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PLATFORM: Wii, PSP, PS2
ESRB RATING: N/A
DEVELOPER: High Voltage Software
"That seemed right in my head! Stupid head!" -Harvey Birdman
You’ve probably heard of the Harvey Birdman cartoon. It’s one of the
first original shows to appear on Adult Swim and still one of their
most popular. Now he’s got his own game. The titular Birdman is an
attorney at the Sebben & Sebben Law Firm, where he interacts with
all sorts of bizarre people and creatures. Here, he’ll be faced with 5
cases, everything from figuring out who the arsonist who burned down
his house was, to defending a co-worker accused of illegally
But the best way to pitch this?
"It’s Phoenix Wright for college stoners!"
That’s all it is- a dumbed down version of Phoenix Wright. It’s pretty much an exact copy of Capcom’s first lawyer game, and if you’ve played through them before you’ll understand what to do right away. Even the menus and inventory systems are pretty much the same.
You start off by checking the crime scenes for evidence, which is made even easier than Wright since you can just cycle through whatever objects you can interact with by pushing left or right. Then you’ll go to trial and have to grill the suspects, pushing them when they’re being too vague and presenting evidence that contradicts your statements.
You’ll switch roles from the defense to the prosecuting attorney many times, sometimes even during the same trial. Yes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, since the surreal humor from the show carries on. If you’re familiar with it, you’ll know exactly what to expect out of this.
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But unlike Phoenix Wright, you won’t do a whole lot of thinking, and the cases aren’t going to stump you anytime. Although you’ll collect a ton of evidence during each case, only a few pieces will actually be used during the trial, but you’ll know exactly what is needed and when. There’s barely any challenge here at all.
See, it’s not so much a game as an interactive show. After you’re shown a clip you’re just hunting for the right sequence of events to make the next one play. Hell, when you’re given dialogue choices half the fun is picking the obviously wrong ones to see a different clip. There’s not much to it, but if you’re a fan, the dialogue and humor is spot on. And when’s the last time Lewis Black was in a video game? (There are also a bunch of Street Fighter cameos in the game, which is mildly amusing.)
But you know what? I beat everything this game has to offer in under 3 hours. That’s not a lot of bang for your buck, even if it is 10 bucks cheaper than usual.
(Note- I played this game on the PSP. It’s apparently the same as the PS2, while the Wii version uses the remote to select options. That might make the experience a little more fun but there’s not a whole helluva lot to click on anyway.)
Looks just like the show. Sounds just like the show. Mostly because it is the show.
Bright and colorful, and a real nice looking game on the PSP screen.
"Well, me and my pals, we’re musicians. We were tearin’ up some hot swing music in the York Esther. Gail over there was swingin’ her fans. Her sweetie Koik Robin was inhalin’ a bottle of hooch over at a table. And a hoofer by the name of Buck Wing was gettin’ ready to shake his tootsies."
There are 5 bonus film clips that you can unlock, which if you’re any kind of player you’ll unlock on the first playthrough. Only one clip is not from the game- that’s the ‘I’ll Take the Case’ selection, which is a collection of clips of Harvey Birdman saying his catch phrase in many, many episodes of the show. Similar are the other options ‘Bear’, ‘I Think’, and ‘Lobster’, which feature the phrases or animals in question. However, those are collections of clips from the game. Little pointless, no?
There’s also a section called ‘Outtakes’, and I guess they can get away with the plural modifier at the end of that word, because there are indeed two whole outtakes of flubbed lines. Exciting!
Besides that, there’s no way to pick a certain case you completed without starting the game all over again.
So yeah, there’s basically no reason for you to pick this one up again anytime soon.
Consider it a long, interactive TV show and it fares better. Worth a rent for fans of bizarre, childish humor, but it’s way too short to recommend a purchase.
Like EVERYTHING will soon be.