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Gyakuten Saiban 3 (GBA/Capcom)
by tim rogers


It is 12:45PM in the District Courtroom. Chinami, the girl at the witness stand, is holding an umbrella and surrounded by glowing butterflies. She is being questioned about the day, six months ago, when her lawyer died of poisoning. She claims she was talking to him for the duration of their lunch. She is asked: perhaps, at some point, you got up to go to the bathroom?

The defendant, Ryuichi Naruhodo, jumps to his feet, and sneezes. He is wearing a cloth surgical mask to keep the germs from spreading. Why he is wearing the pink hooded sweatshirt with a giant red heart design embroidered with the word "RYU," no one knows.

"Objection!" he screams, like he has the right. "Chii-chan doesn't go to the bathroom!!"

. . .

If that sort of thing appeals to you, stop reading this, start reading this, and then buy Capcom's Gyakuten Saiban 3 here (or you could, if they would update their damn site).

Well, even if it does appeal to you, you're probably going to keep reading, anyway, aren't you?

So let's begin this thing properly -- which means selfishly. I have something of a new template these days, as many of you know: that is, a template for reviewing Gameboy Advance games. I am doing this because of a promise I made on my livejournal, which states that if you send me a Gameboy Advance game[1], no matter what it is, I will write a review of it, and even mention your name. To make sure that every paragraph stays on the theme, I say something relevant, like this: If I were a lawyer, you could consider these game reviews pro bono work. And sometimes insert little two-word paragraphs that say things like:


It is my plan that I begin each of these new-type Gameboy Advance reviews with a description of how I got the game. So let me tell you, then, how I got Gyakuten Saiban 3. It was a mostly cold night, and I had just finished chapter eighteen of fifty-four of my new novel, which is full of the truth mostly, with some stretchers. After writing chapter eighteen, I had decided to take a bit of a twenty-minute recess. My planned "twenty-minute recess" was actually supposed to consist of me playing Baldur's Gate II on my dying laptop for three or six days, whilst listening to my custom Baldur's Gate II soundtrack, which consists of a hell of a lot of Jackson Five, with Jacko's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" thrown in for very, very good measure. There's nothing like a prison break to the tune of "ABC," let me tell you -- and this prison break was going to be the best one yet. I was going to be taking a elf ranger named after my current novel's main character.

Anyway. I took off my headphones after finishing my read-through of chapter eleven, figuring that reading all the way to the end would probably just make me want to write more, and lord knew I had to go to the bathroom. So when the headphones were off, I could hear the tip-end of my roommate Kasugi discussing Important Things with his friend Tooru:

Kasugi: "We need Metal Gear Solid 2, dude. We should get it right now."

There's a Famicom Shop down the street what's called "Famicom Yosshi," and it's a right good place, if with a bit of a squeaky wooden floor.

Tooru: "It's too much, dude -- like 3,000 yen."

Kasugi: "No, we just get the original, not Substance. The original is only like 1,000."

Tooru: "I don't want the original!"

Kasugi: "Well, I don't have 3,000 yen!"

Tooru: "I got this!"

Kasugi froze in speech. This caused me to leap up into the center of my futon, calves cocked like Superman ready to fly.

Kasugi: "Didn't you just buy that, though?"

Tooru: "I beat it already."

Kasugi: "You . . . you don't have the box?"

Tooru: "Nah, it's at home."

I was in the room already, with my hands on my hips. I snatched the game out of Kasugi's friend Tooru's hand. It was a naked Gyakuten Saiban 3 cartridge.

I turned it over in my hand three times.

"Verdict?" Kasugi asked me.

"Buy the original Metal Gear Solid 2, leave this cartridge with me, sell it at full-price when you get the box, and buy Winning Eleven 7 International, for which I will chip in five hundred yen."

"Deal," Kasugi said. He pulled a 500-yen-coin out of his jeans pocket, and flipped it into the air. Tooru scrambled to catch it and pocket it.

Tooru had his hands in his pockets, his eyes wide open.

"What the hell, man?" he asked me. I was turning to leave.

I turned around, and gave my Punk Rock Glare, the second-strongest attack in the world, after the Punk Rock Kick. Tooru leapt back, hands flying up like a cashier at a liquor store. Were he a shyster lawyer, his hairpiece would have flown off.

"Didn't I just say how it's gonna be?"

Kasugi was laughing out his nose like a middle-schooler.

This is where Tooru delivered the fourth-strongest attack in the world -- that is, Questioning Tim Rogers' Perfect Japanese:

"The game is, like, in Japanese!"

To which I retorted, using the third-strongest attack in the world -- Tim Rogers' Perfect Japanese:

"You mean the language we're speaking right now? That's a good language."


"Well what?"

"I mean, it's . . . got Kanji and stuff in it!"

"Chinese characters? Like --" I recited a five-line Chinese poem with my best intonation efforts. Something about the moon and a fresh bed looking like fallen snow, or fallen snow looking like a fresh bed -- it works either way. It's a poem about living the life of a traveler. I keep it memorized like a good Shanghai grade-schooler, in case I ever go to Alaska. What Alaska has to do with anything is beyond the scope of this essay, however.

Tooru continued badgering me: "I mean -- they're all . . . technical and stuff!"

"Technical like what? Like 'lawyer'?"

"Well, and . . ."

"'Perjury,' 'appeals,' 'plaintiff,' 'defendant,' 'damages,' 'criminal intent,' 'libel,' 'slander,' 'counsel,' 'evidence,' stuff like that?"

"Y-y-yeah," Tooru said. He threw his hands in the air, resting his offense. "Fuck it -- let's get Metal Gear Solid 2." He wasn't even looking at me anymore. They were in the entrance hall in a minute. Tooru was saying, as they left, "Man, Winning Eleven 7 International is going to kick ass. We can finally get rid of 6 Final Evolution."


Case closed.

[Next: A Train Game]




Release Date
January 27, 2004