OH MAN DISTORTED TRAVESTY STORY ANALYSIS*
Concerning comments on the writing/bickering--I feel as though Jerry was a lot more sympathetic in the first DT; while he was quite proud of his vidja gaming abilities there, he didn't seem quite so full of himself, and certainly never disrespected the abilities of his allies--rather, he had a penchant (much to Jeremy's embarrassment) for making cheesy but apparently heartfelt remarks about The Power of Friendship, which gave him an endearing side. In DT2, he was a lot more of a jerky-jerk, but that made sense considering we were seeing things from the perspective of Claire, who apparently had a bad falling out with him, and with whom one can speculate he always had something of a rivalry, a dynamic which was heightened by their separate, parallel investigations in that game. But then that game taught us that self-actualization need not come at the cost of rejecting or belittling others, and we were all very enriched, uplifted, and generally became better people as a result of our experience.
What seems odd about the writing in DT3 is that despite a shift to a perspective more like the first game, Jerry still comes off more as he did in (the first half of) DT2; that is, we seem to focus more (though perhaps not quite as exclusively) on his more flawed aspects. What's more, neither he nor Claire seem to have learned anything from the events of DT2; the ending of the second game seems to suggest that A) Jerry has learned respect Claire as a competent individual with her own strengths and abilities, including abilities which falls outside of his and Jeremy's own skillsets, and B) Claire has learned that their are limits to what one lone maverick can accomplish by themselves, and that receiving help from others is not a sign of weakness, but in some cases the most effective way for individuals to draw the most from their own respective strengths. The ending implies their acquiring at least the seed of developing an understanding of one another as complex human beings, and letting go of the grotesque caricatures they have built up of one another since their falling-out, allowing them to move on with life. Then comes the start of the third game, and--well, none of that seems to apply any longer, and we're back to "You're a jerk!" "Well, you're a berk!". What's more, differences in voice aside, they seem to have sort of leveled into the same character motivation-wise, both concerned solely with wanting to be the best, like no one ever was, and making sure that the other knows that they hold this proud title.
In some respects, that sort of makes sense, structurally--at the start of DT3, those very same skills our protagonists have learned to respect in one another have suddenly been taken away--they are now definitely equals, but only insofar as neither one can do much of anything. At the same time, each feels motivated to prove their superiority precisely because the differences between them are so minor; it's the very lack of meaningful distinction itself which drives them so hard to try to distinguish themselves from one another. Things take a bit of a cruel turn as Jerry quickly builds up a respectable ability set, while Claire is still left with naught but the ability to run and bop very specific types of enefoes on the noggin, essentially leaving her as redundant baggage, the very thing she was driven in the second game to prove to Jerry that she wasn't. Interestingly, Jerry, despite retaining his snarkiness in his exchanges with her, is oddly diplomatic in not reminding her that she is currently completely outclassed by him (Chao takes care of that one, surprisingly). What's more, when she wonders aloud when she'll finally get her turn again, his response is along the lines of "in due time, soon enough, soon enough", and not "lol noob wut cud u do?" In retrospect, I may have been a bit to harsh on him above, as even when he is being snarky, one never gets the sense that he actually means it, whereas there's a bit more of an undertone of genuine bitterness in some of Claire's remarks towards him. But I wouldn't be surprised if that's in itself motivated by some legitimate past grievances.
That all said--it's not unreasonable to assume that character development will follow gameplay development. In that respect, we can probably expect to get a Claire-specific chapter soon, in which she acquires her own abilities, distinct from but by no means inferior to Jerry, returning them to a relative position more similar to that in the second game. And then, of course, we can expect subsequent Claire-and-Jerry segments to require using their respective ability sets in conjunction with one another, with each not only accomplishing things the other cannot, but indeed helping their teammate to apply their own abilities in the best way possible, in a way they could not achieve on their respective lonesomes. Thus will rivalry necessarily give way to cooperation, and the Power of Friendship will again succeed over those who wish to sow division and discord. yaaaaaaaay
* Let is be known that the above was written when I should have been continuing work on a proper piece of academic literary analysis. Just call me Efficient-Use-Of-Time-And-Resources Jones!†
† It is not actually mandatory to call me Efficient-Use-Of-Time-And-Resources Jones.