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Cheat Code Central
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law will teach you as much about law as a cartoon will teach you about the laws of physics. Don't take it too seriously, and you'll have a blast.
Video Game Generation
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law isn’t much of a game, with its five episodes only lasting a few hours and gameplay that’s extremely basic and really only there to keep the animated clips moving. Despite that, fans of the original series will enjoy every minute of this game, as the animation and sense of humor is on par with the source material. Combine that with a budget price, and that’s enough in my eyes to recommend it to fans of the show and Adult Swim’s offbeat humor in general.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law is consistently clever and hilarious, and really shows why the show has a cult following. At the same time, the gameplay elements are overly simple, and the whole thing’s over before you know it. Fans of the show will love it, if only because it’s a collection of playable episodes, for all the random hilarity that entails. Anyone looking for an introduction to the world of Harvey Birdman would probably be better off catching reruns on Cartoon Network first. If the game had come out at a budget price, it would have been a no brainer recommendation, but as it stands, there’s simply not enough content to justify the price. While series fans will love stepping into the shoes of their favorite superhero turned lawyer, anyone else would be better off renting first.
The Next Level
Top it off with the Wii version of Harvey Birdman being $10 more than the identical versions on PS2 and PSP, and it's hard to recommend on a "bang for buck" basis. The pointer control is very nice, but not $10 worth when the game can be completed in two days. If you're willing to overlook the length and price issues though, then Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law becomes a fun extension of the series, and one of the best translations of TV to game ever. If we can't get a season four of the show, then this is the next best thing.
Gemakei (formerly Zentendo)
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a satisfying Wii game based off the hit TV series. With five cases to keep you busy for a while, you'll be wanting more at the end and you'll just have to wait until new episodes are cranked out or just play the game again. There isn't much to the game, but with that, that means there aren't many problems. There are almost no technical glitches and it runs smoothly. A fun experience, fan of the TV show or not.
Although it's a fun to play a Phoenix Wright-style game on your PSP or Wii, this isn't worth its full price right now. Wait for it to drop down to about $20, then grab it with both hands. Fans of Phoenix Wright or Harvey Birdman, this is a decent buy.
Did I have fun playing Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law? Yes, a lot of fun, but I can't recommend it as strongly as I did in my PlayStation reviews of the title. Over there, I told fans of the show to pick it up because even though the game isn't terribly long and it isn't too challenging, it is really funny and an engaging play. That's still true on the Wii, but the bump in price means that this game is now more expensive than a Harvey Birdman DVD. Sure, you'll probably kill more time with this game than a two-disc DVD set, but what makes this game entertaining is the humor, and there are sure to be more laughs on the DVD.
If there's one complaint to be made it's that Harvey Birdman is very short, and can be completed in a couple of sittings without any problem. There are five bonus unlockable videos to earn by exploring the dialogue trees, but seeing as that's part of the fun of the game they're not exactly easy to miss. Top it off with the Wii version of Harvey Birdman being $10 more than the identical versions on PS2 and PSP, and it's hard to recommend on a "bang for buck" basis. The pointer control is very nice, but not $10 worth when the game can be completed in two days. If you're willing to overlook the length and price issues though, then Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law becomes a fun extension of the series, and one of the best translations of TV to game ever. If we can't get a season four of the show, then this is the next best thing.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is an incredibly enjoyable experience, but paying full price for only a few hours of laughter should only be reserved for hardcore fans of the show. Then again, with that kind of money you could buy half of the entire series on DVD. If you absolutely, positively, must have more Birdman in your life, then by all means buy this game and laugh away. If you are simply a gamer looking for an optimal gaming experience then look elsewhere until the price comes down.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law does a great job at capturing the look and feel of the show, but as a game it doesn't work out that well. The writing is great and the plots of each trial are just as absurd as anything you would see on TV, but aren't so good that they make up for the absent gameplay, mindlessly easy difficulty and $40 price point - which makes the game more expensive than a DVD of the show. At best, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a great weekend rental.
Attorney At Law ultimately falls in line with what a Harvey Birdman game should be. After all, if you're going to make a silly game about courtroom drama, there are limits to the number of ways you can actually make that interesting. Regardless, even if it does conceptually hit the mark, the execution of the rather sparse gameplay doesn't quite cut it. You'll actually forget you're even playing a game for long stretches, which is kind of a double-edged sword. It's good in that the hilarious storylines manage to hold your attention and keep you laughing all throughout. It's bad in that the game mechanics are so unobtrusive as to be borderline unnecessary. Any way you slice it, Attorney At Law probably isn't worth dropping $40 on, but it's an ideal rental for fans of the show.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law will appeal to fans of the Cartoon Network show, but those not enamored of the humor and art style will probably end up bored. The simplistic controls and short playtime make the game feel like an interactive episode, and, as with most TV shows, only serious fans will find reason to revisit the material once it's been viewed. With Attorney at Law, only gamers looking to get a quick fix of Harvey Birdman need apply.
Game Informer Magazine
Only the hilarious writing and animation elevate this into a range that might be worth it for enthusiastic followers of this winged crusader's adventures in law.
You’ll spend a lot of time going “Am I having fun? Am I spending my time right? Is this what I should be doing with what little time I have left on this Earth—ignoring dumb Adult Swim humor and trying to figure out what the deal is with all the damn lobsters?”
