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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Aviary Attorney: Definitive Edition Flies to Switch?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - More Ace Attorney-esque games coming to 2020!

Suppose you want amazing adventure-game Ace Attorney action, but you've already bought and played through the actual Ace Attorney games. (And if you haven't, check out yesterday's article telling you that they are all available for major percents off the list price, but only for a very limited time.)

Maybe you read KoopaTV's article two weeks ago about indie game Murder by Numbers, which is not only giving Ace Attorney vibes due to its style, but also because they literally have the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney composer on the staff. But that's releasing “early 2020” and that could mean anything. You want more definite information. You want it sooner.

May I interest you in Aviary Attorney from indie developer Sketchy Logic and porter Vertical Reach? If you ignore that it's been released for four years now on Steam, I'll have you know that Aviary Attorney: Definitive Edition is releasing on the Nintendo Switch... January 30, 2020. That's not long from now! 

Ace Attorney is my favourite game franchise. I also really like birds, as KoopaTV established early in our existence with this bird-themed Menorah. (Happy Chanukkah, I guess.) Naturally, Aviary Attorney interests me, but I have not played it before.

Before I give a full-throated endorsement of Aviary Attorney, because the game HAS been out, there's a number of turn-off impressions people have already made about the game:
  1. That colour scheme isn't a trailer thing. The whole game is like that, though the Definitive Edition has “re-scanned, re-edited, and re-drawn art”. You might think it's stylistic and wonderful, but thinking about a multi-hour experience of looking at that seems...straining
  2. The game's investigative activities are on a timer, determined by how many/which actions you take, which differs from Ace Attorney where you can explore indefinitely, for every last piece of dialogue. Being limited in my exploration like that isn't something that I like
  3. It's $15 on Steam and will be $20 on the Switch, yet the game is quite short
  4. While this won't apply to the Switch version, the game did release as an unfinished product, which upset buyers at the time
  5. Paris sucks, and I wonder if one of the animals here was the ape that Parisian lawyer Benjamin Hunter trained

People are quick to say that Aviary Attorney is filled with charm, however, and that may be all you need to have a good experience. We'll see. Despite the above, it has overwhelmingly positive reception in user reviews.

Aviary Attorney Definitive Edition Nintendo Switch Falcon rein in the horse jokes
I'm obligated to maintain the horse jokes because I'm trying to finally get Pocket Card Jockey a Wikipedia page.
More on that another time.

For years, Ludwig thought this was another name for the Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law game released back on the Wii, which he also never played. Clearly, this is actually something very different. He is interested in your experience and recommendations, and that's why the article headline has a question mark at the end.


  1. I get the same kind of excitement, to a lesser degree probably, when you post Aviary Attorney content that you get when you post Pocket Card Jockey content. I just absolutely love when this game shows up on this site. I couldn't play it myself--your Point #2 here would freak me out way too much and would be way too hard for me--but one of these days I gotta find me a Let's Play of it.

    1. Since this is the first time that I've posted Aviary Attorney content (and it COULD be the last, depending on if people convince me to get it or not), we'll see.

      But Point #2 is the one I'm most concerned about. (Those... impressions aren't in any order.)

  2. *clears throat* I vow to play Aviary Attorney before January 30 to give you a proper review!

    1. Hey... I'm also really thinking about, uh, Paper Mario: Color Splash!

      But the 30% coupon on Paper Mario: Color Splash ends 12/31/2019. Could you play Paper Mario: Color Splash before then to give me a proper review?

    2. I've played Color Splash through three times. Why not ask me? Oh yeah...the whole "gets an idea for a guest article then never follows through" thing.

    3. Because it's been a reoccurring thing for the past... several years that Paper Mario: Color Splash has been in her backlog.

    4. Maybe I should vow to play Color Splash in 2020.

    5. Well, of the 16 specific games I said I'd play in 2019, I played... 6 of them. So take that as you will...

    6. "Operation Backlog Completion 2019" is FAKE NEWS.

  3. I could go on and on about how charming Aviary Attorney appears, but I do not want to parrot what has already been said. In the meantime, I will wait patiently to take a gander at it when it arrives on the Switch.

    1. (Heh... parrot.)

      What manner of gander will you be taking?

  4. *clears throat*

    1. I didn't find this to be an issue. Despite everything having the same sort of color scheme, characters are distinct enough from the backgrounds and there's enough variation in backgrounds that it didn't bother me.

    2. This is a little frustrating, since you need to manage your time (actions) carefully, and I don't think you can see every piece of dialogue in a single playthrough. It's not quite as restrictive as I expected, through.
    There are multiple endings, so you could play it multiple times to see different dialogue and options based on your choices/outcomes, although you don't need to redo an entire playthrough to get a different ending. There is a distinct point where the game branches.

    3. It is indeed quite short. It took me about 5 and a half hours to play it and get all 3 endings. If you redid the game from the start each time to see all the dialogue/outcomes/changes, you'd probably get a few more hours out of it.

