The Ace Attorney's Magical Daughter
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:16 pm
OK, first of all, yeah, I'm still alive. Ahaha. I had retreaded to Tumblr and a number of other Fandoms during the draught of AA news. That's said, here I am, ready to give my two cents on GS5. I thought I should do that much. I also didn't read through all the other threads, so excuse me if I am repeating stuf others already said.
First of all, while I enjoy how happy the Fandom is, I am still very skeptical regarding this entire thing for two large reasons. Those reasons being:
*)Post!Hobo Phoenix as main playable Character.
*)The AAI writting team.
Don't get me wrong. I want GS5 like all off you. But these two things in combination could possibly shape up to turn out catastrophic. Hopefully, they won't and I'm just being pessimistic. Still, let me explain.
As I already mentioned many times before, Takumi is a novelist at heart. You can tell: The way he writes, uses his characters, developes them, the subtlties, the emotion, the way all elements play together and make the story feel "alive"... It all overflows from a passion that only people who truly love to write can bring up. Yamazaki isn't a novelist. Yamazaki is a Game Director. Just that. His writing isn't "bad", but he misses many important things, that Takumi just has, the finer nounces, the careful, gradual character developement, how to make the dialouge funny and yet natural sounding... Yamazaki got the basics down, but he absolutely hasn't "mastered" scenario writing like Takumi has and that, saddly, hurt the GK games a lot, at least to me. While GK was superior to GS in most aspects EXCEPT for the writing, the writing is what really, really made me not like these games to same extent as the GS games. GK1 felt dull to me, the characters didn't stick on my mind. Kay felt like a character with great potential, but she was so misused. She was introduced too late, used in the wrong places and didn't really go through any true "developement". (Then again, neither did Trucy, but that wasn't because of the writing as much as due to her lack of chances to do so) At the end of the game, it felt like nobody had really learned anything or changed in any way and all the lessons felt tacked on. GK2 was better in the overall scenario and more interesting, but the quality of writing was horribly inconsistent and could go from stellar to horrible in less than two scene. I tried to get myself to like the game, but couldn't. I really tried to. I mean, there was so much awesome in it, I was baffled at how I could possibly not like it. But in the end, the game faced the same problems as GK2: The characters were either written solely around a gimmick (instead of having a gimmick written around the character, as it was the case in GS1-4) which makes them horribly flat and uninteresting, or they were written to comply with the Fanservice rather than having the Fanservice written to comply with THEM. (Compare what happens to Kay in GK2 with everything that ever happened to Maya or Ema. You will notice that for Maya and Ema, nothing ever felt unnatural, while with Kay in GK2, you had the feeling the poor girl was just a marionette on the strings of the autor, who must bend her personality to whatever whim he brings forth.) Even at it's worst, AJ at least still had Takumi's passion shine through and that pulled me in. The characters still felt like characters, not walking gimmicks. And even when the morals fell apart in-game, you could still tell they were at least TRYING to really get a point across. That's more than I can really claim about GK1. Maybe, kinda, sorta, somehow in GK2, but I'll argue that GK2 failed even more at believably getting it's point across than AJ did. And GK2 didn't even have to struggle with executive meddling like AJ did.
Long Story, short: Yeah, I don't like the AAI writing team a lot.
Now, this didn't bug me too much with the GK games though. They were spin-offs. They didn't hurt the main Universe a lot. Sure, Edgeworth's character was messed with a bit, but it was nothing truly harmful, nothing a player couldn't fix in their mind by interpreting and coming up with explanations for his sometimes slightly "off" behaviour. It wasn't a real problem.
THIS is GS5. THIS could turn into a real problem. With Phoenix moreso than with Apollo. With Apollo, the writers would have had a semi-blank slate to work with. They could have made him into the character they wanted, rather than getting him wrong or flanderizing him. (Because flanderization is exactly what happened to Edgeworth in GK, in my opinion.)
