Don’t get me wrong, I liked their appearances, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they were a bit shoehorned in.

Then there’s the action scenes. Action is one of the main draws of the superhero genre, and Civil War knows this perfectly well. Every single fight scene is intense, beautifully choreographed and shot, and is just overly kickass. The movie does a great job of representing all the character’s different fighting styles; Bucky’s brutal punches, Black Panther’s animalistic attacks, Spiderman’s showy stunts. Their actions in combat are representative of their character and personalities, and it makes the fights a lot less nonsensical and hard to follow. I’m sure pretty much everyone knows about the awesome airport fight scene at this point! Despite this, the action can get a bit tiring over the 2 and a half hour run-time. There’s barely any room to breathe between all the action set pieces.

As far as superhero movies go, Captain America Civil War is easily one of the best out there. It’s far from flawless, and it’s by no means a masterpiece, but that doesn’t keep it from being an incredibly gripping and exhilarating watch. Action junkies, as well as those looking for a captivating story will both find a lot to like here. Civil War’s cast is also extremely strong. From Iron Man to Spiderman to Scarlet Witch to Black Panther to Captain America, this film has no shortage of talent on display. I’m not surprised that it has gone down as one of the greatest superhero movies in history and arguably the best Marvel movie. When all the heroes come together and unite, they end up making a superhero film that stands tall as one of the best of the bunch.

Verdict: B+

Unpopular Opinions: Ace Attorney Investigations Is The Most Overhated Game In The Series

While I haven’t exactly been in the Ace Attorney fanbase for too long, I’ve learned a lot in my short time around the games and the community. Apollo really needs to eat his hamburgers, there’s nothing worse than an updated autopsy report and most importantly, that object over there is definitely a stepladder. Another thing I’ve learned is that there are three games in the series constantly fighting for the title of “Worst Game In The Series”: Justice For All, Apollo Justice, and the Miles Edgeworth spinoff, Ace Attorney Investigations. Having recently finished Investigations, I’m honestly shocked at the hate this game gets. I can definitely see the problems people have with the game, but to call it the worst Ace Attorney game… I simply don’t understand. So today I’m going to be going over some of the reasons why Investigations is not only an overhated Ace Attorney game, but my favourite entry in the series so far. First of all, let’s talk about one of the biggest parts of any Ace Attorney game…

1. The Characters

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Easily one of Ace Attorney Investigation’s biggest strengths is its characters. It had the difficult job of introducing new characters that fit within the spinoff while giving equal attention to old favourites. Fortunately, it managed this perfectly, and ended up having my favourite cast of characters in the series(at least out of the ones I’ve played so far)! Where do I start? Edgeworth is as cold, calculating and suave as always. Franziska, a character I was indifferent to in the main games, gets more development in this game than in Justice For All and Trials and Tribulations combined. Kay Faraday is probably the first assistant in the series that isn’t just a ‘discount Maya Fey’, and has an intriguing personality. Lang, Shih-na, and Detective Badd are three of the coolest, most badass characters in gaming history. There’s a bigger helping of Gumshoe in this game than in pretty much every other Ace Attorney game(except maybe Investigations 2), and that scores it HUGE points in my book. Two of the funniest minor characters, Larry Butz and Wendy Oldbag also make an appearance! And then there’s Calisto Yew. Probably the most overlooked villain in the series, this girl is close to Dahlia Hawthorne levels of crazy bitch. If there is one problem with the characters though, it’s that they’re all introduced too damn late! Half of those characters I’ve just gone over don’t even make an appearance until Episode Three! Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that AAI has an unforgettable cast of characters.

