Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law PSP Review
One of Adult Swim's most endearing (and humorous) programs, Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, is long gone by now, retired to that great animation haven in the sky in favor of more episodes of Tim and Eric's Awesome Show and whatever else Cartoon Network has up their sleeves. But oh, what manic fun it was, watching a guy in a superhero outfit and business suit with the voice of Gary Cole defend Hanna Barbera cartoon characters out of ludicrous crimes. Well, good news, kids -- Harvey Birdman lives, this time in video game form.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law follows the same manic flow of the show, meaning that most of it won't make any sense unless you're an avid fan. Fortunately, the wacky sense of humor is just what the doctor ordered, with lots of laughs flowing throughout as a result. In the game, you guide Harvey as he breaks legal cases down and also lands in prison. Don't worry, there's a reason for it. He has to use his legal powers of genius to stay out of trouble, while also validating his clients and pissing off his questionable prosecutors. And then there's the guy trying to kill him, X the Eliminator -- a supervillain that lives with his mom. Brilliant!
The game is similar to the Phoenix Wright games, but to a degree. It's not nearly as interactive when it comes to selections that affect the case directly, but you do gather evidence, provide the right item when asked for it, and watch the sequences unfold. It's cut-and-dry point-and-click, more or less. Ha ha! Triple word sentence! Anyway, the gameplay is fun, and the five cases provided here are a laugh riot. They feature such characters as Manilla Gorilla and the recently renamed Yakky Doodle...who now goes by the name of Nailgun.
The production values for this game are great...well, as far as being on par with the cartoon. The animation is smooth and effective, where it's needed, and the sound is sweet. Gary Cole, John Michael Higgins, Peter MacNicol and others provide very strong voicework, and the remix of the theme song is hip. Only Stephen Colbert seems to be missing from the party, but at least he has a decent fill-in in his place. (Would that be Mentok doing more mind-taking? OOH WEEE OHHHH!)
Harvey Birdman's big problem, however, is length. The five cases will take you a few hours to get through, at best. After that, you can fiddle with a special language option (good for a couple more chuckles) and locate hidden Street Fighter characters to unlock funny bonus movies. Past that, you'll only come back to it again after you've managed to forget the first time through...which, if you drink, won't take very long. Past that, there's no replay value.
Still, Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law is a fun ride while it lasts, a blast through the legal system that's like a breath of fresh air from X the Eliminator's blow-up doll. If you love the show, sit back and enjoy the goofy ride. If not, well, what other legal simulator are you going to play on the PSP? Pursuit Force? Ha ha, lame comparison!
What's Hot: Funny as hell, with production values similar to the show; fun Phoenix Wright-style play.
What's Not: Painfully short; not really much to do in the gameplay department.