Capcom dishes out great Justice, even on the fourth try.
Posted by Robert Workman on Tuesday, February 26, 2008
We've gone through the legal go-round with Phoenix Wright three times now on the Nintendo DS, accustomed to his "OBJECTION" and "TAKE THAT!" phrases while battling the likes of a dimwitted judge and the superior prosecutor Godot. Now the time has come for him to hand the reigns to a inexperienced young pup, the star of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Those of you worried that the kid has no supporting arguments needn't worry – he pleads a strong case.
It's time to bust your legal chops once more!
In the game, Justice works hard to keep his clients (including troubled lawyer-turned-gambler Wright) out of trouble, while receiving assistance from dorky but likable 15-year-old magician Trucy. He finds his hands full as he runs into the game's main villain, a vicious prosecuting attorney named Klavier Gavin, a lawyer who moonlights as a snotty German rock star.
These sort of quirky characters give Apollo Justice a strong foundation similar to previous Ace Attorney games. Whether you investigate the crime scene or take people on in court, you'll run across a large amount of quirky, occasionally ego-laden characters. You'll have to pay close attention to break them down, using a special lie-reading bracelet to find false statements and strike down their fabrications.
The bracelet plays a big part in making Apollo Justice feel like a somewhat new legal experience, rather than just another Ace Attorney game. However, there's more. This game reintroduces the refreshing touch-screen games first seen in the final case in the original Phoenix Wright game, letting you dust for fingerprints and perform other tasks. You get these tools right from the start, making Justice feel like a true Nintendo DS game rather than a Game Boy Advance port. In addition, the crime-scene video reenactments are a nice touch, adding to the game's personality.
Ace Attorney is all about great character design and slick anime-style presentation, and Justice carries this torch just as well as Phoenix. The animations are appealing, the text is always easy to read (although occasionally hard to decipher, especially in Gavin's case) and the design is near flawless. The audio's good, too, with familiar background music and entertaining sound bites.
With that said, the game is too damn short. You've got four cases to solve, all intriguing in their own way, and then you're done. They're worth revisiting if you're up to it, but you'll probably shelve this one once you're finished and wait for the inevitable sequel.
Still, with Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, it's all about the journey and not the destination. This is a fine addition to the legal defense series, with welcome touch-ups to the gameplay and a refreshing new face. You certainly won't have any problems taking the stand with this guy, even if you have a place in your heart for Mr. Wright. Or, in our case, Godot.