A little over a year ago, indie developer Sketchy Logic brought a rather unique visual novel to Kickstarter. his game is named afteraviary lawyerIt looks like a mix of Good Ace Attorney and the Bad Boyfriend series. Despite, or perhaps because of, the game's incredible niche fit, it is fully funded with the help of over a thousand backers. Since launching on Kickstarter, the project disappeared for a while until last December when it was revealed that a launch was finally around the corner. Sure, it missed the originally expected June 2015 launch window, but something so different was worth the wait, right?
somethingaviary lawyerWell done, but there are a few issues that need to be addressed. Let's go over the basics first. As the title suggests, this visual novel is about an anthropomorphic bird who happens to be a lawyer in 1840s France. The main character Jayjay Falcon is the type of person who believes in his clients 100% and strives to be the best in every case. The guy is also naive, but he's still a very likable character. The cast is full of other colorful characters who often feel like one note but are just out of place enough to be engaging. One of the strangest is Falcon's own partner, Sparrowson. The bird is a complete idiot who doesn't seem to know much about the world and often acts as a comedian. Some players may not like his humorous style, but of course that's a matter of personal taste.
aviary lawyerHis inspiration in Ace Attorney is clear. Those who have played any game in the series will immediately be able to understand the gameplay part of this title. There is a lot of reading by visual new standards and there are more active sections where the player has to explore evidence on the screen. After talking to people to get key information and collecting key items as evidence, it's time to go to court to defend your client, unlike in the famous Capcom series. Yes, you will hear testimony, etc., and yes, the ability to cross-examine said characters' testimony and present evidence to disprove their words. It is that there is much less of these thingsaviary lawyer.
It's ridiculous to expect a small indie team to produce something as complex as Ace Attorney, but the speed with which each trial ends is still a bit disappointing. The cases tend to have fairly easy outcomes, which is great for those who find other similar games too challenging. But even with reduced difficulty, there's a lot less to do here. The cases end so quickly that it is difficult to understand what happened in each case. a cool thingLawyer AviereA case system is where each case has multiple potential outcomes. Yes, you can be successful, but if you keep failing to put the pieces together, you can also screw it up completely. Unlike Phoenix Wright, who almost always has to win for the story to progress, losing here is an option.
Excellent…. At least that's the plan. There is a questionable element regardingaviary lawyerThe current situation must be addressed immediately. You see, each chapter has several branching paths, but the first one I played resulted in a screen telling me that the path was not yet complete. It also encourages me to try other routes as those routes are perfectly playable. If this was an early access game, the unfinished chapter notes would be nice, but this is not early access - the game was fully launched on Steam. Given the sheer number of bugs the game threw at launch, it makes perfect sense that the developers are scrambling to fix them. But why accept a pitch when the main story is unfinished? There's no shame in offering beta keys to Kickstarter backers before completion, or even spending a month or two in Early Access when a game is nearing completion.
As of this writing, the chapter is not yet finished, despite official feedback that it will be ready "two days" after release. There are other problems, though not as confusing as this one, including bugs of varying degrees of annoyance. Some players find that they cannot play, which of course sounds bad. Fortunately, it never happened during my playthrough, so I can't say for sure if this bug is widespread. As a side note, I had the experience that the "Save and exit" button in the settings menu did nothing. If you click it, you might start from scratch, so be careful.
Then there is the visual novel page.aviary lawyer.Compared to many other independent distributions, this one has failed in pretty much every way. Well, the text itself is lovely and there are actually almost no typos, but the problem is the lack of text options. There is no way to see previously read text, so you better not accidentally retweet the text. Auto text and jump features are also not included. The latter was extremely annoying in the third act, when I played it several times in the hope of winning the case (I don't understand why the difficulty suddenly increases to an almost unfair level). It is not an easy task like other visual novels that require many continuous clicks to reread twice previously read text.
sounds like i hateaviary lawyer, But it really isn't. For all the missed and wrong launches there is heart. On the one hand, the artistic style (reworked from the 19th century illustrator J.J. Grandville) stands out. Of course, the team may not have drawn it themselves, but it still made a good first impression. It's also beautifully animated in a way that makes the visual novel feel a bit like the picture book itself. The soundtrack, which consisted of contemporary music by composer Camille Saint-Saëns, also proved to be a good choice. The only problem is that the sound levels seem to be unbalanced by default. As the song grows, they grow stronger in a way that completely overwhelms the experience.
I desperately want to loveaviary lawyerAfter all, it does a lot of things that look good. One, he takes inspiration from the Ace Attorney series, and two, he creates an anthropomorphic version of cute stuffed animals from France. But somehow it didn't go as expected. The central story is nice enough, but it connects too quickly, which is common in crowdfunding games. Of course, there's also the matter of the product being unfinished but not being released as an Early Access title. Sketchy Logic released a lightning fast patch despite the holidays, but it's safe to say in my experience with the gameaviary lawyerIt didn't blow me away at all. Instead, he probably just broke it.
Review version: PC