But Phoenix? Oh boy could this go wrong! Phoenix's character has evolved a LOT over the years. He never stayed completly the same over more than a game at a time. He's grown, changed, matured, gained new positive and negative attributes while dropping others... Trust me, he is NOT an easy character to get right. And Post!Hobo? Let me tell you, Post!Hobo Nick would likely be an ENTIRELY different character from Pre!Hobo Nick. Not at heart, necessarily, but at behaviour. Because he's changed a lot over years, he's learned to control and mask himself, how to manipulate people, how to betray everyone, even himself. Seriously, I'm worried for nothing more right now than the AAI Team flanderizing Nick into a parody of his GS3 self to the point that they absolutely ignore all the crap he went through and just act as if putting on a blue suit magically makes him a different person. That's not good writing, but it's, saddly, exactly the writing I'd expect from the AAI Team. And this would hurt Phoenix as a character, in my opinion and "dishonor" him just as much as the asspull badge-loss back in AJ did. They think they are doing him a favor by doing this, but they aren't. They repeat the same mistakes over a different route. It'd be sad to watch. Here's me hoping that I am just pessimistic and Nick will actually be grandiously written, but my hopes aren't up too high. The appeal of AA has always been that you're growing with the protagonist, but Nick should be more mature than all players by now. He has gone through so much, there's not much left you can do with him. I am afraid that this is just going to be a lazy (and from a character-developement illogical) rehash of his character arc during GS 1-3.However, there are reasons for optimism and I'm really hoping that those reasons pay off.
There are some thing that give me hope that Yamazaki FINALLY took some hints from Takumi and actually improved his own writing to be closer in quality to the laters. Those things are as follows:
*)Phoenix Character Design. It's amazing. Just amazing. THIS is exactly the look I had in mind for Phoenix when I finished playing AJ and imagined him getting back his badge. This is what I knew he'd like to look like. It fits with his developement and his mindset. Of course, there is still the issue of them reusing all his old expressions (many of which are too childish for any future self of him I could imagine), but, who knows? Maybe those will be well used? Here is hoping. Most importantly, however, there's an important clue that Kazuya Nuri was instructed to take AJ very much into account when designing this Phoenix. And that'd be?
Guys, look at the chain coming out of Nick's chestpocket. I compared it to the chain of his locket in AJ. They are identical. I am pretty sure that this isn't some fancy Pocket Watch or anything. It's Trucy's Locket. her picture. He's carrying a picture of his daughter in his breastpocket. This would be, like, the ultimate proof that the 7 years before AJ weren't forgotten. He's still thinking of her, even in court. In fact, it might be like a good luck charm to him, of sorts. Trucy's always with him, even when she can't watch his trials.
*)Somewhat connected to that, the new girl. She struck me as odd in design from the very beginning. And not in a bad sense. Kazuya Nuri's character designs are usually very diverse. Even without hair, there'd be no chance of confusing Trucy for Ema or Alita or Vera. In fact, not even Kristoph and Klavier share identical facial features. Yet, look at the new girl. Her facial features are VERY reminiscent of Trucy. Not Maya, not Kay, not Ema, but Trucy. She is also somewhat comparable to Thalassa in all the same ways Trucy is. The assistant characters usually don't share simmilar facial features like that. The last time we had this was when Ema came around and the reason was that she needed to resemble Maya to trigger Nick's protector instincts. So, why does New Girl resemble Trucy?
That's not all, however. Like Trucy, she only wears one earring, but on the opposite side. The earring was even pointed out in the Famitsu Article. Note that Thalassa's english and japanese names both refer to the ocean, and the ocean is often seen as standing in direct relation to the moon. Thalassa also seemed to leave jewelry to all her children. Her brooch to Trucy, her Bracelet to Apollo... and now this new girl has an earring? Interesting.
New Girl also seems to be around the same age as Apollo. And her theme color is yellow. Apollo's theme color is red, Trucy's is blue. Hm, Red, blue, yellow. That's the same chromatic arrangement as Troupe Gramayre. To further that even more: Zak never even knew about Apollo's existence. So if there had been *more* children in Thalassa's first marriage than just Apollo, he'd not have known either. And now, the developers said this girl's design was changed around many times to fit her backstory. And she ended up looking a lot like Trucy.
