Insecticide tries to be a lot of things at once - platformer, shooter, and investigative adventure - which is a trick that seldom works well. To its credit, the stylish, bug-themed title puts a lot of effort into balancing all the different elements, forcing the question, "Why didn't they just make the whole game like that?" In this case, it's the investigative adventure levels, where you must interview witnesses and search crime scenes to uncover information about the case. These stages are fun and witty enough to have been the basis of the entire game. They also make excellent use of the touch screen - you examine clues and choose the questions to ask by tapping on context-sensitive images. On the other hand, the platforming and shooting stages are plagued by problems that are unfortunately somewhat typical of DS games like this - maneuvers such as strafing and accurate jumping are hard to pull off without analog control. The camera will tuck up behind you, making it difficult to plan your next jump. Overall, Insecticide suffers from environments that are too dark - I practically had to play it under my desk just to see what was going on. It might have been a conscious decision to make the game dark to help the tongue-in-cheek noir motif, but nonetheless, it's a glaring flaw. Gamecock should be commended for once again supporting a new property (the company also published Dementium), as well as for Insecticide's solid production value. With that approach, we expect great things to come from Gamecock very soon.
QUOTE(Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Review)Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney reminds me of Metal Gear Solid 2. No, Apollo doesn't run around in a cardboard box or anything, but in both games you end up playing as a hero that's just not quite as exciting as his predecessor, even though he's got essentially all the same tricks and more, while the real hero's story unfolds in the background. With that said, the latest Ace Attorney game is an excellent continuation of the series, featuring more compelling mysteries to unravel and lots of memorable characters. The basic gameplay hasn't changed much - it's still split between point-and-click investigation phases (in which you poke around crime scenes and talk to NPCs) and courtroom phases (in which you press witnesses for more information and raise objections by presenting evidence) - and that's not a bad thing. The formula is still plenty fun, although the investigation phases seem to be lacking something now that the Psyche-Locks from the last two games have been omitted. The new touch-driven features - examining evidence in 3-D, perceiving the suspects' nervous habits, and using a variety of forensic techniques to further your investigations - are fun additions, but they're underutilized. The perception abilities are used but a handful of times, and only rarely does closely inspecting evidence reveal a crucial clue. The story, however, will keep you guessing (Ace Attorney vets will especially enjoy finding out what happened to Phoenix), and the writing is very well done. I just wish that solving the cases had left me with the same sense of satisfaction as in previous Ace Attorney games; the conclusion of each case was never as decisive as I'd have liked.