riostarwind's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice (Nintendo 3DS eShop) review

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Six games into this series and the one thing it does best is being consistent about telling a exciting story

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The Ace Attorney series has been going on for quite a while at this point. I’ve tried to keep up fairly well but I’m way behind on this one. Which is too bad since this game has plenty of amusing or harrowing moments that kept me hooked till the credits rolled. First up let's get you caught up on the machinations of Phoenix Wright.

Dramatic finger pointing is still on display in all of it's glory.
Dramatic finger pointing is still on display in all of it's glory.

We find our loveable lawyer on vacation in the land of Khura’in. A boy named Ahlbi has promised to be his tour guide while he waits for his previous assistant Maya to finish her spiritual training. Yet almost immediately his tour guide gets arrested. While trying to see what is going on in the courts he quickly realized that the boy has no defence attorney. He just can’t look away so he leaps into help the boy by becoming his attorney. Yet soon comes to realize that defense attorneys are despised in this land. Only time will tell if that will change.

At this point six games in this series have been released. Thus the gameplay loop hasn’t really changed in a while. Phoenix must comb through witness testimony to find a flaw in their logic. Then either press them for more info or present a piece of evidence that proves that they are lying. In the courtroom at least since outside of it plays like more of a classic adventure game with very few puzzle elements. Going around talking to people and scanning through environments to find all the pieces of evidence he needs. Plus each new game does add one new gameplay element.

Some of these later courtroom vision moments can be rather confusing.
Some of these later courtroom vision moments can be rather confusing.

This time it is the insight of the priestess Rayfa. She can see into the last moments of the deceased and then interpret the vision. As you might expect, that'll never go your way so the player needs to point out facts in the vision that don’t match her version of the story. This plays out like a video so you’ll have to pick a line of dialogue and then point out the part of the vision that isn’t right. Thus getting you a bit closer to what really happened. Really just a variation on what you’ll already be doing in the game. Other than the logic puzzle factor most of the reason why you’ll be wanting to see more is the wide cast of wacky characters that seem to show up in the courtroom.

Whether it’s a priest that has the soul of a rock star or a rakugo performer with multiple personalities you’ll never quite know who might show up next. Another cool part is that this game gives Apollo Justice a real conclusion to his story arc. The previous game was mostly focused on YO Phoenix is back. So it’s good to see a character get a better ending after it was left half done last time. Maybe I just didn’t read the signs right but finding out what really happened at the same time as Apollo felt pretty awesome.

The main real downside is that each case doesn’t quite have the same ump as the next one. It really shows in Athena’s solo case. Who is a new defense attorney that got introduced in the last game. Really felt like a remember these guys case. Just kinda put in between the insane stuff going on in the main storyline. Which is too bad but it doesn’t overstay its welcome too long before your right back into the thick of it.

Overall this was a very enjoyable video game. Plenty of moments of surprise and plenty of last minute turnabouts to see. In general I would consider this to be one of the better games in the series. Sure It has been a bit since I’ve played one of these yet the highs in this one are pretty darn high. Worth playing if you're a fan of the series. Maybe not the best place to start though if you’ve never played one of these before. While the main story is new, all the interactions with previous characters might not have as much impact without knowledge of the previous games.The Ace Attorney Trilogy is a better place to start so check it out if you're curious after reading this review for some reason.

Other reviews for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice (Nintendo 3DS eShop)

    One of the weaker Ace Attorney entries, but entertaining nonetheless. 0

    I've been a fan of the Ace Attorney series ever since the first one was released on the DS way back in 2005. The games in the series have been consistently funny and interesting (although Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was, in my opinion, the low point of the series), and I've always looked forward to each new game in the series. Having said that, while Spirit of Justice was fun, and I'd recommend it to hardcore fans, it seems almost paint-by-numbers, despite some alterations to the formula. If yo...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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