Gaming Editor Emma Kent rounds up the EGX Rezzed 2018 session on breaking into games journalism, and asks Eurogamer about diversity problems in the industryWritten by Emma Kent on 24th April 2018
Review: Aviary Attorney
James Law reviews Aviary Attorney, and reminds us as gamers to try new and different things as you never know what you might find
Recently, I realised I spend several pounds a month on Humble Bundles, then end up just playing Breath of the Wild, Slay the Spire and Football Manager all the time. Am I wasting my money? Probably. At least some of it goes to charity.
However, I thought I’d actually try playing one of these games I hadn’t played before. It was really fun. I’ll definitely be paying more attention to the smaller monthly titles now.
Introducing Aviary Attorney.
As you may have guessed from the title, it’s basically a Phoenix Wright game. The main difference is that you play as Jayjay Falcon, a literal falcon defense lawyer dude in 19th century France where everyone also happens to be an animal. From Falcon’s rival, Séverin Cocorico (a cockerel), to the revolutionary wolves and bourgeoisie tigers of the time, the vibrant variety of characters, and the very pretty aesthetic design behind them, makes for an immediately engaging game world.
If you’ve played any of the Phoenix Wright series, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Run around Paris, collect as much evidence as possible in the few days you have before trial, and present it to prove your defendant not guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The time system was a great feature, I found. It forces the player to decide which of the game’s numerous locations are most likely to deliver the necessary clues.
You don’t want to waste a whole day at the Notre Dame if you think you’ll find more trees to shake over at the Louvre, and if you don’t have sufficient evidence by the end of the trial, you might not be able to rest your case. It combines urgency with an emphasis on calculated decision making, and it evokes a genuine sense of accomplishment when you get something right.
I found that throughout the game, I didn’t end up getting stuck or frustrated with the lack of signposting given to the player, as I often did during the Wright series. Maybe it’s because I’m older and super smart now, but I did enjoy the balance between a challenge and it not being bullshit. I’m sure many will find it easy as hell, and maybe it is, but it at least gives you the impression of being nonlinear and nuanced, particularly in the later cases. You have to get relevant evidence, avoiding being caught out by red herrings, and it’s damn satisfying when Jayjay lays the smackdown on the prosecution.
I’m not going to lie though; this game might not be for you. If you’re not down with a LOT of puns, mostly from Falcon’s quirky little lackey Sparrowson, then don’t even consider going near Aviary Attorney. I bloody love a bad pun, so to be honest this game is right up my alley. This game was made for people who are as unfunny as me. My best joke is repeating the same jokes over and over again until people laugh out of pity, and this game hits the nail on the head in that regard. If you find me grating to hang out with, don’t play this.
My main point here is: try out new stuff. Aviary Attorney was a short, enthralling experience for me, and I am glad I decided to download it and have a go. I’m excited to see what other fun little indie titles I can find out about and play, and I encourage you to go out of your way to do the same, even though I kept coming close to thwarting the February Revolution.