2. The Investigations

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One of my biggest worries going into Ace Attorney Investigations was… well, the ‘Investigations’ part. In the mains series, the investigation sections in-between trials were mostly a drag, an obstacle you had to get past to get to the epic trial scenes. An entire game based on that? How would that ever work? Thankfully, it worked extremely well. The areas never feel too big and daunting to comb through like in a point and click game. A lot of the pain of moving between areas and presenting a hundred different pieces of evidence to five different characters to progress was completely gone. But best of all, the new ‘Logic’ system helped the cases feel a lot more cohesive. In the main series games, there were often points where I got lost and confused on what actually happened. But by forcing you to put the pieces together yourself, it really helped the events make a lot more sense, at least for me. Also, although a lot more numerous, they’re shorter than typical investigation phases in the mainline games, meaning the pacing is much better, and they drag a lot less. Finally, the lack of a trial means the investigation can take place in some extremely interesting places with no limits on what can be done. The first half of a second case takes place on an aeroplane mid-flight. That’s awesome! But then you get to the third case, which takes place in a goddamn Theme Park! That’s awesomer! While some people may have disliked the absence of trials, I didn’t miss their presence whatsoever, which just goes to show how well-designed the game is.

3. The Cases

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A common complaint levelled at Ace Attorney Investigations is the questionable quality of the cases themselves. This complaint, I do not understand at all. The first case, Turnabout Visitor, admittedly doesn’t give a good first impression, and is largely forgettable. Other than that however, there isn’t a single case I disliked. Turnabout Airlines wasn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, but it had a great setting with an enigmatic mystery making for one of my favourite ‘filler’ cases in the entire series. The Kidnapped Turnabout had a ‘meh’ villain and got kind of confusing at the end, but apart from that, it has a great setting, introduced loads of awesome new characters, and introduced Little Thief, making for a solid, if not great case overall. Turnabout Reminiscence is a fan favourite that see’s a younger Edgeworth and young Franziska work together to solve the mystery of a double homicide and prevent the arrest of Gumshoe in an epic flashback case.

Finally, Turnabout Ablaze is a phenomenal finale case that gets waaaaaaayyyy too much hate for the dragged out final boss. There are some extremely intense moments, some shocking reveals and twists, and contrary to popular opinion, I loved the final boss. Everyone, minor and major characters, coming together and using all of their power to try to take down one guy really makes you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle against the final boss of an RPG like Final Fantasy. The stakes have never been higher, and no matter how hopeless it may seem, you can’t give up and let him slip away, leaving the case unresolved. Rise From the Ashes dragged, Farewell, My Turnabout dragged, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad cases, and the same goes for Turnabout Ablaze. Even if you don’t like it, there’s still the final confrontation against Calisto Yew, Lang’s redemption, and the final reveal of the identity of…

4. The Yatagarasu

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The Yatagarasu has got to be among one of the greatest plot points in the series, in my opinion at least. A great thief outside of the law, who only steals evidence in the pursuit of truth. It’s a crucial plot point in pretty much every case in the game, and as you progress through the cases, you learn more and more about the elusive three-legged raven, but one fact remains unknown up until the very end: The Yatagarasu’s true identity. Investigations throws red herring after red herring at you to throw you off the thief’s trail. It’s Byrne Faraday, no wait, it’s Calisto Yew, or is it the most suspicious person of all: Mack Rell! I threw around about a dozen possibilities in my head, but despite this, I never saw the twist coming. The Yatagarasu being a group instead of a single person threw me completely off guard. One aspect of the great thief that is constantly made clear is that it has three distinct traits: The Yatagarasu always knew the exact location of the target object, the Yatagarasu knew exactly how to disarm the security systems in the way, and finally, the Yatagarasu never left a single shred of evidence behind. These traits are revealed to correspond to three members who all make up the Yatagarasu: Calisto Yew, Byrne Faraday, and Detective Badd. This plotline makes for two of the most intense confrontations in the series, and I found myself sad when it was all resolved. Plus, it gave us Little Thief, one of the coolest investigation mechanics in the entire series!

So that’s why I think Ace Attorney Investigations is a lot better than people seem to give it credit for. Sure, it has its problems, but the positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion. The amazing cast of characters the new game mechanics, the overall plot; it’s all extremely high-quality. But what do you think? Do you think the game is amazing, bad, or somewhere in-between? Does it not hold a candle to the other Ace Attorney games for you, or does it far surpass them? Let me know what you think in the comments below, as I’m interested to hear your opinion!