It sounds like I’m ripping on this game a lot more than I actually am. In reality, it is fun and entertaining… for a little while. Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is actually the perfect definition of a rental game. If you’re looking for something amusing to do on a rainy day or over the weekend once football season ends, this game will fit the bill. It’s worth a play, especially for fans of the Birdman. However, it’s not really worth a buy, especially not at its current $40 price point.
Whilst Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law proves to be a laugh-a-minute experience, sadly the gameplay itself proves to either be too basic in places or frustrating in others and just lacks the overall quality of the Ace Attorney series. Mix in the painfully short length and this certainly becomes a 'rent only' experience.
Adult Swim fans: Everyone's favorite irreverent courtroom cartoon gets an equally irreverent video game. The result: It's actually funny, and unlike The Simpsons Game, it's actually fun to play. Game play is lifted straight out of Capcom's own Phoenix Wright series. You and Birdman will have five cases to work your way through. It's short enough that you can finish it in a couple of nights, but all the show's characters are in effect—Mentok, Reducto, etc.—along with their respective voice actors (Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, Gary Cole). Finally, the game's budget price (around $30) means there's no need to shout, "I object!" when the game store clerk rings you up.
You're doomed if you try to take this game seriously; it doesn't even take itself seriously. Moreover, you pay full price; and the game is short, so you'd better like Harvey Birdman. If you have doubts, catch the show on the Cartoon Network before you make the call. Don't even think about coming in here expecting to play Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Harvey Birdman is no Ace, but it's a joker that's pretty wild.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a fun way to spend a few hours if you enjoy the television show. It's faithfully done, easy to play, and a showcase of pop-culture references and parody. You won't get many hours of game for your 40 dollars, but you will get some laughs.
Game Informer Magazine
If you're already a fan of Harvey and the craziness that surrounds him, you'll love how this game nails the feeling of the
series. If you're just a regular gamer looking for a solid legal adventure, other attorneys will represent your interests better.
The great voice acting and spot on writing is a lot of fun to experience, however in the end, the your enjoyment of the game will be based entirely on how much you love all things Harvey Birdman. Die hard fans of the show will enjoy it, however with no replay value whatsoever and an extremely short play time, there’s not much justification for buying it. Those that aren’t into the show’s scatological sense of humor, or those looking for a deep courtroom experience won’t find much here.
You've probably read other reviews and previews of the game on other sites and wondered why Phoenix Wright was never mentioned despite the fact that combat did use sort of the same system. That's because in almost every facet, Birdman pales so much in comparison to Phoenix that they aren't even worth comparing. Nevertheless, Harvey Birdman still provides an interesting experience and while it is worth watching, it's not something you want to be paying $30 for, even if that's a fairly small amount. Either way, at a measly four hours or less, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is barely an okay rental. If anything, it will keep you busy for two days during the wait for Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice... too bad it’s not on the DS.
It's fun enough while it lasts, but its shallow gameplay should cause all but the most diehard Harvey Birdman fans to think twice (or wait for a price drop) before declaring "I'll take the case!"
If you find yourself with some free time one weekend, consider taking Harvey's case from your local rental store.
Despite all its other problems, where Harvey Birdman: Attorney at law truly falls apart through is in its lifespan; coming in at about four to five hours, it won't last anyone very long at all, and at $40 it's hard to justify anything but a rental. Even then, the lackluster humor and almost non-existent gameplay make this game only barely recommendable to Birdman fans that have thoroughly exhausted their Harvey Birdman DVD collections. Everyone else, steer clear.
Harvey Birdman's last original episode wrapped this past July, so this is really the last hurrah for the series -- and one of the funniest shows in the history of Adult Swim deserves a better send-off than this. If you're a longtime fan or just looking to get into the show, check out the DVDs instead. Or hell, just go on the Adult Swim website and search for free clips from the show -- you're guaranteed to laugh more, and you won't have to plonk down $40, either.
There are a few cameos in the game by some Street Fighter characters, but this is an idea that should have been taken to greater lengths, especially considering Capcom’s rich library of franchised characters. While it is great to see games like this made available to such a mass audience on the Wii, the game’s brevity combined with its limited participation make it a must play only for hardcore fans of the television series.
Unfortunately, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is not worth the price of admission - since the real show is available for free elsewhere... just go watch that, instead.
Overall, I’d say Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is a dud. It takes the same concept of the fantastic Phoenix Wright games, but executes it terribly. If you want a court room drama game, get the trilogy of Phoenix Wright games. Snuggle up with them in bed under some warm covers and just relax. But stay away from Birdman.
This may very well be one of the most difficult reviews I've ever had to write. Not very often do I sit before a title from an A-list publisher, one that's got advertising everywhere and is being hyped by the company as something I absolutely must play during my lifetime. It's always a complex task, as a reviewer, to try and describe a genre-defining game like Harvey Birdman, particularly when it turns out to be a huge disappointment. So join me, fellow reader and gamer, as I regale you with a tale of a game so dismal that the people around me forced me to stop playing it.
If you’re a hardcore fan of the series you’re going to buy this game because you need to have everything related to the show to make your collection complete. And that’s not a bad thing. I love the series and I think that the jokes in the game are right on par with it. But video games need to be fun to play too. This just feels like one of those movies where you push a button to decide what scene should come next(and we all know how great those movies are). That’s just not enough to justify what is essentially five slow moving episodes of Harvey Birdman.