Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Case 1: Turnabout defense. A review of the Ace Attorney main series

*please note that I try to keep my reviews G-PG

This is one of the franchises I thought I’d never look at simply because of the genre. But thanks to a few friends of mine, I have played most of the games in the series enjoyed what I played and thought it might be time to look at gaming’s lawyer. The prosecution is ready, the defense is ready, court is now in session for the review of the Phoenix Wright “games”.

The Prosecution’s opening statement: To the keen eye, the “” around games was no accident. Some people struggle to call these games games. These are more visual novels and no matter what you do, you have to play the story out to the end. In the story, you are, for the most part, Phoenix Wright, a defense attorney who, start the start of the series, is starting out and becomes better as the games progress.

“The prosecution calls its first witness to the stand.

The testimony and Cross Examination: Before most cases (the first case in every game is a exception) you have an investigation, or to me it’s a “touch every ware on the screen” mode. While you investigate, you can search the area for evidence, talk to people who are in the room or move to another room, the more complicated the case, the more rooms you have to go through and the more backtracking you have to do. While it isn’t a problem in Duel Destinies, the newest one for the 3DS (at time of review), in the GBA and DS games, you can only progress to a specific area in a specific order, for example, to get to the boat keeper’s house in the first game, you have to go to the lake and to get to the lake, you have to go to the entrance to the park. While it might not seem that bad at first, it quickly becomes very annoying (something I’m glad they fixed in DD). Another issue that is fixed in Duel Destinies is a small prompt on your curser that shows you what you have already investigated and what you haven’t another thing I’m glad they fixed.

“OBJECTION!!!. This conflicts with the script, there is more to this then the witness is telling us”

If you give me a minute, I can explain the next phase

After you have investigated all that you can on a given day, you can begin the trial for that case, what I believe to be the best part of the game. In the trials, you have to present specific evidence at specific points in witness’s testimonies. In the testimonies, you can either question points further or present contradictory evidence, such as an autopsy report if the witness’s statement doesn’t match the report or people’s mug shots if again, the testimony contradicts the evidence. At first, the cases are pretty simple but as you progress through the games, bigger and bigger trials are accessible and require more and more evidence, it becomes a memory game trying to remember what evidence you have used already. The game is a bit vague overall when it comes to finding the contradictory evidence but it makes it more satisfying when you find the right one. The music is always fitting when you find the right evidence as well. As soon as you find the right evidence, the music cuts and a special track will play when the defense points out the flaw which, to me, makes you feel accomplished, as soon as I hear the music cuts out, you often think “Gotcha you lying jerk”. Which leads to another great thing about this, the animations of the characters, while the original trilogy might only have 32-bit sprites, the animations they make are really well done and its always satisfying to see their breakdowns (my favorite being Damon Grant’s from the 5th case in the first game). The sprite reuse can come off as a bit lazy but I’m willing to let it slide as they are still high quality.

“HOLD IT!!! Who are the main characters?”

Again I’m getting to it. Aside from Phoenix Wright, you will also be running into Miles Edgeworth, the main prosecutor, Detective Dick Gumshoe and Maya Fey in the original trilogy, Trucy Wright in the second trilogy, Apollo Justice, The Judge and several other characters that I will leave as a surprise.

“In conclusion your honor, the defendant has told me that he believes that these games are good assuming you’re not looking for any actual game. This review hasn’t covered the Edgeworth games as they need a separate review. It’s a entertaining story that Point and click enthusiasts would enjoy.”

“Then I find the defendant…”

NOT GUILTY And worth playing

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