D.A. Pursuit of Justice: The Sunset Boulevard Deuce - Hints
by Julie Strasberg

Julie Strasberg is the games goddess of HomePC magazine. As senior editor of entertainment, Julie has been covering the gaming market and writing game reviews for the magazine since its launch in June 1994.

The information-gathering and trial format has been done before, notably in Broderbund's In the First Degree. But the first game in the DA: Pursuit of Justice series foregoes the glamour of a first-degree murder trial to give gamers a taste of what most district attorneys really spend most of their time doing -- pursuing justice for crimes such as driving under the influence.

Just because the case isn't glamorous, however, doesn't mean it's not challenging. You must work as a real attorney does: Gather hard evidence, call credible witnesses to the stand and present your case to a judge and jury that abides by real California code. To be prepared for your day in court, you'll also have to know how to respond to the defending attorney's objections -- and when to make your own.

Your onscreen notebook computer gives you all the options you need. In the information-gathering phase, its map will allow you to travel to the police station to view witness statements and examine evidence, or to the crime lab to pick up the test results you ordered. You can also peruse the files for relevant law to prepare for the mechanics of the trial.

Legacy Software, which publishes this game, also created Emergency Room, a realistic simulation in which you make life and death surgery decisions. D.A.: Pursuit of Justice, is perhaps even more realistic -- and geared toward an older audience than Emergency Room.

The game's well-used full-motion video sequences keep the pace moving. However, since it's likely you won't win the case your first time out (unless you're practiced in trial law, that is), you're likely to see some of the same clips again and again. On one hand, this limits the game's replayability; on the other, it gives you the chance to learn from your mistakes. Expect your first go-round to take an hour or two; subsequent tries should move faster as you learn what evidence you need.

Although the game is designed to teach players how to construct a winning case, its tendency to preach may put some people off. Drunk driving is bad. Very bad. The player is reminded how bad it is with faxes that list the punishment for the offense in other countries, statistics on how many people are killed each year and a strange monologue, given by a court observer, in a restaurant during a recess. Since few people would make a case in favor of the action itself, the reminders seem rather heavy-handed.

Still, as a simulation of a district attorney's typical workweek, D.A.: Pursuit of Justice is both entertaining and compelling. Anyone who's ever wondered about choosing this career path will find it's worth more than a single run-through.

End of Julie Strasberg's comments.

Other notes, author unknown:

Case 1:  The Sunset Blvd. Deuce lets you organize your own evidence and testimonies in you Case Constructor using the same logic real attorneys use. Help with criminal lineups, run fingerprints, perform chemical and blood analysis tests in the crime lab, and heed or dismiss testimony from prison informants.

Case 2: The Gatsby Diamond Jewelry Theft: The defendant is a young co-ed who has developed a new skill they don't teach in school. She's taking things that don't belong to her. This time it's a diamond necklace. Is it a case of mistaken identity or a predictable pattern from a spoiled debutante? The trial involves fashion photographers, models, and a distraught family. You're the only one who can sort it out.

Case 3: The Rat Tattoo Murder: When a pool hall challenge turns from a friendly game of nine-ball to a dangerous skirmish between rival gangs, a young man loses his life. Innocent victim or calculated target? It's you against the defense in a high-profile case from today's headlines. Murder weapon, motive, passionate testimony.it's all there.

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