One Punch Man Season One Spoiler Free Review: The Hero Anime We Deserve, and Definitely The One We Need Right Now

Superheroes. Everybody knows about them. Since DC was founded back in the 1930’s, the superhero genre is a craze that has never really died down. From comics to movies to TV shows to videogames to anime, it has a clearly defined space in almost every media form you can think of. Despite this, the genre still has plenty of flaws, and it has accumulated a large amount of nigh-unavoidable stereotypes in the close to a century since its rise to fame. One Punch Man is an anime that knows this genre well. Starting as a webcomic created by the manga artist ONE, the series soon rose to staggering levels of popularity, getting a manga and, of course, an anime. Today, I’m going to be reviewing the anime, and giving my thoughts on the show. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at One Punch Man!

One Punch Man focuses on the bald and brutal Saitama. After a chance encounter with a crab monster, he decides to become a hero like he’s always dreamed. Unfortunately, he trains a little too hard, and ends up able to beat any foe with a single punch, hence the name: One Punch Man. This takes all the thrill out of the job for him, and he eventually finds himself incredibly bored and even a little depressed due to the lack of a worthy opponent for him to fight. The first season follows him as he takes on an apprentice, the odd and mysterious cyborg Genos, and searches for a foe that can match his power in battle.

As far as stories go, One Punch Man has an intriguing premise. The first episode does a fantastic job of setting up the story and drawing you into the world. And the second episode is a great follow-up that introduces Genos, the serious cyborg who fits the ‘dark, brooding protagonist’ cliche perfectly, ultra-depressing and convoluted backstory and all. After that however… the show slumps somewhat. Maybe it’s just me, but the House of Evolution arc, and the few extremely short arcs after that felt… pointless. Apart from Speed-o’-Sound Sonic’s introduction in Episode 4, the contents of episodes 3-6 feel like meaningless fluff, with some incredibly slow-pacing not helping matters. Despite this, I still enjoyed these episodes, and the show picked back up again by Episode 7.

One of One Punch Man’s biggest strengths is its comedy. Despite the more serious moments, One Punch Man is primarily a light-hearted show. It constantly pokes fun at typical superhero cliches; depressing and overly extensive character backstories, rivalries, prophecies, superhero stereotypes and power levels. This extends to its characters as well. Each character from the heroes to the villains is some kind of stereotype to varying extents. Just look at the S Class Heroes and you’ll see what I mean. Pig God is a big, fat guy, Child Emperor is a child prodigy, Tatsumaki is the only female hero in the upper echelons(and there are very few female characters overall), and there’s an uncomfortable amount of male characters with bulging muscles and no shirts. Every single character manages to catch your attention, even the ones that only got about a minute of screentime. My favourite character however, has got to be Mumen Rider. He’s an incredibly weak C-class hero with zero chance of ever defeating any monsters. But despite this, he has an S-class heart, and is willing to face up against any odds to be a hero, no matter how outclassed he may be.

As well as this, One Punch Man has one of the best anime soundtracks I have ever heard. Of course, there’s the opening theme: “The Hero!!”. It sets the stage for the show perfectly with a kickass song about how the show’s main character, Saitama, doesn’t want fortune or fame as he annihilates foes of increasing size with a single punch. And then there’s Seigi Shikkou, one of the most badass battle themes ever composed! Yet the other battle theme, the aptly-named “Battle!!” is almost as good too. The music also manages to be extremely emotional as well as intense. Just watch the Mumen Rider vs Deep Sea King fight and you’ll see what I mean. All of the music fits the theme of the show perfectly, and enhances many scenes to God Level.

Overall, One Punch Man is a phenomenal anime with a great setting and world. It handles serious moments and comedic moments with the same brilliant execution. The characters from Saitama himself to the heroes to the villains and monsters to every character in-between are interesting with eye-catching designs. The fight scenes are epic and fast-paced when Saitama isn’t one-shotting his opponent, and to top it all off, the soundtrack is amazing! Unfortunately however, there are a few problems with the series. Some of the mid-season episodes felt pointless and bland to me. There are also numerous pacing issues that makes some parts of the season feel lightning fast, and other parts feel like they’re going at a snails pace. Then the season just ends almost randomly. There’s an alien invasion, Saitama stops it, and then there’s this weird monologue from Genos which just explains everything that happened afterwards before cutting to credits abruptly. Nevertheless, I am seriously hyped for Season Two! But for now, I’m going to continue playing the opening on repeat. ONE PUUUUUUUUNNNNNCCCCHHHHH!!!!

