Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice First Impressions
For people who don’t know, “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney-Justice for All” was selected as our site’s pick for Most Anticipated Game of 2016. So any chance that I had to play this game outside of importing it I took it. So what did I think of the games demo? Simply put: I loved it. While the demo is roughly about half an hour, you get the complete Ace Attorney feel fans will know and love, while still being very newcomer friendly.
The demo throws you right into the middle of your first trial, where your tour guide is being accused of murder. Phoenix is thrown into the midst of a trial- while on vacation. It seems that, no matter where he goes, he will never truly get a day off. However, theres a big difference here in the courts compared to back home. In the courts here there are no defense attorneys, so defendants are not allowed to have legal representation.
Seeing as it was a demo, I had to suspend my disbelief a bit here as to why they allowed Wright to defend his client.Nonetheless, the gameplay here is still very tried and true to the Ace Attorney series: you cross examine the witness ans look for contradictions in their testimonies. That being said, the demo instead takes time to demonstrate the new gameplay mechanic. The mechanic this time around would be “spirit visions” (which makes sense since we are in the country of the Kurain after all). Here, you get a chance to see what victims saw moments before their deaths. This is normally seen as definitive evidence to the defendants guilt, but Phoenix Wright would never take that lying down and instead openly defies the readings, managing to point out contradictions in the visions.
Pointing out contradictions is basically similar to cross examination, but instead of comparing the testimony to the evidence, you are comparing what is actually shown in the vision versus what is being said is in the vision. This opens a very interesting way to find the truth. For the sake of the demo it was rather simple, so I hope going forward this mechanic is extremely fleshed out. Dual Destinies was disappointing that, while the Mood Matrix was a shiny new mechanic for the series, it was very simple and there was no real flare to it. Plus, there were no consequences if you messed up. This time around if you do mess up in spotting the contradictions, you will be penalized. But at the end of the day, this new mechanic does have quite a bit of potential to add a welcome breath of fresh air into the courtroom.
“Spirit of Justice” is the fourth game in the Ace Attorney series to venture into the world of 3D. It truly does show that as well with how many improvements are made to the game’s overall performance. There are fully 3D animated scenes in this game like that of Dai Gyakuten Saiban. The scenes are very well crafted and I was surprised at what they managed to accomplish on the hardware of the 3DS.
The visuals in this game are also a lot crisper compared to that of Dual Destinies, and overall are very appealing to the eye. When Rayfa was performing her ritual to see the spirit visions, I was entranced with her dancing and amazed as to how well it was animated for the 3DS. I would like to hope that the visual improvements and gameplay changes continue in the rest of the game.
Finally, what is Ace Attorney without the music? I like to put the music in Ace Attorney easily in the top 5 OSTs of all time, so this game has a high bar to meet after the magnificent soundtrack of Dai Gyakuten Saiban and Dual Destinies. While Wright’s Objection theme is just a furthered remix of Objection!~2004, it still sounds extremely well and fits the situations very well. The music of the Kurain is also very atmospheric and makes me think that I am indeed in a mystic country. I look forward to hearing more of this game’s music as my adventure progresses.
All in all, “Spirit of Justice” is looking to be a very strong addition to the Ace Attorney series and is without a doubt going to be a must have game for 3DS owners in September. I look forward to playing the full game, and giving a full indepth review of everything the game has to offer.
“Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice” launches on the Nintendo eShop on September 8th.