Friday, April 29, 2011

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Phoenix Wright series is, as the name hints, about an attorney at law. You play the part of Phoenix himself and you accompany him from his first case as a defense attorney. The premise of every case is always that your client is innocent. From here you get to investigate crime scenes, present items to witnesses and police detectives to try and gather information to build your case.

The judicial system in the series is singular. Every trial must be wrapped up in three days from its beggining and only the prosecution can call forth any witnesses. Which means only you, as the defense, get to cross-examine witnesses. Most often than not one of the witnesses themselves is the killer (yes, you only deal in murder cases).

Oh yes, there will be boobs.
It is a japanese game afterall.

The first Phoenix Wright was originally for the GBA and they ported it to the DS. As a special treat, they added a brand new case to play after the credits. This case is easily as long as the rest of the game with all its cases put together. They also present some new investigation tools which I thoroughly enjoyed like luminol and testing for fingerprints. They did this to show ways the touch screen could make the game more interesting and immersive and they did that. They accomplished it brilliantly. Too bad they forgot about it for all the rest of the series. It's like he suddenly forgets he can test for prints. Ok, so he gots bonked in the head in the first case of the second game but his memory returns eventually. And the first case is actually the second case! Oh nevermind.

The game does a real good job at making you relate to Nick. He's more than the sprite that plays out your actions. Since your first case you get the feeling that this guy has feelings, has friends, had a life before you showed up, has secrets, has quirks. The game was beautifully adapted and translated into English. Considering it's a game that depends solely on text to get you through it, a bad translation could've broken it for all of us but they took special care with it, one can tell.

Yes the game is super immersive, imho, and I can get lost playing it for hours on end and, yes, you can relate to Nick, the nervous attourney but at times you really wonder: what in the Maker's name is going on in Phoenix's head?

Most of the times one of two things happens: you've figured everything out and Phoenix is bluffing his way through the trial, Objecting to everything just because he can, reassuring you at every turn that he has no idea why he's doing the things he's doing. OR, Phoenix gets a sly grin splattered across his face and announces he's figured everything out while you still have no idea how or who did what when. Still, things usually end up ok and if they don't, well, the game let's you save at any time.

The world in general liked Phoenix Wright, as did I, and the Tubes is full of parodies and spoofs and homages and yaoi fan fiction. (Just search for Phoenix Wrong to get a few thousand resutls.) This, however, is the one I always liked the most.

Oh and they're apparently making a Phoenix Wright vs Professor Layton game. How awesome/weird is that?

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, Sara. Are you fond of playing this game?  There's also a cross-over battle game where Phoenix Wright is included in the rosters. Have you checked that one? It's cool and filled with action. I guess games like these suit law students out there. =) After all, they deserve some time for amusement despite of their loaded schedule for studies.