By Spencer . September 7, 2007 . 7:01pm
I know I’m a bit behind all the other Phoenix Wright fans (other games and all!), but I just finished the final case in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations. I’ll sum up the nitty gritty first. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations plays exactly the same as the second game (Justice for All). You peruse testimony, point out logical contradictions with evidence and peer into the hearts of NPCs with the magatama from the Fey family. Capcom did not create a special case for the DS like in the first game and there isn’t much to convince newcomers to try it out. But the story is so good fans will be blown away by Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations. Warning minor spoilers below!
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations ties the entire trilogy together. In the first case you play as a young Mia Fey, Phoenix’s mentor, who is defending Phoenix from a murder charge. While you are in Mia’s shoes the gameplay doesn’t change and this acts like a tutorial case to familiarize players with the system. Once you win the case and finger the appropriate criminal the timeline shifts to the future where you step into Phoenix’s shoes. Beating the case also fills in a minor detail about prosecutor Payne’s hair, which should give fans a good laugh.
The next case involves a timid security guard turned thief who is charged with stealing an heirloom from the Fey family. During the investigation you run in to Larry Butz, Phoenix’s bumbling grade school chum from the first game. He isn’t restricted to a cameo role. Larry’s idiotic antics play a pivotal role more than once in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations. Other returning characters include Maggey Byrd who works as a waitress, a more relaxed Adrian Andrews and Dick Gumshoe. In the courtroom Phoenix has a new smug prosecutor to face, Godot who wears a robotic visor and has a thing for coffee. Godot acts like he has a personal grudge against Phoenix. During trials he calls him Mr. Trite and purposely traps him into corners. He’s a good rival and… I’m going to stop talking about him here. There other new characters are equally as memorable. A stubby nun named Bikini, the robotic Lisa Basil who has a palindrome for a name and the slightly perverted Victor Kudo were some of my favorites.
While you play as Phoenix for most of the cases, you step into Mia’s shoes for a second time in the fourth case. In Mia’s first case she faces off Edgeworth when he was a rookie too. There isn’t an investigative phase in this case. The focus is to defend the unlucky Terry Fawles from another murder charge. Before he met Mia, Terry was convicted of murdering his “teen angel” girlfriend. He escaped from prison to meet Victoria, the police officer who gave the definitive testimony to put him away. Something is fishy in this case and it’s up to Mia to crack it.
Terry’s case weaves into an overarching storyline that concludes in the blockbuster fifth case. If you’ve been following the Phoenix Wright series the plot line has a greater effect. Each revelation and plot twist clears up holes in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy. Fans will be impressed, but I’m sure they don’t want any more spoilers. OK, just one more spoiler on the next page…
I think by now you know if you're the kind of gamer who likes the Phoenix Wright style or not. If you like it you're going to love Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations. Now on to the spoiler!