Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law - Capcom's bizarre Phoenix Wrong
Did you get that thing I sent ya?
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a wonderful, wonderful TV series. It is not perfect, there are a handful of substandard episodes and it loses its way towards the end. Broadly, though, it's marvellous. One of the very best things that has ever aired on Adult Swim. With the initial hook of twisted takes on classic Hanna-Barbera characters (Scooby and Shaggy busted for possession! Apache Chief's growth problem! Fred Flintstone as Tony Soprano!), it quickly developed into more than just a typical spoof, with a hilarious line in running gags, slapstick and beautiful, brilliant line deliveries from the likes of Stephen Colbert as maniacal boss Phil Ken Sebben - for my money one of the best comedy characters of all time.
Despite its popularity, it only got four short seasons for a total of 39 episodes. There was a one-off special in 2018 and a spin-off (Birdgirl) has been ordered, but it's still a pretty niche product. This makes it all the more surprising that twelve years ago today, Capcom saw dollar signs and published a tie-in game for PS2, Wii and PSP. Thrillingly, it's basically a Birdman-flavoured take on Ace Attorney, with essentially the same gameplay applied to the world of the off-beat cartoon. Consequently, you'll see cameos from Street Fighter characters strewn throughout the five cases, which is ceaselessly amusing. Thanks to the relatively banal animation of the show, the game is able to recreate it near-flawlessly, so to drop a cliché, it really does feel like you're playing an episode.
Unfortunately, it's incredibly short; the indispensible howlongtobeat.com has it pegged at three hours, but there's no way it took me more than two. Thankfully it's all good stuff, beginning to end. There's the usual nonsense logic of Ace Attorney, but when it's coming from Peter Potamus you can forgive a little stupidity.
I'll take the case!