Monday, August 19, 2013

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is an adventure, visual novel developed and published by Capcom. It originally came out on the Game Boy Advance in Japan only before being re-released for the Nintendo DS. The game stars Phoenix Wright, a new Defense Attorney who works under the watchful eye of his mentor, Mia Fey. The game chronicles Phoenix Wright as he takes on clients charged with murder and who usually have a stack wall of evidence piled against them. Your job is to prove your client's innocence and locate the real murderer through use of contradictions in witness testimonies, and finding evidence.

The game has five stages overall with the first four being from the original Game Boy Advance version, and the fifth being a special edition exclusive to the DS. Phoenix Wright can be played one of three ways: with the touch screen and pen, by holding down the Y button and talking into the microphone at certain parts, and the traditional way with the controls.

The gameplay plays just like a novel with pictures, utilizing first-person-view when communicating with others to further suck you into the story. The only time we do see Phoenix in the third person is during the courthouse scenes. During the courthouse scenes, you'll hear the prosecution witness give their testimony of what they saw at the crime scene and it's your job to find the lies in their testimony. To get more information out of them during the cross-examination you can press them. In addition to the courthouse, you'll also be doing your own investigating outside. Talking to people, looking for clues, and finding evidence all to prepare you for the coming trial.

The story is pretty solid with plenty of interesting and well developed characters, and the game knows when to be serious, when to be funny, and when to pull at your heartstrings. If there is one flaw I can name about the story, it's that during an explanation about an old case in stage two they build up to what sounds like this amazing case with many twists and turns, but when you see the actual case with your own eyes in stage four it's nothing like how it was described. To the point that had they not outright said, “This is the case we were talking about” you would have thought it was another case altogether.

Apart from that the rest are just nitpicks. Like how a lot of the objections raised by the defense would not hold up in a real court of law. Or the whole dead sister coming back to life through the younger sister and the younger sister somehow getting older and having her dead sister's bra size and nobody seems to notice, but that's anime logic at your finest and it's meant to be fun.

The main flaw in this game is in the genre like with Monster Rancher. While it can be fun the first time around, the game doesn't have the most replayability. Once you know the story and everything that's going to happen the only real surprises is seeing what happens if you answer with one of the other options given during a question. Then the fun just comes from how much you love the game in general.

All in all (wish I could be given a dime each time I say that), if you enjoy fun visual novel adventures with an anime style and a good story to boot, then Phoenix Wright may very well be what you're looking for. If not then Phoenix Wright probably isn't the best game you can get yourself on the DS.

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