‘OBJECTION!’ is yelled in a courtroom as I Phoenix Wright gets ready to delivery vital evidence which will prove once and for all that some larger than life lady knows more than she is letting on, who for some reason won’t stop winking at me. Welcome to the crazy anime courtroom drama that is Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright.
Originally released 18 years ago in Japan, we didn’t meet Phoenix until 2005 when it came out in the west on the Nintendo DS. I sadly missed out on the trilogy, but with it now all neatly wrapped up in one remastered bundle I have now experienced the insane universe where anything can happen in and out of the courtroom. Has this remastered been done, Wright? (Had to fit in this pun somewhere) I believe it has, yes.
This remaster includes all three Phoenix Wright games, updated with new HD art. Overall nothing has really changed, keeping the same comedic atmosphere and tone that made the originals so engaging. I must admit whilst the HD art looks nice I wish they had redone the pixel art from the original releases, it’s not a complaint I just think the games art style was part of its charm.
You are, as the title suggests Phoenix Wright. A rookie defence attorney who tries to get his clients off the hook for any crimes they have been falsely accused of. Each title is presented in an interactive visual novel format. Like with most visual novels, the focus is on the story. A story which is incredibly bizarre, but well written enough to keep you engrossed throughout.
The story is episodic, split up into individual cases. Each case (or Turnabout) you play is different, although usually revolve around murder. Occasionally certain plotlines will spill over into other cases, allowing for backstories to develop and unexpected revelations to unfold.
In this legal universe as well as defending, you will also be gathering evidence, luckily these portions of the game won’t be too taxing for those who wish to progress with the story. It’s just a simple case of clicking on objects you believe are clues to the case you are working on, as long as you are paying attention you’ll likely not hit any obstacles in your playthrough stopping the flow of the game.
In the courtroom you’ll be doing whatever you can to win the case, presenting evidence from the investigation. Finding lies in witnesses’ testimonies and ultimately exposing lies to uncover the truth and get justice served. As long as you keep referring to any evidence or findings, it’s difficult to go wrong. Although if you do go wrong expect to lose part of Phoenix’s life bar, which would cause the case to go against you and having to restart.
All three games follow the same gameplay formula; it’s straightforward enough that after the second case you’ll be confident enough to ensure justice is served in no time at all. The sequels add even more wacky characters to meet and the Psyche – lock method of investigating, which you can utilise to help cover someone’s innermost secrets
With a cast of zany characters and well-written scenarios, all sprinkled with some great humour the Ace Attorney games still hold up as well as they did back when they originally released all those years ago.
This may just be a simple remaster with a coating of new HD artwork, which may put off those who maybe wanted some extras thrown into the mix. But it does not take away what is a great trilogy of over the top courtroom anime goodness. Perfect for newcomers to the series and a great nostalgic trip for those who played the original releases.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*