Title: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
I honestly never thought there would be a day in my life where the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy would get ported to PC along with several other consoles, but the impossible happened. Now, I’m sure everyone who is a fan of visual novels definitely knows this series well, which previously got released on the 3DS in 2014.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was on my plan-to-play list for a very long time given that I only heard great things about it, but since I am not that eager to play on my 3DS I ended up holding off for a while — And I am glad I did. Now, the games have released with HD graphics for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC, but that’s not all, there will be a patch later in summer with new languages such as French, German, Korean, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
As the name already implies, this game contains the first three games of its series Ace Attorney which are Ace Attorney, Justice for All and Trials and Tribulations with a total of fourteen episodes to enjoy. — And believe me, each game is a few hours long if you’re not rushing through the story. After spending several hours with its wonderful characters and humor, I can definitely say Ace Attorney is nowhere overhyped, I would even dare to say it overpassed my expectations.
The story centers around the main character Phoenix Wright, who is still a rookie defense attorney. With his mentor Mia Fey by his side, he is slowly learning what the important things are in a trial — and how to win them. With his trust in his clients, he tries his best to help them, see through the witnesses lies and get the non-guilty verdict for them.
In Ace Attorney, the story is kept pretty simple, it’s easy to follow it and has a nice flow that seems to tie all the seemingly unrelated cases together in some way. Which made for a compelling story as a whole. I didn’t know when it started but suddenly, I ended up sympathizing with its characters and yes, I felt bad for them and got nervous when entering a trial every time. Through the arguments and counter-arguments, Ace Attorney was such a rollercoaster for me.
As aforementioned, Ace Attorney is quite silly when it comes to its humor. Although some might think it’s completely overdone, I found it to be generally easy to follow. Everything just felt natural, even if the dialogue and reactions of its characters are simply hilarious. Don’t get fooled by its zaniness though as the game does present some pretty serious moments, which end up working well for it. I think this is what definitely what made the game totally special to me, the perfect balance between hilarious moments with the ability to display heartbreaking events.
The actual gameplay in Ace Attorney flows nicely. Although this is about attorneys and various laws, it’s not necessarily required to know any of the rules beforehand, as this game kind of makes up its own rules and all that you have to do is find several pieces of puzzles and put them together in the end. Except for the first episode of Ace Attorney, which functions as a trial, there are two different phases of the game spread through multiple days. First off, you have the trial phase where you have to point out obtained evidence or cross-examine suspicious statements to win a trial. Of course, this means you have an adventure phase which is needed to investigate and get the right evidence. You can freely move to other places, depending on the case, examine the area and talk to all the people you can find.
With that said, the gameplay is straight forward and Ace Attorney is quite linear in general. This made things a bit complicated as you have to complete a few actions by the right order to progress. Additionally, some parts were not exactly clear what was required to do in order to move on, such as presenting evidence and object at the very right sentence of the statement of the witness, while sometimes, you even have to fail in order to find anything suspicious at all.
I would also love to mention that the soundtracks in Ace Attorney are simply fantastic. It’s rare for me to get an earworm of a game’s music and hum it afterward while following my everyday life post-game credits. Ace Attorney was simply a game where I enjoyed turning up the volume and immersing myself in the cartoonish courtroom.
With redone HD graphics it was bound for people to complain about it, however, after I compared both versions I found myself preferring the new graphics. I find myself drawn to more crisp and pretty visuals. So I have to admit that the old sprites are way too low rez for me.
In the end, I can say the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is one of the most entertaining visual novels I have played so far. It has a perfect blend of comedic and dramatic moments that kept me invested for hours. While I was a bit concerned at first, everything made sense afterward and I felt that not one episode was unnecessary or could have been left out. I enjoyed every minute I spent with this game and I simply fell in love with all of its characters — Even the ones where I thought I would never be able to like in the beginning, ended up being absolutely adorable to me.
Although I often got stuck in the gameplay at times, it still felt very rewarding when the right thing was done and when the client received his non-guilty verdict and all the effort I spent figuring out the right action paid off. By all means, if you’re still not convinced yet, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is definitely worth a try, even to those who are curious about adventure visual novels, this is perhaps the best way to introduce yourself to the genre.
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