Title: Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
Company: Nintendo, Capcom
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: June 9, 2016
How we got the game: We bought it.
Ever since we discovered Trials and Tribulations on the Wii’s Virtual Console years ago, we’ve been hooked on the Ace Attorney series. The visual novel’s point-and-click exploration combined with the “who dun it” logic puzzles really tested our brains and emotions. The amazing writing and wonderful characters kept us invested throughout the entire game.
So, naturally, when Spirit of Justice was announced, I went crazy. I believe it was early in the morning when I heard the news and I woke Kris up just to tell her. Still, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game!
Like the majority of the Ace Attorney series, Spirit Of Justice split its time between investigation sequences and the trial in court. Investigations involved talking to people to gather information about the crime, usually a murder, and clicking on the scene to gather clues. Court would have us cross-examine witnesses, pointing out contradictions and presenting evidence to sway the judge to our side.
Even though this is the same, each game has its own twists to it and Spirit of Justice was no different. We have Apollo’s bracelet, Athena’s widget for therapy sessions, and spirit channeling was brought back. Not to mention, we’re in a new setting so the laws are different putting us in more danger than ever.
Yes, the main cast have their special abilities to help discern the truth from all the witnesses that commit perjury. They were all used throughout the game, and Spirit of Justice also introduced Insights. With the new setting, Khura’in, Insights were used to decipher Divination Seances, where a new character was able to show the victim’s final moments. It was quite an interesting addition!
It really was interesting because you’d think that’d be it. The final moments is just that. But with a little thinking and exploring the victim’s five senses, not everything adds up and there’s more to the death than meets the eye. It really was a fun and clever additon!
We’re always impressed with the soundtracks of the Ace Attorney games — the music always has the correct tempo and sound to really amp up the scene, especially during the trial sequences when we’re confronting a suspect.
With the new Khura’in setting, the music for the new characters and news places was awesome. It really set the tone (and danger levels in some cases). Kris and I take turns reading as different characters and there were times I would just pause to take in the music.
You can’t not listen to the music! We would love to someday get our hands on the soundtrack! The graphics are well done too, with the sprites, their animations, and the anime cutscenes. I honestly wouldn’t have minded a few additional cutscenes!
I wish there were more cutscenes. Plus, at the end of each case in the original trilogy, there was a group photo of the gang that was always adorable. I wish they added some of that in as well.
Where do I begin about the story? As usual, the final case ties all the previous cases together. Except for the fourth case this game… We still haven’t figured out how that ties in other than reintroducing Prosecutor Blackquill. Anyway, we take a trip to Khura’in where Phoenix finds himself in trouble (of course) as does Maya (who is back–yay!). But while they brought back old and new characters alike, we learn a lot more about Apollo’s background, which was awesome.
Yes, the fourth case was a bit odd… Enjoyable, of course, with Athena and Blackquill, but still odd as it didn’t really fit in with the rest of the cases. It was as if the developers of the game added that case in at the last moment because they forgot to give Athena a trial to star in. There wasn’t even an investigation part! Phoenix, of course, is busy in Khura’in, where he learns that lawyers are all but extinct due to a law called the Defense Culpability Act — basically, a defendant’s lawyer was to suffer the same fate as the accused. If the defendant was found guilty and put to death, so would the lawyer for “abetting a criminal.” There was a group called the Defiant Dragons bent on leading a revolution against the regime in order to right the legal system, and as Apollo and Phoenix, we joined right in!
For the final case, we swapped back and forth between playing as Apollo and Phoenix. In the end, they teamed up for the trial part which was great. I don’t think we’ve had a case where the two of them teamed up together before. Overall, the story of the game was so in-depth and, in my opinion, the most shocking and revealing for the characters. It was really well done! My biggest worry is that there won’t be another game…. There were a lot of references to all the previous games and they brought back a lot of older characters. It was actually a good ending for the series as a whole, but I hope that’s not the case. There was a final scene at the end of the credits that made me believe there will in fact be another game, so I hope that’s the case.
While we love the characters and stories, we do sometimes find it a little difficult to return to the games. The investigations and trials aren’t linear at all and can really take a lot of brain power to figure out, but once you know the story and the outcome, it’s not as exciting the first time around.
I will still play these games over again when I have the time, but I agree. It’s just not the same when you already know the culprit. I mean, the last case is usually a doozy with many twists and surprises. But it won’t be as “fun” and “shocking” since we already know the answer.
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice gets…
5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!