Verdict: B+

Eight Ways The Avengers Could Have Easily Stopped Thanos In Infinity War(SPOILERS, Duh!)

Infinity War was a seriously great movie. Whatever your opinion on it may be, you can’t deny just how ambitious and impressive it actually is. That said, the movie does have its shortcomings. Primarily, the large amount of opportunities that the heroes missed where they could have easily stopped and defeated Thanos. With so many characters, these kinds of problems were almost unavoidable, but that doesn’t make them any less detrimental to the movie’s quality. The other day in my Infinity War Review, I stated “I could think of a hundred ways they could have easily stopped Thanos at multiple points throughout the film”. While this is nowhere close to a hundred, these eight ways the heroes could have defeated Thanos prove that Doctor Strange was wrong when he said they only have one chance of victory.

#1 With a Little Preparation

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Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. When you consider this, it makes perfect sense why the heroes failed to stop Thanos in the end. They didn’t prepare whatsoever. Literally everything the heroes do in Infinity War is in the spur of the moment. Stark states to Strange on Ebony Maw’s ship that Thanos has been on his mind for six years. Wait, WHAT? You’re telling me, you knew Thanos and the threat he posed perfectly well for six years, and you didn’t do anything about it until he showed up on your doorstep? You knew where at least ONE of the stones was. You could have had the Mind Stone separated from Vision and destroyed months, maybe even YEARS ago. Thor knew where the reality stone was, you could have done the same with that one! And possibly the Space Stone too! Earth’s heroes had YEARS to come up with a plan to combat Thanos. Granted, they were a little busy saving the world, but they still had plenty of time to figure out a way to defeat Thanos.

#2 By USING THE DAMN STONES

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Destroying the stones is a safe bet, but they could have also used the stones to their advantage. Apart from Strange using the Time Stone to look into the future, NONE of the heroes decide to use the stones in their possession at any point. For the love of Gods, Loki HELD THE SPACE STONE in his hand right at the start of the movie. He could have used the stone to open a portal underneath Thanos that went into a star. Or he could have teleported himself and Thor away when things started getting bad. Thor could then go with Loki and get the Reality Stone from the collector. That leaves the heroes with FOUR Infinity Stones to Thanos’ one, two if he somehow gets to Gamora. Speaking of which…

#3 By Not Doing a Scooby Doo

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One of the most *facepalm* moments in the film for me was when all the heroes decided it would be a good idea to split up. Seriously, you’d think the galaxy’s greatest defenders would be smarter than the Scooby Doo gang, but nope! This goes for all the heroes who decided that their tiny, 3-4 person groups could take on Thanos, but the biggest offenders by far are the Guardians of the Galaxy. They can barely deal with ZERO STONE THANOS half the time, what possessed them to make them think that half of them(not even the full team) had a chance against 2/3 stone Thanos? Gamora was just ASKING to be abducted. Granted, Thanos had the Space Stone and could teleport to them, but it’d be a while before he’d make that decision as he expected them to come to him. If Stark, Spiderman and Strange had gone back to Earth as well, then the hero’s chances are a hell of a lot higher than they were on Titan. All they’d be missing at that point is Thor, Rocket and Groot, and Thanos would have only three stones instead of four, provided they were able to protect Gamora. It’s as the slogan for Captain America: Civil War said: United we Stand, Divided We Fall.

#4 By Using Portals

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This is arguably the most obvious one on this list, which makes it all the more unbelievable how none of the heroes got this idea. Near the start of the movie when two of Thanos’ minions come to Earth to get the Mind and Time stones, Wong sends one of them through a portal to the other side of the world. When he attempts to come back through, Wong closes the portal, chopping off the villain’s arm. See what I’m getting at here? If Wong can disarm(get it?) a villain just as big, bulky and durable as Thanos, then why can’t the Sorcerer Supreme do the same to Thanos himself? You could argue that Thanos would react too quickly and avoid it, but could he do the same while unconscious? They had him asleep and incapacitated on Titan, Strange could easily get rid of his Gauntlet arm while he was like that, or hell, just cut straight to the chase and decapitate him. But that’s not the only thing the heroes could do while Thanos was out of it on Titan.

