No time to waste, check out the previous parts if you want, we got a lot of plot to cover once again!
We are introduced to Tok- I mean, Los Angeles’ most popular show at the time, the Steel Samurai, something very clearly inspired by the Japanese traditions, with possibly a bit of Sentai thrown in. I dunno how you lived your 2016, but if there was any popular kid show back in October last year, it sure as Hell wasn’t something like that. Especially in Los Angeles. We see a part of the show, which Maya loves. Then we hear that since the case of Mia’s murder (the one involving Redd White – of Bluecorp), Wright Law Offices have had nearly no clients. Oh, that’s about to change – in the middle of the night, Phoenix is called by Maya. She says that the Steel Samurai killed a villain… in real life! Or rather, his actor, Will Powers (what an awesome name), was accused.
|Well, only an idiot kid would believe that there isn't an actor|
in that costume. Although how that wonderful mane of hair
can stay down inside that full-head helmet is a mystery for
Investigation time! Will Powers immediately shows that he’s as soft as a teddy bear, despite the impressive musculature and the hair that would make any anime hero jealous. He sets the facts: The victim, Jack Hammer (what an awesome name), was found near the studio just before a rehearsal, the Steel Samurai’s spear in the chest. Hammer portrays the Evil Magistrate in the TV show, and is kind of a rival of Powers. He says he has been sleeping for most of the afternoon, which is when the murder took place.
|Oh, I'm sure your higher-ups would love to hear that|
you've been saying this sort of thing.
Trial time! I know this is quick, but this particular case is even longer than the previous one, so I try to keep my info short. I’m skimming a lot of details. Wendy Oldbag testifies, but it soon turns out that she didn’t see Powers heading to Studio 1; she saw the Steel Samurai – and anybody could have been in that costume at that moment. Later, the photo comes in handy to prove that two people went towards the studio, contradicting Oldbag’s claim that only one person went. I gotta say though, I love the humor in that part of the trial, with Oldbag trying to woo Edgeworth, and making everybody feel uneasy.
In the end, we learn of a school kid, a 10 years old fanboy, who may have entered the studio through an air duct. To investigate this, Phoenix has no choice but to buy some time, which he does by making Oldbag into a suspect for the murder. But of course, that’s when the old security guard reveals her hidden ace – there were other people at the studio that day, but she was told to act as if they weren't there… That includes both the producer and the director of the Steel Samurai show. Guess we’re gonna need to do some more investigating.
Well, that was quick! Gotta find that fanboy, and these mysterious people… We quickly meet Sal Manella, the director of the Steel Samurai series, and… Yeah, remember in my No More Heroes review, when I said that otaku were portrayed quite negatively in Japanese media? Well, look at this overweight, ugly dude. Who pervs on Maya, a teenager mind you, merely a few minutes after meeting her. Goodie. Oh, and he speaks l337. Which is, you know, totally not a dated meme in 2016. If he was really in with the times, this guy would be tossing Pepe, “This is fine”, and Harambe references around… and I would probably punch him. He does mention the show’s producer, Dee Vasquez… but we can’t find her anywhere just yet.
|Blergh, Sal Manella creeps me out in every way|
I’m pointing this out because it’s one of the more annoying aspects of this part of the game. There are many locations in Global Studios, all arranged logically. Wouldn’t be so bad, except there’s like, 6 different locations forming a chain and you’ll frequently have to go through all of it. Shouldn’t be so bad, you say? Well, every time we want to move to a different location, we must move the cursor from the “Examine” option to the “Move” option, then select the closest destination we want to reach – and in that destination, move the cursor from “Examine” to “Move” again. Repeat multiple times. The investigation becomes a chore because there is no quick way to go back and forth between the furthest points. Goes like this: Powers’ room -> Employee Area -> Main gate -> Path to the studios -> Studio 1 or 2 -> Trailer (in Studio 2). The two main witnesses, Manella and Vasquez, are precisely on the opposite ends of the chain. And of course, this is where we’re given a whole lot of fetch quests, making things even longer…
|I know his show is doomed if you don't help...|
Oh, wait, his show will be doomed even if you help.
Dammit, I gotta work on my convincing skills.
Well then, court time, it seems! First we confront Sal Manella. This guy makes me sick, it’ll be good to see him squirm from the stress put on him by Lady Justice. Oh crap, I shouldn’t talk too much, I’ll be giving him creepy ideas for future TV shows. Oh, he has little lies here and there, but nothing that incriminates him – he ate a steak during a break at his meeting in Studio 2, that’s all. That goes by quickly, but then Edgeworth brings his next witness: Cody Hackins.
|Poor kid. I feel sorry for him.|
Although that sentiment is decreased by all the trouble
he put me through.
Anyway, the kid says he did see the whole thing, although he had his newest camera with him and was still figuring out how to use it. Tssk, in the real 2016, a kid his age would be using a smartphone. And a Judge would know what a digital camera is! This game feels so weirdly dated… Oh yeah, this is probably one of the most awesome moments of the Ace Attorney musical, too.
|That's okay. Cody only saw the Steel Samurai losing.|
DC fans saw most of the DC universe lose (in a
metaphorical way) in their films.
|For a film producer, that's not good. George Lucas had|
yes-men all around him as well; then we got Star Wars
I to III.
Also, blackmail again? I gotta admit, I appreciate that this game rarely has all-black and all-white characters. Victims can have dark pasts, the true killers are sometimes better people than we thought… Except Redd White (of Bluecorp), that guy’s still a monster and he can go to Hell for all I care.
|Ah, blackmail... It's sad how many cases in the Ace Attorney universe|
revolve around it, but then again, there IS a lot of blackmail in the
real world... as sad as it is to admit...
The next day, in court, Dee Vasquez proves to be the toughest witness yet. She brushes off most of Phoenix’s theories. He does figure out that she was the one encountered by the Steel Samurai, just outside Studio 2. But what reason would she have had to kill Jack Hammer? She was blackmailing him already! Well, it’s already been explained that the Steel Samurai costume hides the actor’s traits inordinately well, so she thought it was Will Powers.
|And, thus, gamers all around the world, playing this|
game for the first time, went "Challenge accepted".
Nobody is entirely innocent, everybody’s got secrets…
Anyway, after the trial is over, Phoenix tells Will Powers that Hammer was trying to incriminate him for the murder he was planning, hence the sleeping pills and the stealing of the costume. Edgeworth, who is still shaken by the revelation he had during trial (that sometimes, seeking the truth is more important than getting the defendant a guilty verdict at any cost), comes by to say he’s a big fan of Powers…
And the case ends as Global Studios announces their next kid’s show: Pink Princess! With… Will Powers in the lead role. …Uh, no. Denied. I would see some kind of sentai slash superhero show with a similar concept, though: Grant Defense and Lady Justice! Like a child-friendly Judge Dredd! Okay, enough about this case. See you in Part 4, and hopefully the last part of this review – but considering how big the last case of an Ace Attorney game usually is… Yeah, I’d be willing to bet that the last part will be gigantic.
Hell, I can tell you right away how it starts: Someone gets killed on a boat, in the middle of the lake. The person being accused for the crime is Miles Edgeworth. He didn’t do it, but he is certain that he will be declared guilty. Oh, and the prosecutor for the case will be Edgeworth’s own mentor, with a 40-year perfect streak of defendant condemnations, Manfred Von Karma.
“Oh, shit” doesn’t even start to describe it. See ya then…