By wumbo3000 16 Comments
For those who haven’t played the Ace Attorney games, there will be spoilers. You have been warned! Oh yeah, and just in case some folks haven’t seen it, there are also spoilers for The Prestige. Kinda random, but it will be explained in due time. Anyways, onto the lists!
1. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations
2. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All
4. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
5. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Let me get this out of the way upfront: I like Apollo Justice. Really, I do. I didn’t mind Phoenix Wright taking a backseat and embracing his mentor-like role. (Although I might even argue that Phoenix is a more vital part of the story than Apollo even is, but that’s a story for another day.) The updated graphics are nice, and the new gameplay features are interesting to partake in the few occasions they show up. But the biggest flaw about Apollo Justice is that there is no mention of what happened to Maya, Pearl, Edgeworth, etc. These are characters that have been established throughout the course of 3 full games that are given no mention or follow up. I would have been fine if Apollo Justice had a brand spankin’ new set of characters and created a fresh plot line. But the fact that Phoenix Wright and his back story are incorporated so heavily into the story had me wondering where the hell Maya and the rest of crew went. The Kurain spirit channeling stuff was so essential in making the original 3 games so great. The relationship between Mia, Maya, and Pearl was really the crux of the Phoenix story, and why it made it so emotionally riveting. To ignore what was the most important part of Phoenix Wright in Apollo Justice just put a damper into the entire experience.
The Miles Edgeworth game was pretty fun too. Hopefully the second one eventually comes out in English, although I really can't see that happening. The Phoenix Wright games were already for a niche audience, so I can only imagine how a Edgeworth game probably wouldn't be worth the time and effort to localize it. The sequel looks way more intriguing than the first one, with cases that seem to divulge more information about Edgeworth's father and Manfred von Karma.
1. Bridge to the Turnabout (Case 3-5)
2. Turnabout Goodbyes (Case 1-4)
3. Farewell, my Turnabout (Case 2-4)
4. Turnabout Beginnings (Case 3-4)
5. Turnabout Succession (Case 4-4)
If you look at my list of best games, you’ll see a correlation. The final cases are usually what defines a Phoenix Wright game, and Trials and Tribulation’s ultimate case was by far the best of the lot. It’s long, involved, full of twists and turns… really the list goes on and on. And the moment you understand Godot’s true back story and motivation is a pretty emotional moment. Cases 3-1 and 3-4 are basically stepping stones to the culmination of the grand finale that is Bridge to the Turnabout. And seriously, Maya as the final witness to the final case of the final game in the Phoenix Wright trilogy? Amazing, amazing case.
Minor gripe: Iris and Dahlia are twins? Really? Incorporating the twin trope just seemed lame to me. But whatever, it’s better than The Prestige. Ugh.
1. Turnabout Sisters’ Theme (Both the regular and the ballad version)
2. Godot’s Theme – The Fragrance of Dark Coffee
3. Congratulations Everybody
4. Investigation – Cornered (Variation)
5. Police Cell – Jailer’s Elegy
The Phoenix Wright games had some great music. I believe the music had a large impact on why the game can at one moment be so charming and kooky, but then one moment be emotional and profound. There's so much good stuff to choose from that I'm sure if you ask me on another day, I would have a different top 5.
The ballad version of the Turnabout Sisters’ Theme always seems to play at exactly the right moment. It’s used sparingly, but when that song starts going, it is damn effective.