Review: Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice

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Are any of you into Sherlock at all?

Would you consider yourself to be a sleuth? Solving cases and the like with a bubble pipe- or is that just me?

Or do you operate more on luck or your “gut” than anything, just trying to see what sticks like half of the cookie cutter crimes dramas out there.

Well whether you are as sharp as Moriarity or have gut instincts like Gibbs, you definitely stepped into the “Wright” review that really shows the “Spirit” of the franchise.

Please tell me that none of you are surprised by this at all. I apologize for nothing.

Welcome to Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice.

This game in the Ace Attorney series continues some arbitrary number of years after Dual Destinies with the bumbling hero, Phoenix Wright, the lead attorney at the Wright Anything Agency, going on a vacation to see her his best friend and spirit master in training, Maya Fey, in the kingdom of Khura’in.

And yes, I had an unbelievably hard time pronouncing that word only to be corrected by the game.

The gods in the game must really have it out for Phoenix, as on his first day in the kingdom his life is put in danger as he tries to defend his tour guide, Ahlbi Ur’gaid in court where lawyers receive the same penalty as their clients, which is almost always death because, why not? So no slaps on the wrist in this kingdom.

Did you steal an orange from the stall? Congrats! If you lose your case (because orange theft would go to court in this world) you get to lose your right hand and you lawyer loses his left- because fair and balanced system, that’s why. Nothing brings a kingdom to a screeching halt and stokes the fire of revolution as much as death threats everywhere. You think it’d be the opposite. Who knew?

One of the many things that I appreciate is that, though the formula for each Phoenix Wright game hasn’t changed much since Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, with each game, they add something new to the table that adds to experience. This time around, with most of the cases taking part in a highly religious society, there is more of an emphasis on religion and the Royal Priestess performing the Divination Seance and providing “Insights”.

The “Insights” revolve around the Priestess performing a dance (which is done very well in 3D, might I add) that shows the deceased’s last few moments in the Pool of Souls.

With that being said, let me be clear.

Screw. Insights.

But Mr. Gamer, didn’t you just say that you liked when they add something new to the games?

Yes. Yes, I did. In Dual Destinies, the ability to analyze emotions with Athena and Widget was simple and fun. These “Insights” are a pain in the flank and I will tell you why.

The Insights come with three parts: what is shown in the pool, what the Priestess said, and the evidence that you have. In order to show the contradiction, you have to show the right evidence, at the right time in pool, with the right statement so that you can make her correct the already shoddy interpretation of the events anyway. There is just so much to balance with trying to figure out what is going on, that it became more of a hassle and I dreaded it.

I wouldn’t call myself a particularly religious person but as much as this game had me swearing to some deity out there about why Celestia’s name it is so hard to prove to this judge that lamp was on the other side or something equally as ridiculous.

The simple point and “click on everything clickable on the screen” mechanic in the game hasn’t changed. I thought that it was made a little easier this time around since they added the “Notes” section in your Court Record since the last game. With that, you know exactly where to go to the green text box to appear on the bottom of the screen so that you know that the story is progressions versus moving from area to area and hoping that you checked everything you could and this area was the final one.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was notorious for that near the end.

Though I complained about the “Insights” aspect of the game, it isn’t in every case and the cases themselves are actually harder – I really like that. The game makes you think about the entire case and how to wrap it all up and I lose myself with that. This is a plus. I am not expecting to become a detective after playing this game but I love a challenge and this game delivered. Minus the “Insights”.

I couldn’t find too many things to gripe about this the game that I don’t gripe about with every Ace Attorney game. I always hate the prosector at the beginning of each game. I am always annoyed at how precise I have to be with showing a blood stain on the photo when I am presenting it and if the tip of the finger pointer is only a few pixels off of the stain, then I am penalized. For a perfectionist like myself, that is infuriating. Sometimes it has as good as a time detecting where I actually wanted to put the pointer as CS:GO does at choosing exactly which of the 60 bullets in my clip actually hit what I was shooting at.

“Insights”, point detection, and annoying character aside, this is still one my favorite Phoenix Wright games. I feel smarter when I finally figure out where the case was going and am able to follow the line of logic at the end of case. I love shift in music, which was done excellently in the game, when you see the witness start to break under pressure. But most of all, I love the play on words they have with the names.

Gaspen Payne

The name fits. I wanted to jab him in the throat so many times…

Pees’lubn Andistan’dhin

It took me a good 10 minutes to figure out the pun to this guy…

 

 

and Datz Are’bal

So glad they weren’t going with that crappy meme with him

I love this game for that.

Let me end this review by saying something that has been on my mind for a while. Very rarely will you find a game that does the same thing over and over and over again but it still works. For example, Pokemon has not changed too much, but it is still a good game and this applies to Spirit of Justice. The cases change, and some of the characters do as well, but to build upon that and make this universe where each character has their own backstory and struggles in this simple text based game is amazing.

Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice – A bountiful blessing from the Holy Mother of Khura’in.

2 thoughts on “Review: Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice

  1. Mr. Panda

    I love the Phoenix Wright series. Even if the series remains the same, I love the gameplay, the characters, and the compelling mysteries. I would play lots of these if they made more. I actually liked the Divination Seance Insights more than the Mood Matrix. It felt less subjective since you can’t argue with what a person has experienced. You have to argue with the interpretation, which was more interesting to me than saying that someone should be unhappy during an unhappy time. Great review! You did “Wright” giving it “Justice!”

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