Spun off from its [adult swim] series, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, is a Hanna-Barbera superhero that’s retired from his superhero life to become a lawyer at the offices of Sebben & Sebben, run by his old boss, Phil Ken Sebben. The show had Harvey defend clients such as Scooby-Doo and Shaggy from drug charges to proving that Fred Flintstone wasn’t a Mafia boss. It was one of my favorite shows on [adult swim] so I was a bit sad when it was retired. Thankfully Williams Street, the studio behind the show, and Capcom have graced us with the further adventures of Harvey Birdman with a game that’s ripe for the pickings. Capcom announced that the game would follow the same style as the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game, so you knew it had a great chance of being a fun game.
You spend most of your time searching various locations for clues and evidence to use in your case. Unfortunately unlike Phoenix Wright, Harvey is there to lead you every step of the way. You’ll never miss evidence because you simply scroll between items, and completely investigating a room takes about 30 seconds. Talking to witnesses is pretty much the same process. They’ll give you their side of the story, yet if you press them enough they might actually spill some more information. Still, you can utilize evidence in unique ways, such as using a fortune cookie combination that you found to unlock an office safe. By doing something inventive you can earn Crests, which are like life bars when Harvey’s in court.
The biggest disappointment for me has to be the court cases. The cross-examinations are done in a Phoenix Wright style where one scrolls through each part of the testimony to search for contradictions. Presenting evidence is extremely easy as well, since your choices for presenting the evidence are laid out before you. Once you win your case you move on to the next, and are rewarded with the unlocking of a “movie” extra. You can breeze through each case in roughly 30 minutes to an hour, and once you’ve finished a case, there’s very little reason to replay it. There are five cases too so once you’re done, you’re done. With the minimal number of extras and the extremely short game length, Harvey Birdman is slightly overpriced even at the standard PSP price of $30.
Complaints aside, Harvey Birdman looks and sounds great. It’s as if you’re watching an actual episode, the animation is that good. Furthermore, almost all of the voice actors from the tv series return to reprise their roles. It’s as if you’re watching new episodes on your PSP and this is probably why the shortness of the game doesn’t really bother me all that much. Is it worth $30? Maybe if you’re a fan of the show, otherwise I’d try to get it on sale or a used copy. Still, for me it was worth it