    4. While the Switch version will be complete, I don't know if its save/load bugs will persist or not. There was also supposed to be a bonus chapter that was never made. The Kickstarter update announcing the Switch version suggests that possibly they could actually make the bonus chapter now, but there's no guarantee of that.

    5. Objection! The events of Aviary Attorney take place long before Benjamin Hunter operated in France.

    1. 1. Shouldn't it bother your sensibilities, much like how modern gaming (at least 10 years ago) was nothing but browns and greys with bloom lighting?

      2. You trying to downplay it still makes it come across as frown-worthy.

      3. Fire Emblem Three Houses is already a pain doing that. No more!

      4. Maybe as a post-launch DLC promise. If you're willing to trust them. Reminder this comes out at the end of this month on the Switch.

      5. Objection! The ape was born before Benjamin Hunter operated in France, too!

    2. 1. ...You want me to object to it based on principle instead of whether or not it actually bothered me while I was playing it?

      2. Well, I'll put it like this: if you like to see every piece of dialogue, it will frustrate you, but it doesn't make the game particularly difficult.

      3. Okay, then 5-6 hours.

      4. I don't have high hopes for seeing the bonus case.

      5. Objection! Aviary Attorney is set in 1848. Benjamin Hunter went to France in 2017. For him to have met an ape who lived through the events of Aviary Attorney, the ape would have to be 169 years old!

    3. 1. ...I...uh... n-no.
      2. I present every piece of evidence and profile to Ace Attorney characters while investigating just to see what their dialogue would be. So...yeah. >.>
      3. That's the length of just Rise to the Ashes!
      4. RIP
      5. Take that! Cranky Kong could do it!

    4. 2. Well, it generally won't prevent you from exploring every option available where you are, more like there are entire areas you won't be able to see (because you get to visit one area per day, unless you've already been to that area and there's nothing new there). I encountered a couple spots that had nothing and just wasted time, so I reloaded my save when I got those.

      5. Take that! In your very own article linked on this page, you clearly showed an ape who was much younger than Cranky Kong!

    5. 2. Well, I'm certainly not above save-scumming... Though it sounds like the game doesn't have a reliable save system. >_>

      5. Hold it! What makes you so confident that, as per Benjamin Hunter's striking aesthetic style, the ape wasn't given a visual makeover that hid the affects of aging?!

    6. 2. The auto-save is reliable. It saves every time it reaches a new day. So if you pick your action for the day, change your mind, and quit before you get to the next day, you'll be fine.

      5. Hmph. Are you bluffing, or do you have some evidence that shows such a dramatic disguising of his age would be possible?

    7. 2. Auto-save exists to try to defeat save-scumming attempts. >.>
      What, do I only get one action a day, or would resetting reset long stretches of time too?
      5. Well, it only requires a superficial disguise. The great Luke Atmey could do that easily while disguised as Mask☆DeMasque. He even managed to fit his long nose under a mask! If he can do that with his nose, an ape could do it with his wrinkles. And get fur colouring.

    8. 2. You only get a single action a day.

      5. Baseless speculation. You have no evidence that such a disguise was used on the day that screenshot was taken!

    9. 2. How many days do I get? How many days do I need?!

      5. OBJECTION! The sentence right above the screenshot says...
      "It's unknown if this ape will also pretend to be someone he's not, but it's pretty possible. In fact, pretty likely:"

      That was the idea from the very beginning.

    10. 2. The number of days you get varies based on the case. The number of days you need also depends on the case. However, there was only one case where I felt I needed to do careful time management to win the case.


    11. 2. In your review, you didn't really directly compare it to Ace Attorney (besides Bird Edgeworth), which is good that you're judging the game on its own merits, but... that doesn't help me as an Ace Attorney fan know if I should bite.

    12. Trials are very much like Ace Attorney (press witnesses for more information, choose evidence that points out a contradiction), with the main differences being that instead of getting a penalty for wrong answers, you just make the jury less favorable toward your side, and the game continues even if you fail the case.

      Aside from the one-action-per-day restriction, investigations are similar to Ace Attorney, but more in the Dual Destinies style where you're only allowed to investigate key areas. In those areas, you can still investigate other things for funny dialogue, though.

      And it has humor like Ace Attorney, with Falcon and Sparrowson working a lot like a Phoenix-Maya duo.

    13. Ah, but you've also claimed that even if you fail the case and it moves on, it doesn't affect the story much.

      That'd affect Ace Attorney hugely, especially with the reoccurring characters. Imagine if Larry was too busy being in prison rather than doing what he did in 1-4.


      The outcome of one case affects the story hugely.

    15. I'll take it Falcon isn't a newbie attorney, 'cause otherwise I dunno who'd hire 'em if all they've done is lost.

    16. He is, but the client always has a reason.


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