Release date: 09/04/19
PlayStation page: Ace Attorney Homepage
That’s right, PlayStation finally has access to the entertaining, absurd and zany world of law attorney Phoenix Wright in this trilogy of games which were first released on the Gameboy Advance but then later revamped for the Nintendo DS in which I first played them on. Even though I had played them, I was excited to get a renewed version for the PS4 to play through again. Let me tell you all about it, here we go…
First things first for me and it looks great. I love the anime/manga style of the Phoenix Wright games and it doesn’t fail here on the PS4 version, it looks lovely. The colours are bright and the graphics are sharp, they are very reminiscent of a visual novel. The game itself does play as a visual novel sometimes as you do read dialogue rather than voice actors reading it out but it doesn’t last long and before you know it, you are searching an area for clues or you are cross examining a witness. I would mostly put it in the adventure genre added in with a little visual novel.
So, moving on to the story and you start the game as Phoenix Wright the rookie attorney who always seems to be in cases with the odds stacked against him but the truth will prevail. He is a determined protagonist who will always find a way to get to the truth and serve some justice. He is a likeable underdog and he does have some help on his side in the shape of his assistant Maya Fey who happens to be a trained spirit medium which will come in handy. She is another likeable character and the witty talk between her and Phoenix is fun to read.
There are other regular characters which pop up throughout the trilogy too, one is Detective Gumshoe who will be a worthy ally despite his initial bumbling nature and another is Miles Edgeworth. Edgeworth is an arrogant, ruthless persecutor who becomes kind of an arch nemesis for Phoenix. As you progress through the game, the plot thickens between Phoenix and Edgeworth and thanks to the quality of the writing, it most certainly becomes more interesting.
The characters within the trilogy are very much a plus point of the game because each are unique. Even the minor characters are memorable and a little zany in their own way. Again, the writing is fantastic and this really builds each character.
Moving on to the gameplay and the game moves from searching crime scenes for clues, interviewing witnesses or being in the courtroom. All three are fun but the courtroom is where it gets really interesting. What at first sight seems like a bulletproof case, they soon descend into chaos as witnesses will regularly tell lies on the stand and it is up to you to see the contradictions in their testimony.
As cases descend into chaos it becomes outrageous and over the top but that is part of the charm for me. Implausible plot twists will also happen but because we are privy to the craziness from the start then our threshold for belief isn’t broken. You learn to expect the unexpected.
Touching on the audio side of things, the music is pretty much how I remember it from its Nintendo DS days. In fact, the whole trilogy of games is pretty much a carbon copy of the originals but that is irrelevant, they are good games so no need to meddle too much.
The music seems to fit in to the courtroom drama perfectly. As you comb through a witnesses’ testimony, there will be a steady and smooth beat but once you find a contradiction, the music soon ratchets up to a vibrant upbeat sound. As silly as it sounds, the music helps push you forward in the case.
The downside of the game that some gamers might not enjoy is that it is purely the three games. Nothing more and nothing less. There has been no extras added, not even any digital art and despite it not affecting my overall thoughts on the game, I can see why it may nark some people. This is only a minor quibble though that I wanted to point out. If that is all that is wrong with the game then it isn’t doing bad.
These games are so popular and have been for so many years. The demand is high for new games in the series and lets hope if the sales are good that this will push Capcom to develop more in the series. With the dynamic graphics and anime style these games have kept their place in peoples hearts, I myself have purchased these games multiple times and they are so good that they have stood the test of time with just a few graphical upgrades over the years.
Check out the trailer below: