Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations Review

There’s a reason Phoenix Wright’s first DS outing garnered such a fanatic following in the US that the game had to enter production a second (and third) time. The gameplay was something no one in this generation of gamers had really experienced, the characters were awesome, the writing was hilarious, and the difficulty was up there. It should come as no surprise, then, that the final in the Phoenix Wright trilogy is more of the same – and that’s a good thing.

Really, who’s going to buy Trials and Tribulations other than Phoenix Wright fans? Can you think of anyone? Me neither, which is what makes Capcom including a first case tutorial (again) an odd move. Everyone who plays this game will know what to do. Newcomers obviously should be given the option of learning how to play, but why not have an actual tutorial?

Maybe I’m just mad that the learning how to play robs me of precious time with Phoenix. Trials and Tribulations is limited in the number of cases, but they’re long. Boy, are they long. Starting off with the aforementioned “This is how you lawyer, Phoenix”! Case which also gives some back story on Phoenix and Mia’s relationship, the game progresses through a series of capers, with Phoenix defending the accused left and right.

The second and final cases in Trials are possibly the longest in the trilogy, and that may scare some who already thought Justice for All was a little lengthy. Trust me when I say that as a Phoenix fan, it’s completely worth it. The final case is – for lack of a better word – epic. It ties things together you never thought would be tied together, and it is a very satisfying ending, both in beating it and seeing what goes down.

When you get down to it, that’s why people play Phoenix Wright. It’s not for the detective work as much as it is for the characters, and getting the next conversation – the next piece of the story. In that sense, Trials continues with a fervor. Nothing is revolutionary with the gameplay. If anything, it’s the easiest Phoenix game yet, with much less guesswork involved in many instances.

Instead of being revolutionary, Trials and Tribulations settles for being the best story of any Phoenix game yet. The cases tie together better than the previous two, and at the end you’ll certainly feel an empty spot form in your psyche when you realize the journey you and the plucky, slick-haired attorney have gone through together. It’s a good end to a great trilogy, and one that anyone who played the first Phoenix games should quickly get.

If you haven’t played any Phoenix Wright games yet, you owe it to yourself to try them out, and see what the rest of us have been gushing about. I’ll miss you, Phoenix. I can’t wait until Apollo Justice… But it won’t be the same, my friend.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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