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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS) artwork

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS) review

"What would the world be like without lawyers? An inhospitable wasteland full of creeps? Or an amicable society free of backstabbing SOBs? Either way, everyone knows that you can't live them, nor can you live without them. "

What would the world be like without lawyers? An inhospitable wasteland full of creeps? Or an amicable society free of backstabbing SOBs? Either way, everyone knows that you can't live them, nor can you live without them.

Meet Phoenix Wright. He's a nobody who wants to become a somebody, and what better way to claim fame than to take down evil-doers in the court of law. He wants to become an Ace Attorney and over five lengthy, text-driven chapters, he eventually will. Easier said than done.

There are many hardships that he will have to endure first. Not only are most of his defendants complete imbeciles (despite their charming innocence), the real crooks outside the line of fire are constantly inundating the truth with their disgusting lies. It doesn't help that the prosecution is led by a couple of elitists who bend the rules to the elastic limit. And it's not all fun and games in between the rigorous trials either; there are many shocking moments that would take a toll on even the most secure-in-life citizen.

But everyone knows that upholding the law is not about smelling the roses. Phoenix knows what he's in for and damn if he's going to let the bad guys get the best of him. Should they have enough face to blatantly lie while under oath, Phoenix can yell "objection!" to stop all proceedings and allow the air to clear as he details why the projected scenario is an impossibility. Of course, he won't do so unless you tell him to. You need to pay attention to the dubious statements that are consistently being flung around. There's a lot of text to sift through and although it's laden with plenty of offbeat humour, a lot of words means a lot of reading. Sure, the energising music sounds as if Phoenix is going to go "Hadoken!" at any moment, but if you're for anything more than pressing statements and presenting conflicting pieces of evidence, you're looking at the wrong Capcom game.

For what it is, Ace Attorney succeeds in being a great 'adventure' game. While on investigation duty, Phoenix will encounter some rather colourful characters brimming with exaggerated stereotypical personalities. Finding clues can be a bit of a chore as sometimes every little pixel needs to be examined to uncover a small, but important detail. However, once you're back in the court room, things heat up, and as you slowly unravel a devious set-up and break open testimonies to uncover the lies and deceit within, the feeling is in a single word: euphoric.

It isn't for everyone and ideally only the literate should consider playing. If you can bring yourself to endure a mountain of dialogue filled with enough solid-gold material to win a literary prize (which it won't since it is just a video game), you won't ever regret it. Ace Attorney is genuinely funny and oftentimes provocative, and in a world full of plumbers, secret agents and demon hunters, it's nice to see the dignified (albeit arrogant) law profession get some representation.

arkrex's avatar
Community review by arkrex (November 02, 2007)

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