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My Little Investigations Review: The Sloppy Case File

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Investigations

My Little Investigations, a game made by fans of the My Little Pony TV Series is freeware released in April 9, 2014. The game is made as a love letter to fans of the Ace Attorney Investigations spin-off series, detailing the “Unspoken adventures of Twilight Sparkle”, and contributing to fan-canon lore.

The game promises a fluid and passionate voice cast, incredible writing, a completely original game engine, and much more. But can it actually deliver on the experience and be a game that can be played regardless of whether or not you’re a brony? Let’s kick off #MLPMonth as we discuss My Little Investigations.blank

STORY AND NARRATIVE: THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A THIEVERY CASE.

Let’s start by the basic premise of the game before moving to the gameplay. The Ace Attorney series has been known for having intricate and complex plots that stem from seemingly simple cases. My Little Investigations actually offers an equally appealing plot that expands beyond an “open and shut” case.

The game’s story thrives a lot from its plot and characterization. One of the main cast characters, Rarity, was the victim of a robbery of jewelry and her cat. However, it seems like the pony who committed the crime was none other than the young pegasus, Scootaloo.

When Twilight Sparkle arrives at the crime scene, she finds out that there’s an “Investigative Team from Canterlot” who is going to take the investigation duty. After Twilight describes how utterly incompetent they are, she decides to take on the case by herself.

The characterization is downright spot-on for the entire cast of ponies that appear in the game. Twilight Sparkle and company feel like they were taken straight from the show into a detective game. They also made the game’s narrative structure tame but interesting regardless. It’s an incredible effort that must be commended.

The writing pretty much shows how much dedication the lead writers had to making a great and enjoyable game. And the narrative aspect allows players to feel like they are solving a mystery with accessibility to magic and other tricks a Human Prosecutor wouldn’t have.

The story is engaging and emotionally impactful for the gamers willing to try another Ace Attorney spinoff fangame. This game sports an original story with well-crafted characters that doesn’t need a viewing of the original source material to understand. Everything is explained for newcomers and the case contains itself. Overall, it was a great writing performance that puts a great deal of writers to shame.

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MECHANICS: Confrontation and Interrogation.

First, we have the open world exploration sequences. Players are able to talk with witnesses or present evidence to them to open up new dialogue options. However, some character dialogues can be hidden with Interrogation sessions and sequences.

Interrogations are presented in the same way as previous Ace Attorney games are. With a row of statements that can be disproven with evidence. However, you can actually opt out of these interrogations in case you don’t have sufficient evidence to expose contradictions. There’s no penalty for getting answers wrong, however.

Then we have Confrontation Sequences, which players will come across during story sections. Similar to Interrogation sequences with the difference being that you have a set number of mistakes (5). Each time you present the wrong piece of evidence, you’ll lose 1 Hit-Point, if you present a right piece of evidence, you’ll hurt their counter by 1 point. These sequences can’t be opted out from and can lead to a game over, so be careful with the evidence you present.

Finally, we have the Partner mechanic, which has been improved drastically over Ace Attorney: Investigations. Partners in My Little Investigations have a set purpose and can actually aid Twilight by having Active and Passive abilities. Take Apple Bloom for example, she allows Twilight to openly speak with Cutie Mark Crusader members and enter the CMC Clubhouse without an issue.

The partner mechanic is only used in two different character and in different situations. However, it will be great to see how the game develops with multiple partners correlating in different scenarios. It certainly would be great to see the feature progressing.

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GAMEPLAY AND CONTROLS: Let’s get the investigation Moving!

The gameplay of the game is one of the greatest aspects in My Little Investigations. The engine that was used for this game didn’t have any glitches or bugs that would break my progress. You can control Twilight Sparkle with the Keyboard or you can play the game entirely with your Mouse. Personally, I’d recommend Mouse controls because it feels like the game was constructed with these in mind.

Controller support is also mysteriously absent. Which is flabbergasting because the game comes from a series that was almost entirely played with a Controller. However, it’s nothing to lose sleep at because, once again; the game was constructed around Mouse Controls and it just feels better and more natural.

The controls are responsive and the game runs at a wonderful 60 FPS with 1080p resolution. Incredibly enough, many computers can handle it no problem despite the image quality. Which is a commendable thing in its own right, especially considering that powerful computers are needed for PC gaming.

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PRESENTATION: The Image and Sound Behind the Mystery.

The game’s soundtrack is hit and miss, I’ll give you this much. There have been instances where the music becomes painfully annoying and repetitive. I don’t want to hear Ponyville’s theme song ever again in my entire life. And then there’s the game soundtracks that actually have me praising the game’s composer, Trot Pilgrim. The best example being Suspense – Your fate awaits.

The graphics are another highlight from My Little Investigations. Every sprite is made with vectors and as such, they look exactly like the original TV Show counterparts. However, there are also some drawn cutscenes that portray specific moments in the game, and they look equally gorgeous.

