A marvellous port of a DS classic
The Ace Attorney series is one like no other in gaming: they’re witty, full of outdated memes and pop culture references (used mostly ironically), bundled with good plots, intriguing mysteries and warm characters who fans of the series are very fond of. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, now available on the iTunes Store, is where it all began.
For the most part, the iPhone edition of Ace Attorney is a straight port of the DS version, which in turn was a port of the Japanese-only GBA version, but that’s not a bad thing. Players take control of rookie attorney, Phoenix Wright, as he investigates and gets to the bottom of five cases, all the while defending the (always framed) accused in the court of law. The investigative parts of the game involve talking to witnesses, finding clues and coming to conclusions, and is also the part where one of the series’ most loved characters, Dectective Gumshoe, is mostly present.
After investigating, the game takes us to court, which starts off reasonably calm and sensible, but eventually turns into a complete circus after Phoenix uses his unique cross-examination technique, and presents wild evidence that the prosecution isn’t even aware of. These two segments of gameplay are what keeps it fresh, and whilst I personally find the court room antics far more exciting than the investigative areas, cutting the dramatic scenes with some exploration and investigation keeps this game alive.
It’s not often where I can say that an iPhone version is the definitive one, but for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney this is definitely the case. The interface on the DS, which works perfectly with the stylus, has been adapted for fingers and thumbs sliding across the screen for the iPhone, and the the smaller screen (whem compared to the two DSi screens on top of eachother) makes the slightly pixelated graphics on the DS look sharper.
All these improvements on an already excellent game would normally warrant a hefty price tag, but Capcom have gone ahead and released a significantly higher quality game at the price of £2.99, which definitely keeps it within the same price bracket as far inferior titles. Even at £9.99 it would be incredible – at £2.99 it’s a bargain. If you like a bit of silly humour and enjoy story-driven games, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney should already be on your iPhone. In fact, you should be eagerly awaiting its sequel, Justice for All.