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Could you explain? I can't really understand why beyond "they wanted a new main character".
I lack the ability to write a full-fledged, convincing essay about it, but... I guess I'll list a few points.
First of all, we have Phoenix returning to law - now, the writing team gave him a new role - role of the boss to the Agency. I really, really like that - when fans tried with their fangames and fanfics, nothing they made brought much to his character - it was literally Phoenix just
returning... and still acting like a hobo or reverting completely to his rookie self.
I don't see how him being the "Boss" was a new role? He's been the boss since AJ. Though I have to admit it was nice to see him in sort of a "fatherly" position here. (Like I said before I like the idea Dad!Wright and having a sort of 'family') Despite that, I don't see his "acting like a hobo" to have ever been a bad thing. I thought it brought a LOT more depth and intrigue to the character, as he's not the same as he was before. Let's face it, a lot of pre-AJ Phoenix didn't allow him to have much of an interesting personality, because 90% of the time we were playing as him. That's not to say he was devoid of character, but he was certainly no Edgeworth. Hobo!Nick allowed us to take a look at the "next step" for his character, and what a guy like him would end up doing after the system quite literally kicked him out. I get the feeling that Phoenix is kinda done with law, but wants to keep helping people in his own way. Hell, the entire point of the series was to show that the legal system is screwed up.
Now, some people say he reverted in DD, but I disagree - aside from a few moments in 5-5, he us fully competent and grown as a character - and as a mentor our two rookie main characters look up to. While his story arc ended, I'm really glad they still managed to progress his character in this way - in a way in which he feels like himself for once.
I'm pretty certain one of the FIRST things he does in 5-1 is to be "gulp! Wow even though I've done this for literally years I'm still shaking like a rookie"... I don't buy that. Your mileage may vary but I don't. Those kinds of lines were hugely immersion breaking for me. And while he was competent as a lawyer throughout, it's hard to argue he was more competent than he was in AJ where he literally twisted the law and manipulated things to defeat the bad guy. Twice. And again, the "feeling like himself" thing... I don't fully get that either. Sure it's nice to have the Phoenix we're all familiar with, but his time is done. We can't expect characters, much like people, to be the same forever.
Speaking of being boss of the office... What sounds more interesting to you - mentoring two young promising lawyers or mentoring Apollo?
AJ2 shouldn't be about "mentoring Apollo", much like GS was never about "mentoring Phoenix". Phoenix only had a mentor for one case, and the rest was him learning on the go. Apollo having Phoenix as a mentor would be cool, but the majority of the game should fall to Apollo having to work on his own. Plus there's plenty of ways they could keep Phoenix as a mentor but keep the focus on Apollo's growth. Cut Apollo off from Phoenix, or REALLY explore the idea of "Apollo leaves the Agency because he's seeking a different 'truth'." That was a really intriguing aspect of DD that just kinda boiled down to "I had doubt about Athena, but now I don't so I'm cool". A much more interesting take could be about Apollo and Phoenix actually seeking different "truths". Phoenix might be seeking the "truth" that helps his clients, while Apollo wants the "truth" that brings justice.
As for the second idea, it sounds interesting... On paper. However with how badly Athena was handled in DD, it comes across instead as "Promising Lawyer going to have his own story, but now with ANOTHER promising lawyer that's in the game too now". If the idea from the start was "Phoenix picks up two new lawyers to be his proteges" then yeah, cool. But unfortunately, the way Athena is tacked on makes the idea feel like a failure to launch; we were TOLD we'd get a cool, new generation of AA; now we're going to get it with a new lawyer that's in the game now... Because.
That's exactly it - if Apollo just were there by himself, he would get completely overshadowed... or, if the story focused on Apollo, Phoenix's return would feel just trite.
I've already mentioned the first part, and Phoenix's return was never needed to begin with.
Athena fixed that - she added a balance, majorly contributed to Agency's character dynamic. To me, she and Apollo me have a close third character interaction in the series - while Phoenix and Maya and Phoenix and Edgeworth come as first and second.
I can see where you're coming from here. Athena as a fresh perspective does give Apollo more relevance and pull in the narrative, like when Phoenix lets Apollo pull "what little rank he has" on Athena in one part. More scenes like that would have been cool, and it does help Apollo as a character to have someone he can act as a peer/senior to. I think that if they'd handled Athena PROPERLY that this could be a really good thing.
However, that comes at a cost. And that cost was named Trucy Wright. I don't think I have to go into much detail here, but let's just say for now that Apollo was not the only one shafted by DD's treatment of AA.
I'm really rambling now, huh? Still, I can't just imagine GS6 without Athena being a good game - to me, she and this game as a whole is a keystone - keeping both sides of the fandom "arch" intact, so they don't fall down and end up in complete chaos.
I'm not saying GS6 shouldn't have Athena. I mean now that they've set her up, if they were to kick her out again, it'd just be stupid. However, she never felt necessary from a meta-standpoint, and she, like Phoenix felt more like a "LOOK AT THIS CHARACTER BUY THE GAME" thing that reeks of a lack of confidence in the story. From an outside perspective, we didn't NEED a new main character and we didn't NEED Phoenix to return. They were extraneous things that feel like they were added for all the wrong reasons. Now, did I enjoy them? Yeah, sort of. Like I said before, I still LIKE some of the things they did with Phoenix and I still LIKED Athena to a degree. But the core problems are still there and that's why I can't really think of either of them as "good" or "necessary" things to the franchise.
EDIT: Sidenote. By 5-5, Athena's backstory has been explored fully and finished off. That didn't happen for Apollo, and unless they go with the Athenabot theory as canon, there's not much else to do with her now.
Last edited by Shadowsleuth on Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.