I must say that the voice acting is nearly close to that of the Original Source Material. You will never hear voices so close to the actual show’s cast. I like the voice of Twilight Sparkle and hope to see her in future cases. However, some performances like Sweetie Belle’s are a bit Too enthusiastic. Since these issues can be fixed easily however, it’s not a big deal.

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GAMEPLAY PROBLEMS: This piece of evidence is a Red Herring!

No game is perfect. Sadly, My Little Investigations has some issues that can’t go without being addressed. First off, there’s the Evidence Combination mechanic, which feels completely unnecessary to begin with. The basic premise is that players can combine two pieces of evidence to update it like Logic in the Investigations spin-off games. This mechanic is used twice in the game and it’s often really easy to figure out. Sadly, this mechanic really doesn’t have much to do here besides those two applications.

There are a LOT of instances where you find yourself going back and forth. Not because you don’t know where to go, but because the pacing is all over the place. There’s a lot of “Go here, then go there and then go over there” in My Little Investigations… And it gets incredibly boring.

This, combined with the times where the game will throw you into a boring piece like that cursed Ponyville theme makes for very repetitious pacing. However, when the game has its moments, it shines a lot and makes you feel like playing an Ace Attorney game.

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CONCLUSION: You’re Cornered!

My Little Investigations is a magnificent attempt at reinventing the formula given by the Ace Attorney Investigations sub-series. However, its execution falls flat on its face sometimes and it really is noticeable. While the innovative gameplay mechanics are great, they aren’t used to a bigger extent.

Can I recommend this game to a non-brony gamer? Definitely. This game has the same level of writing and characterization that made the Ace Attorney games so great. So, if visual novels are your thing, this game is going to be great for you.

I always wanted to be a journalist who listens. The Voice of the Unspoken and someone heavily involved in the gaming community. From playing as a leader of a competitive multi-branch team to organizing tournaments for the competitive scene to being involved in a lot of gaming communities. I want to keep moving forward as a journalist.

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Baldur’s Gate 3 has received an impressive haul of 5 BAFTA Awards, with the prestigious title of Best Game among them

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Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to solidify its position as a standout title, garnering five prestigious BAFTA awards, including the highly coveted Best Game accolade. In addition to the top accolade of the evening, the RPG created by the talented team at Larian Studios also emerged victorious in the categories of narrative, music, players’ choice, and performer in a supporting role.

Several games for the PS5 and PS4 received BAFTA awards. Alan Wake 2 won for Audio Achievement, Cyberpunk 2077 was recognized as an Evolving Game, Viewfinder was named the Best British Game, and Nadji Jeter received the Performer in a Leading Role award for his portrayal of Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Standing on the stage that night, Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios, expressed his disbelief: “It’s truly incredible to be here.” The effort and dedication poured into creating Baldur’s Gate 3 is truly commendable. It’s truly remarkable, and I extend my gratitude to Bafta and everyone involved.

Here are the winners of the BAFTA awards for 2024:

  • Debut game: Venba
  • Audio achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • Multiplayer: Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • Evolving game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Game design: Dave the Diver
  • British game: Viewfinder
  • Artistic achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • New intellectual property — Viewfinder
  • Narrative: Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Performer in a supporting role: Andrew Wincott, Raphael in Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Family — Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • EE Players’ Choice — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Animation — Hi-Fi Rush
  • Music — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Game Beyond Entertainment — Tchia
  • Technical achievement: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Performer in a leading role — Nadji Jeter, Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Best game: Baldur’s Gate 3

 

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V Rising embraces its theme by introducing a Legacy of Castlevania crossover DLC

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V Rising, a vampiric RPG, made its debut on PC in 2022 and is set to grace the PS5 in 2024. The game clearly showcased a strong influence from Castlevania. Now, Stunlock Studios is fully embracing the opportunity, officially teaming up with Konami for a captivating DLC with a gothic twist.

Featured in The Triple-i Initiative’s recent digital indie showcase, Legacy of Castlevania offers players the opportunity to immerse themselves in the timeless visuals of hair, cloth, and character design from one of the most beloved vampire franchises in gaming history. The pack is set to be released in May, and it’s possible that we’ll gain further insights into the PS5 port at that time. In the upcoming game, players will have the chance to encounter the renowned vampire hunter Simon Belmont, who will serve as a formidable adversary. Additionally, fans will be delighted to know that they can dress up as the enigmatic Vampire Prince, Alucard, with a special cosplay set.

There will be three distinct shapeshifting variants for players to fully embrace the darkness. Among the options available are the Wolf Form Variant, Soul of the Wolf; the Human Form Variant, Glamour of Maria Renard; and the Toad Form Variant, Guise of The Flea Man. In addition, you’ll have access to luxurious furniture and decorations to adorn your sanctuary, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a gothic masterpiece.

Did V Rising catch your attention? What are your thoughts on the Legacy of Castlevania collaboration? We eagerly await your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Fallout – RPG Series Continues to Impress on the Small Screen

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Television series that draw inspiration from video games have now reached a commendable level of quality. As a result, the anticipation surrounding Fallout’s adaptation is greater than it would have been in the past. HBO and PlayStation Productions demonstrated the potential for success when adapting a game into a film with The Last of Us. They then continued their winning streak with a more lighthearted Twisted Metal adaptation.