#5 By Stopping Star-Lord From Having a Tantrum

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If you’ve seen Infinity War(which you really should have if you’re reading this), you’ll remember the infuriating moment where Quill engages Thanos in a fit of anger over Gamora’s death, and wakes him up from his stupor, ruining the entire plan. Whether his actions were justifiable or not is a debate for another day. Today I’m talking about how stupid and easily preventable his actions were. Strange saw the future where he freaks out, so why didn’t he portal Quill away from the battle once his part of it was done? Why didn’t he tell him that he and his entire crew would die if he interfered? Why didn’t he tell him Gamora was dead and let him scream it out and get over it beforehand? What about Drax and Nebula? They weren’t doing anything to keep Thanos down. They could have easily restrained him and stopped him from screwing up the plan. Spiderman could have webbed him up quickly before he started pulling off the Gauntlet. Hell, why didn’t Nebula just stab Thanos in the head while he was vulnerable? They only needed two or three more seconds tops to get the Gauntlet away from Thanos, any of the proposals above and a hundred more could stop Quill and give them those few seconds.

#6 With a Little Bit of Heimsight(I’m So Sorry)

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Heimdall didn’t play that big a part in Infinity War. He teleported Hulk away from the Asgardian ship using the Bifrost and then just died. This makes him seem unimportant until you realise that Heimdall could have easily stopped Thanos’ plan single-handedly. As the guardian of the Nine Realms and the Bifrost, Heimdall can see almost everything. He can see trillions of people, hear billions of voices, know what’s happening at the other side of the universe… yet he didn’t see Thanos coming in a big ship to attack the remaining Asgardians? No, scratch that, he didn’t see Thanos’ attempts to get the stones? He didn’t see Thanos attacking the dwarves and forcing them to forge the Infinity Gauntlet? If he wasn’t sleeping on the job as seems to be the case, he and the Asgardians could have stopped Thanos before he even got the Gauntlet, let alone the stones! This is Stark deciding not to prepare for six years but on an entirely different level! But he isn’t the only Asgardian that seriously screwed up…

#7 By Aiming For the Head(or the arm)

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You had one job Thor, ONE JOB! Right at the end of the film, when Thanos collects all six stones and all hope seems lost, Thor deals a fatal blow to the Mad Titan with his new axe, reinvigorating our faith! Here’s the thing though, as Thanos puts it bluntly: “You should have aimed for the head”. All he needed to do was aim a little higher and the universe would be saved! I’ve heard a few people defending this, saying that Thor purposefully didn’t aim for the head because he wanted Thanos to suffer, but Thor could have made him suffer AND saved the universe. Instead of going for the body or head, he could have deprived Thanos of his Gauntlet arm and watched him bleed out with no chance of any finger snaps. And another thing, why did Thor wait until he had all the stones to attack? The battle of Wakanda was basically won until Thanos showed up, and everyone sensed his presence. He could have taken him out before he even killed Vision and got the final stone! I guess you could say it would have been a snap.

#8 Through Debate

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I’ve said this before in my Infinity War Review the other day, but Thanos’ motive is really stupid. To summarise, the reason he wants to wipe out half the life in the universe… is to stop overpopulation wiping out all life in the universe? The Gauntlet makes him God, and he could double all the universe’s resources just as easily as he kills half the life in the universe. Also, doesn’t half the life in the universe include trees, plants, animals… you know, important resources life needs to survive. In essence, Thanos’ finger snap is pointless. He’s simultaneously wiping out half its population and half its resources, making no actual difference. He really didn’t think this whole plan through did he? And if I, a complete idiot, can think up these counters to Thanos’ argument, think what people like Tony Stark could do(though their actions in the movie bring their intelligence into question)! Thanos has been shown perfectly willing to listen to Strange and Gamora, and he respects Stark to a degree. Maybe they could teach him the error of his ways? Who knows?

So, what do you think? Think you can debunk one or more of my suggestions? Think you have another way Marvel’s heroes could defeat Thanos and stop him from wiping out half the universe? Just want to let out your anger over Quill’s dumbass decision that doomed half the universe’s population? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, as I’m interested to hear what YOU think.