Phoenix Wright: Justice for All Review

Before I continue I would like to issue some corrections to my original timeline of dates for the Ace Attorney series. The Game Boy advance titles came out in the early 2000s and the DS remakes came out in the mid to late 2000s. The visual novel games were also released on multiple platforms including, iOS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and in the future the Nintendo Switch.

The second entry in the Ace Attorney series was released in 2007 for the Nintendo DS and this is the version I played. The series is once again a port of the Game Boy Advance version and unlike the first game, this one didn’t add anything or use the touch screen. The game was purely novel for the English translation and the game is, in my opinion one of the stronger ones in the series. It is shorter but it actually is the most emotional and involves character growth for both Phoenix and Edgeworth.

The game is very similar to the first one, with two main segments, an investigation and a courtroom sequence. The major addition was the magatama mechanic. Using this magical necklace, Phoenix is now able to see literal chains on a person’s heart that means they are hiding information from you. Phoenix uses this magical object to present evidence and break down these chains to find out more information. This extremely flamboyant way of interrogation is very much the Ace Attorney style, over the top ways of doing simple things. However, the main storyline, that concerns the mentor of Phoenix Wright’s family, and pretty much effects both him in Edgeworth, is a big part of this game and of course in the third.

Because it is a new game, there is a new prosecutor and a set of new characters to interact with. Franciska Von Karma, the daughter of the final boss of the last game, has come to avenge herself on the rookie lawyer who hasn’t lost a case. Like her father, she is obsessed with perfection and even carries around a literal whip she can use to bully the judge and the good Detective Gumshoe. She also has a history with Edgeworth. She claims that she isn’t avenging her father but someone else. Franciska isn’t anywhere near as fun as her predecessor and isn’t my favorite of the game’s many colorful prosecutors. She does grow on you at some level because of her relationship with Edgeworth but it takes time. She is just as aggressive as her father but unlike her father, she doesn’t seem to have the composure or the experience.

Edgeworth’s arc does finish in this game, because of his involvement in the final case of the game. This case is arguably, the best in the series full stop. It is the only one that has a possible bad ending and is very emotionally satisfying. Edgeworth returns to be the prosecutor for the case but is a changed man which is very fun to see. The two standout cases for the game are:

Farewell, my Turnabout

Turnabout Big Top

Gameplay: 3/5 personal 2/5 overall

Music: 2.75/5 The music in this game is not as good as the previous one and has fewer standout awesome tracks. The cornered music is nowhere near as good as the previous one. The new Objection theme is annoying and only the new Edgeworth theme is good.

Story: 4/5 Overall the cases in this game were rather good. The two standout cases make it a solid entry.

Characters: 3/5 The side characters were colorful and entertaining but many of them are not at the quality of similar titles. The Berry Big Circus has the best of them though.

Personal score: 4/5

Overall: 3/5


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