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Review – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (NDS)

Are you a fan of Law and Order?  Are you a fan of books?  Do you love what the “Dating Sim Interface” has to offer for gaming?  Then Phoenix Wright is for you!


It doesn’t really have much in common with Law and Order after all.  You see, you’re a defense attorney, not a cop or a DA Prosecutor.  There also isn’t much in common with Dating Sims since this game offers little choice and is in fact very linear.  Still, it has lots in common with books!  Or at least the reading part.

Phoenix Wright is a unique game idea that isn’t quite executed as well as it could be.

For starters, the ability to finish cases early would be completely awesome.  Hell the option to finish them via multiple paths would be great as well.  Instead each case in this game is a round table of choice-less decisions and scripted events that actually gets a little old as the game goes on.  The whole evidence and objecting thing is fun until the <strike>final</strike> fourth chapter where it starts to become a huge farce.  Somewhat conveniently all of the cases work together into a mostly coherent story as well.

As much as I want to really love this game, I can’t say I’m truly satisfied with it’s “wander aimlessly until you trigger event Y” game play.  Also the cases tend to run a little long.  I found myself tired of the final case in the story on day 1.  All that reading on the small screen can get a little monotonous.

I didn’t even finish the final fifth bonus case.  For the unaware, this DS game is a remake of a GBA game.  They added a 5th case to the mix.  I hear the 5th case is as long as the other 4 combined.  That sounds like a job I’m not interested in.  At all.

Phoenix also lives in a strange world of Judiciary.  All clients are guilty until proven innocent.  And often even in the face of evidence that would get any normal man off the hook.  Also there doesn’t seem to be a jury.  The Judge makes all decisions.  If you can’t defend your client and points no matter how much you’ve proven, your client goes to jail and you loose.

Granted thee isn’t much else you can have for this style of game for “life” and “game over scenarios”.

Anyway, one addition annoying factor is that every witness, no matter who it is, is either lying to extremely forgetful of obvious useful facts.  When pressed they will always crack or remember the truth and in general change their story.  Apparently Perjury isn’t a crime in Phoenix’s bizzaro land.

As a final verdict (GET IT, VERDICT), I pronounce this game guilty of being overly long and full of generally annoying plot holes.  It may be worth playing for one or two cases to experience the concept but don’t stress yourself trying to find a copy and completing everything.  It also has zero replay value.

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