So yeah, this is just a guess, really, and I could be totally wrong, but I am suggesting that the new girl might be a third Gramayre sister. Possibly even Apollo's fraternal twin (as clichee as this sounds), who either grew up in a different orphanage than him or was adopted before Apollo could even remember she existed. Or she stayed with her father's family (who rejected her brother for some reason). Laugh at me for this idea, but this could add a lot of dynamic to the story and tie it together with the open plotthreads in AJ. She might be able to solve the mystery of Apollo's father's identity and might be a way to give him a chance to develope his character without being the main character. Same for Trucy.
Here goes hoping.So, now, what am I actually hoping for?
Well, actually, that's quite easy. I have one big hope for this to be a well written game: The main theme has to be right. If they get the plot's main theme right this game could, against all odds, be really, really great. What exactly I am thinking off?
Well, every GS game for far had a "main theme", of sorts. GS1 was about "Determination". Standing in for what you believe in, going against the odds, yet also the polar opposite of that, feeling helpless and useless and loosing faith into something you trusted in. This is the common thread that pulled through all cases and most characters, from Nick, to Maya, to Edgeworth, and even some side characters.
GS2 was about the concept of "Pride" and how it can lead to ones fall and how to rise above it.
GS3 had a theme of "Love and Deception".
And GS4's theme was "Reputation and Stage-Persona", the mask you wear to the outside to protect what's inside you from others, or to protect others or yourself from what's inside you.
Now, what theme could GS5 possibly adopt now? What is the one thing that can still be done with Nick that could still contribute to his character? How could he still grow at least a bit?
Well, I guess the answer lies in a topic that has only really been touched on properly by the fans themselves yet, even though it's clearly relevant to Nick.
That topic is "Family
". Phoenix is a working single parent now. This is one of the family constellations that most commonly tend to fail somehow in Media. Yet, his family is an extended one. He's got Apollo, Trucy's overprotective big brother. And if the things about New Girl that I listed above are any indication, she might be added to Phoenix's family, giving him a trio of corelated "children" that he feels responsible for. The locket being included in Nick's design seems to hint that the Family-theme might actually be an important one and I can see how they could do a lot with it. There is the issue of single raising parents being busy and Nick being famous now, in a way. He might get a lot more busy than he used to be, causing Trucy, who is probably working on reviving Troupe Gramayre all by herself, to feel lonely ocassionally. Imagine Apollo, who works at the same law-firm then sees how much time Nick spends with his students who looks suspiciously much like Trucy. There could be a whole subplot about Apollo calling Nick out for being neglectful to his own daughter and "replacing her" with someone closer to his ideals again. (Apollo may or may not be right with that then) There could even be a climax where Nick, simmilar to GS2 is at the very worst of his behaviour for certain reasons and everyone starts abandoning him in disappointment over that, until, finally, New Girl, too, leaves, claiming he wasn't what she'd imagined him to be. Phoenix would have to seriously rethink his behaviour and his priorities then and who matters most to him. Oh, and, by the way, a family theme might also be a great way to bring certain old characters back in actually relevant roles. The AAI team's bad habbit of juggling too many characters at once could actually work in their favor there. I am thinking among the lines of Maya, Larry, Edgeworth... A "Family" theme would give all of them a great reason to show up again and prove they still matter to Phoenix life in one way or another.
So yeah... Those are all my thoughts on GS5 so far. Summed up short: This could be the greatest thing ever, a big "Meh." or even a gigantic failure. I will just sit here and hope it's not the later.
TGS can't come fast enough.
Oh, also, how could I forget that? -More stuff that makes me hopeful:
Nick's new "facial expression system" is very reminiscent of professional Poker in a way: He needs to choose the right expression to confuse his "opponent", or they will be able to look through his scheme. It's "choosing a poker-face", in a way.
If this is a direct result of his past as a professional poker champion and if he even makes direct reference to that and compares crossexamination to Poker while explaining the system, I will sheed happy tears of continuity and hug somebody. Believe me.
...Because I felt the need to advertise my fanfic
with a self-drawn, animated banner. Yes, I'm obsessed, why do you ask?
Last edited by Neni on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.