In the ever-expanding realm of TV and film adaptations, Amazon Prime is now bringing us Fallout, a brand new story set in the post-apocalyptic universe of Bethesda’s beloved RPG series. This film transports the audience to Los Angeles, where the wasteland proves to be a tragic setting, both underground and on the irradiated surface. It successfully captures the action, story-telling, deep cast of characters, and twisted humor that the games are known for. Amazon Prime breathes new life into the beloved Fallout franchise with a series that will surely make fans proud.

The inaugural season consists of eight episodes, each running between 45 minutes and one hour. The story unfolds through the eyes of three distinct characters who swiftly find themselves entangled in each other’s endeavors. Lucy, the undeniable focal point of the story, embarks on a relentless quest through the desolate wasteland in pursuit of her abducted father, who was snatched away from their sanctuary in Vault 33. Maximus is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, while The Ghoul is a resurrected bounty hunter with a captivating and enigmatic history.

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The connection between the three characters revolves around a reward offered for capturing an escaped Enclave scientist. However, this is just the beginning of a captivating and suspenseful story. Lucy’s choice to venture out of the secure Vault 33 is just one piece of a larger narrative that stretches back to the time before the devastating bombings. At this point, Fallout truly showcases its potential and fearlessly pushes the boundaries of the franchise, surpassing any of Bethesda’s previous games. The results are absolutely captivating.

What’s truly remarkable is that even after Lucy leaves the vault, the captivating narrative beneath the surface continues to unfold. The events that unfold in Vault 33 after her departure are truly captivating, adding a layer of intrigue to the entire series. The aftermath of these events brings about shocking revelations that have a profound impact on the lives of its residents. With the inclusion of frequent flashback scenes, viewers are provided with a comprehensive understanding of how the passage of time has influenced the transformation of Los Angeles from a thriving city to a desolate wasteland.

They are arguably the weakest aspect of the show. The abundance of dialogue in each scene can become tedious at times. However, these scenes play a crucial role in providing a comprehensive understanding of Vault-Tec and its nefarious intentions for the City of Angels and beyond.

Lucy starts off with a relatively modest plot. Stepping out of Vault 33, she brings her cheerful demeanor into the unforgiving world of the Los Angeles wasteland, maintaining an optimistic perspective in every circumstance. Maximus, however, is well acquainted with the harsh realities of the desert-like badlands. Constantly tormented within the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel, his once unwavering devotion and loyalty to the clan have been severely shaken. The Ghoul truly brings the Bloody Mess perk to life during shootouts, creating a captivating spectacle. Additionally, his character arc is truly fascinating, especially when his guns remain untouched in their holsters. We won’t reveal too much about his story to avoid spoiling it, allowing the show to speak for itself.

The ensemble of supporting characters, combined with the performances of the three leads, effectively portray the post-apocalyptic world from various angles. Lucy, as the newcomer, brings a fresh perspective, while The Ghoul, a seasoned veteran, adds a gritty and experienced presence. The audience is granted a brief glimpse into the characters’ challenges and hardships before the main mission takes center stage, cleverly establishing the setting through well-crafted vignettes.

The Los Angeles wasteland is portrayed as a character in its own right, with a focus on the conversational aspects of the Fallout IP rather than the action-packed elements. This adaptation places a strong emphasis on its characters, delighting in its skillful portrayal of the games’ multiple-choice dialogue system in a non-interactive format. Lucy and Maximus, in their own unique ways, choose to resolve conflicts through dialogue rather than violence. However, The Ghoul takes a different approach, favoring a more aggressive resolution. When he’s unleashed upon a gang of raiders, the pace intensifies, resulting in gripping and enjoyable confrontations.

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This product truly captures the essence of the Fallout universe while also forging its own unique path instead of relying on Fallout 4. Mentions of the games are few and far between, with in-world items such as stimpaks and radaways being some of the most common nostalgic nods. It succeeds admirably as a self-contained story that almost everyone can enjoy despite the absence of recognizable actors or settings. Those who stumble upon the show while browsing through Amazon Prime may find themselves facing some challenges, especially if they are new to the series. The TV series is enjoyable on its own, but it assumes that viewers have a basic understanding of the Fallout universe, including the vaults and the wasteland. If Mom and Dad decide to give the show a chance with their Saturday night takeaway, they might find themselves a bit overwhelmed.

Fallout is yet another standout addition to the ever-growing list of exceptional video game adaptations in recent times. The game successfully captures the essence of the series, paving the way for new possibilities beyond traditional gameplay. It manages to recreate the familiar atmosphere and even revive the nostalgic tunes that have been long forgotten. If Fallout is the aftermath, then perhaps the LA wasteland isn’t as dreadful as it seems. This adaptation of Bethesda’s RPG series, Fallout, is truly exceptional. It presents a captivating story that easily rivals the plots of its video game counterparts. This is a must-see for all fans of the series.

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