Operation Backlog Completion 2018
Aug 292014

Tomorrow, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney will finally be available in North America. Are you as excited as I am?

Here’s the launch trailer, to get you in the right mood:

If you’re like me, you’ve heard all sorts of reviews by now, from people who loved it, to those who hated it, to those who thought it was fine and missed its potential. Normal enough for reviews–but responses are just as mixed when you ask which style it favors more.

Is Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney an Ace Attorney game with Professor Layton elements?

Is it a Professor Layton game with Ace Attorney elements?

Is it a 50/50 split between the two franchises?

We’ll all know soon enough, and you can bet this is one I’ll review!

To tide you over until tomorrow, here are the translated answers from a new interview with the producer of Dual Destinies.

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Aug 252014

Last time we visited the strange world of Tomodachi Life, we witnessed many strange activities, including the romance of Albert Wesker and Franziska von Karma, encouraged in part because the benevolent island overseer known as Sam’s lookalike favors that crack pairing.

Tomodachi Life Wesker and Franziska

Since then, she has continued to interfere with her islanders’ lives. As Miis continued to pair off, she became determined to see Simon Blackquill and Juniper Woods together. All Miis beware, we have a Blackwoods shipper on deck.

While she discouraged romantic thoughts toward those two from any other Miis, island life continued as usual. Desmond Sycamore found a new love. Fulbright was attacked by crows. Little Hunter Edgeworth grew up and left the island to travel the world.

Traveler leaving Tomodachi Life

Miis made new friends, discovered new activities, and tried new foods… not always with the best of results.

There were more strange dreams, bizarre news stories, weddings, and shared hobbies. And as Miis leveled up, more of them received video game consoles as gifts, which brought an increased love of Nintendo to the little island.

Apollo loves his 3DS

Everyone loves the 3DS!

Miis play Wii U

Everyone loves the Wii U!

In fact, Sam’s lookalike hit upon a great idea, once she realized Simon liked the Wii U. She gave Juniper a Wii U, in the hopes that it would bring them together. Juniper loved it.

Juniper Woods plays Wii U

Next door, Simon sat alone.

Simon Blackquill all alone

Meanwhile, Juniper and her friends really loved the Wii U!

And so, the Wii U party continued, without Simon, for a long, long time. Time passed, and Sam’s lookalike checked in again.

Miis playing Wii U in Tomodachi Life

Sam’s lookalike had a lot of time with nothing to do but try to drive her Miis together, so she visited some others. All were engaged in their own unique activities, while Simon sat alone in his apartment. For example, vampire hero Barnabas Collins put on a strange outfit and took up the guitar.

Barnabas Collins Tomodachi Life

Well, to each his own. He’s Simon’s best friend, you’d think he’d set down the guitar and tell him about Juniper’s Wii U. Speaking of which, how is she doing?

Juniper plays Wii U alone

Playing alone? Really, Juniper? Wouldn’t you like someone else to join you?

More Miis enjoy the Wii U

And Simon sat alone in his apartment.

Then… just as Sam’s lookalike was about to give up… it happened. Maya Fey decided her good friend Simon needed a sweetheart.

"How about setting him up with Juniper?"
Matchmaking Simon and Juniper
Simon and Juniper date
Simon and Juniper become sweethearts

All right! And so, after all the troubles, it was a happy ending for Simon and Juniper after all. The overall happiness of the island increases, Sam’s lookalike is satisfied, and–best of all?–the Miis have been filled with a strong love for all things Nintendo.

So let’s just see what…

Um…. Guys? I think you might be taking this a little too far.

All hail the NES!

Well, that was… strange. Ah well, let’s just move on. Life continues, after all. What will be the next big romantic drama of Tomodachi Life?


Wait, WHAT??

If the insanity presented in this article appeals to you, the author, sometimes known as Sam’s lookalike, suggests you read her previous Tomodachi Life article and consider buying the game. If you already own Tomodachi Life, what strange adventures have your Miis had?

Buy Tomodachi Life from Amazon
Buy Tomodachi Life from Play-Asia

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Aug 212014

Two days ago, I checked the recent Playfire Rewards (a program offered in connection with Green Man Gaming) and saw the name “Detective Grimoire.” I like detective games, so I looked it up and found out that Detective Grimoire, by SFB Games, was a new addition to Steam. It didn’t have any reviews at the time, but it had already been out for iOS and Android for a while. (And it’s the sequel to a smaller flash game, but you don’t need knowledge of that to play this one.)

I looked up some reviews of those versions, and one compared it to “a late-game case from an Ace Attorney game.” Well, if your game can be compared to one of my favorite series, that’s enough to get me interested! As soon as I finished my work for the day, I bought Detective Grimoire.

Detective Grimoire finds a strange house

Grimoire may be the Only Sane Man

The first three words that come to mind when I try to figure out how to describe Detective Grimoire are:

  1. Charming
  2. Adorable
  3. Funny

Its charm and adorableness go hand in hand. The graphics and presentation are pleasant, the soundtrack is haunting and very reminiscent of Danny Elfman’s music, and while I didn’t find the characters as compelling as those in an Ace Attorney game, none of them were bland. The excellent voice acting helps.

Of all the characters, Detective Grimoire himself stands out. He provides a lot of the humor, especially as he tries to understand why anyone would visit a tourist attraction in the middle of a swamp. You see, he’s a homicide detective called to investigate a murder at Boggy’s Bog. The top suspect? Boggy, the mythical creature said to live in the swamp, who hasn’t been seen in 60 years.

Gameplay involves straightforward point-and-click mechanics. You’ll spend much of the time searching for evidence and questioning the bizarre group of witnesses, with an interface quite similar to that of the Ace Attorney games. As you talk to people, you’ll want to pay attention to clues, which will be added to your case file, and decide which facts are suspicious and which aren’t.

Which details in Detective Grimoire are important to the case?

In addition to the topics you can ask about, as well as presenting clues and profiles, each character also has a secret or “challenge” you can question them about, once you pick up enough information.

At other times, you’ll be asked to choose options to fill in the blank mad-libs style, and create a coherent statement of logic–or an incoherent one for giggles. If you make the wrong choices, our poor detective will spout nonsense and then admit what he said made no sense.

Grimoire guesses the swamp is haunted

A few moments reference SFB’s “Haunt the House: Terrortown

Some conversations allow you to choose from dialogue options. This only occurred a handful of times, which is a pity. One of the moments that really defined the game’s tone for me was when a character asked if Grimoire was his first name or his last name. When I read the options, I laughed out loud. (For the record, I said it’s his 23rd name, but the one he likes best.)

These conversations are the primary way the story is told. The murder mystery itself is fairly straightforward, but the plot surrounding it has some twists and turns. It also includes a sequel hook, and SFB has another Detective Grimoire game planned.

A few minor puzzles stand in your way, though none are as tough as those in the Professor Layton series… no matter what Grimoire thinks!

Detective Grimoire gives a shout-out to the Professor Layton series

Detective Grimoire is an easy game, and it’s also quite short. Steam says I completed it in 2 hours, although I think it might have taken a little longer than that. While it’s a great experience while you’re playing it, it doesn’t last long.

The only other negative is a design flaw–it allowed me to get all the way to the end without picking up an important piece of evidence, but continues on as though I had that piece of evidence and even referenced it. I didn’t realize it until I returned to the game after the ending to try for 100% completion and realized I was missing something I had plot-wise just a few minutes ago.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a couple hours worth of charming entertainment, look up Detective Grimoire. I hope the sequel expands the gameplay and story into a longer, more challenging experience.

Buy Detective Grimoire from Steam

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