Somewhere on the Island of Misfit Mascots, you'll find Mappy the Mouse, Namco's short-lived police-mouse who probably shares a split-level with Alex Kidd. And it's no surprise why Mappy never made it into the roaring '90s; his penchant for violence against cats and cats alone clearly made the suits at Namco (then Namcot) uncomfortable, along with all of the kids who assumed this game would be entirely about cartography. Instead of some sort of cheese-inspired adventure, the first game finds Mappy raiding houses full of cats and stealing their valuable radios, televisions, and Mona Lisa forgeries, presumably for police auction fodder. When those crowd-suppressing heat ray vans start cruising the streets of Mappy-Land, you'll know who to blame. Speaking of which, naming an entire geographic region after an active police officer might not be the best way to conceal corruption.
The era of "white guys with suits and badges basically doing whatever they want" hasn't quite faded away, but no one can argue that this period experienced its biggest resurgence during America's postwar period. After all, what else could America's best and brightest do with their bloodlust in the absence of global war? Few characters from L.A. Noire act as a better answer to this question than Roy Earle, who uses his position on the police force to be the best shameless opportunist he can be. Earle takes bribes, buddies up with gangsters, and isn't above selling out his partner to continue his dedication to massive graft. Shake a James Ellroy book hard enough, and a guy like Roy Earle is bound to tumble out from between the pages. (Quick advice: put him back gently.)
Persona 4 resonated with so many gamers, in part, due to its gripping story; the game unfolded a thoroughly engrossing mystery that consistently raised the stakes (and new questions!) with the closing of each successive plotline. And then we found out that Tohru Adachi did it. Not that Persona 4 ended with a whimper or anything, but making the least likely character (even in retrospect) into your perpetrator doesn't typically make for the most rewarding conclusion. Though this could all be to Tohru's credit; to be fair, his reputation on the force remains completely unimpeachable until a Perry Mason-style accusation session causes this formerly affable man to completely lose his shit. Remember kids, even if you've spent months crafting powerful monologues, the short-term gains behind melodramatic confessions just aren't worth it.
The town of Greenvale has its own Ron Swanson, and his name is George Woodman. Stern, mustached, and manly, George stands in stark contrast to colorful protagonist Francis York Morgan and his constant pop cultural conversations with himself. But there's much more to George than meets the eye, and the final hours of Deadly Premonition reveal him to be the serial killer York had spent most of the game both chasing and fleeing from. In retrospect, George's tendency to accidentally snuff out still-living victims at crime scenes should have raised more than a few eyebrows, but this is the same universe where an FBI agent can blow off work for days or weeks at a time without receiving a single reprimand. Still all of that innocent blood shed, and what did George have to show for it? A new boss-fight body that bears a striking similarity to Street Fighter II's Blanka
which is more than most of us can ask for out of life.
On second thought: good for him.
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