Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Published September 12, 2015 by Amanda B. Greene

I recently bought the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for the Nintendo 3DS and I’m currently in the middle of Justice For All. So far, I’m really loving the games. I’ve never had the chance to play them before when they first came out, so I’m happy to finally get around to it. I’m going to review each of the games, starting with first. So without further ado, let’s get started.

** Review **

** 9.0/10 **

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Story

Since Ace Attorney is all about its plot, including the many twists and turns in its mysteries, I won’t go spoiling anything for those who are thinking about trying the game out for the first time. I can give you the basic premise though. You play as a new defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, who has a lot of potential. He is being trained and assisted by Mia Fey who has a lot of experience and good advice.

You’ll grow to love the characters as you get to know more about them. Everything about the story is done well like each of the cases and the dialogue. The feeling of figuring everything out every time is so rewarding, especially considering nothing is ever simple or straight-forward.

Gameplay

You typically start off by learning about a recent situation that occurred and that’s when you meet with whoever is the suspect of the crime to see if he or she will let you take their case. After that, you have to investigate by talking to everyone and finding evidence in and around the crime scene. When everything is covered, the next day you go to court.

Now this is when things get cooking. You have the judge ask if both the prosecution and the defense are ready to begin with the proceedings. The first witness gets called up to the stand to say his or her testimony and then it’s your turn to “cross-examine” it and try to find any possible contradictions. Often, you’ll have to look at what evidence you have in the court record and try to come up with what truly happened. Pressing on certain statements is very important and can sometimes lead into different directions. When you think you found the contradiction, and the clues to match, you can shout “Objection!” and try to fit all the pieces to the puzzle. Things go on from there.

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I truly appreciate the climbing difficulty from one case to the next, as well as the creativity behind each chapter. It’s easy to get addicted to, much like a book – you have to see what happens next. While I’m not entirely familiar with “visual novel” games, I like the genre because it’s a unique experience.

The only criticism I have is that the last case had new gameplay features that weren’t in the other chapters. For example, you could discover things like hidden fingerprints and blood as well as take a closer look at pieces of evidence. I wish these features would’ve been introduced earlier instead of just at the very end.

Music

There’s not much to say about the soundtrack other than it’s fantastic. Each of the tracks sound great and appropriate to any given situation. The “2001 Objection!” song is just one of best things I’ve ever heard. With this kind of game, the music can either make or break the experience (like how bad audio is worse than bad video when it comes to a movie), but Ace Attorney is spot-on.

It easily pumps you up right away the closer you are to solving a case or at least getting more progress with each court debate. When the stakes are high, you feel it. That’s the best way I can describe it. You just feel in the zone.

Final Note

I highly recommend the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy to anyone who love great, deep narratives that are both challenging and like I said before, rewarding. There’s something about figuring things out in this game that makes you feel like a boss.

The first game quickly draws you in and feel fully immersed into the story. They certainly did a amazing job making interesting and lovable characters like Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth. Each new case gets more complicated and harder to prove your defendant is innocent; they’re all cleverly done well. And that’s all for now, thanks for reading!

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