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PLATFORM: Nintendo DS
ESRB RATING: T
“The end of Phoenix Wright!”
After playing through Harvey Birdman, which ended up being a kid’s version of Capcom’s Phoenix Wright games, I knew I had to get back into the series that kicked off the lawyer genre. The latest installment, Trials and Tribulations, was released last October, but I’d been slow on the draw with it…
I shouldn’t have waited. This is the best game in the series.
Here is the most complete story, the most rounded gameplay, the same characters more fleshed out and believable. It’s a fitting end for the Wright trilogy.
Phoenix Wright knew from the start that the only way to survive in prison was to take off his mask and just go to town.
It brings us full circle to the main character’s years as a lawyer, from him getting interested in the profession in the first place to finishing up his most important case. For the first time every trial in the game (there are 5) is relevant to the main story, and there’s a nice arc to the characters.
You won’t only control Wright, either. You’ll also play as his mentor Mia Fey and learn about her past, and even play as his rival from the first game (Miles Edgeworth) to help out during a section where Wright is incapacitated.
If you’ve played one of these before, you’ll be right at home here. You’ll investigate crimes and then go to court and determine who’s lying and why. It’s a brilliant adventure game that just compelely works because you actually feel as if each little piece of evidence brings you closer to the truth, as if every little lie you uncover in a witness’ faulty
testimony breaks them down a lot more.
Why doesn’t everyone love this series? For one thing, the game is very Japanese, and in typical fashion goes from being quirky and funny to downright weird by the end. Along the course of the game you’ve got possessed dead people
on trial, a transvestite French chef, twins backstabbing each other, and a mysterious white-haired prosecutor who wears a Cyclops helmet and drinks coffee nonstop.
“And I have a bitchin’ Viewmaster.”
It’s the humor from the first two games that you’d expect, that violent and crazy but ultimately cloying kind of Japanese humor. But seeing as the game this time is the end of Phoenix Wright as a main star, it’s much more… sentimental than you’d expect, if that’s the word for a video game. The end gets downright sappy, in fact, as they bring back every significant character from the series to say goodbye and leave you on a happy note. It gets a little much but it’s really the only way you could end this incredible trio of games, and well worth playing through.
Again, if you’ve played the previous two games, you know what to expect. Same character illustrations, same musical cues, same music. It’s good, but it’s nothing that pushes the DS hardware, of course, since this DS version is based on a GBA game.
The music does a great job of getting you excited when you’re close to cracking a case, though. Always has.
These games don’t have a helluva lot of replay, but you’ll want them in your library to go back to again and again. I feel like brushing up on the first two now, but since Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is on the way it’d probably be smarter to wait a few weeks for the new one.
But if there’s one thing this game is, it’s LONG. It’s really long. The cases go on forever, and during a couple of them you’ll even have multiple trials. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this.
Batman became a bit of a dick in later years.
A fitting end for Phoenix Wright… everything you could want in the last game in his series.
Bring on Apollo!