Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright — Justice For All (2007)

Genre: Adventure, Visual Novel | Players: 1 | Developer: Capcom

As with most sequels, Justice for All throws a few new gameplay mechanics into the mix. The majority increase ease of use and make things more interesting. The rest fail to detract in any overly significant way.

This time around you can present character profiles as well as evidence, making some exchanges simpler to navigate without obtuse reasoning. This plays greatly into the biggest addition: the challenge of undoing individuals’ Psyche-Locks. People have reasons to hide things from you and you’re tasked with finding the keys in the form of evidence and character relationships. The strike system has also been replaced with a health bar that can be depleted in varying amounts depending on the importance of the action in question. This gets replenished between trials and when you successfully remove Psyche-Locks.

Of final note on the gameplay side is the fact that the game has become a bit more strict when it comes to cross-examinations. Sometimes you’ll have to press statements in a certain order or even re-press earlier ones just to move forward. YOU might jump a few steps ahead logically, but some trains of thought must be established step-by-step in court. I’ve heard this be described as game breaking, but frankly, if this momentary stymying ruins a game for you, then you probably don’t have the patience necessary to enjoy this genre.

From a story standpoint, this entry officially walks through the door of allowing mystical happenings to stand in a court of law. I don't mind it, but I can understand (and respect) why some people do not care for it.

As for Phoenix himself, he delivers some killer lines that speak beautifully to his growing confidence. The humor is ramped up and serves to further endear the already established characters. To balance this, the drama has been turned up to eleven in the cases directly composing the main storyline.

Finally, as someone who has become a fan of tokusatsu since the last time I played this series, I can now fully appreciate how much of a deep-seated effect it has on Maya’s resiliency and strength as a person. I always loved how she was able to snare so many of those around her into its web, but now I understand WHY.

If you’re willing to walk the path now laid out for the series by the Fey family, then there’s little chance you’ll find disappointment here.

Buyer’s Guide: Like the first game, it was originally a Japanese GBA game that was ported to the DS. It’s also available on PC, on the Wii (as WiiWare), cell phones, and the 3DS eShop.

4 Saddest Text Screens In The History of Gaming out of 5

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