A game reviewer for several years, Tobias reviews games from any decade. They tend to ramble about game design and old media.
Originally released on the Gameboy Advance in 2001, it was later ported to the Nintendo DS and released here in the states in 2005. The original trio of games follows Phoenix Wright, a defense attorney as he solves cases, a few of them that hit close to home for our protagonist.
You will meet a bumbling detective, a clueless judge, countless prosecutors who want to see you fail, and a guy with cyber shades obsessed with coffee. All while you find the contradictions in the many lies you are fed, so you can find the real truth behind each case.
The story has moments of being extremely over the top and comical while also knowing when it needs to slow down and be serious. It is weird to play a game like this with some over the top personalities, while still having moments of serious tension where you do truly care about what happens.
It isn't going to be something you haven't seen already if you have already played the first 3 games. However, Since the game is over 15 years old and older consoles have become a tad harder to find in proper working order (especially handhelds) ports like these are absolutely needed.
My main curiosity when I was about to try this title was I had wondered how they would improve the visual quality of the game compared to the originals. The DS had a very small screen and blowing up an image like that to fit HD screens would have looked extremely pixelated.
The visuals look great! I am unsure if they were touched up or redrawn, but they are on par with the usual visual novels you see released on consoles. They are very smooth and look great on my 4K TV.
Considering the handheld had two screens, one for the visuals and one for the controls, it was altered instead that you watch the game unfold on the screen and when you need to use menus it is instead a button prompt on the screen instead of a second screen.
Visually it feels very easy to understand and navigate.
The sound has been relatively untouched, the only difference I felt in the sound was it was possibly sampled in a higher bitrate since it would be coming through a tv speaker instead of a handheld device.
The soundtrack is amazing, and always has been. Though they are MIDI files (it was a handheld game in the early 2000s) they still sound great today and I still love hearing Godot's theme in the game whenever it pops up.
While some would consider this a knock against the game considering it is a remaster/port of sorts and they should have touched everything up, I disagree. You shouldn't fix what isn't broken and it was clear they only touched up what they knew had to be instead of trying to overhaul.
Capcom uses this method with many of their ports and it always makes them structurally stable.
Operating mainly as a visual novel, there are segments where you have small amounts of control, conversing with people, inspecting areas for clues and do actions to accomplish some goals.
However, the major control of the game is when you are in the courtroom and it is mainly listening closely and seeing if you can find a hole in their story that you can then use evidence to prove them wrong or in some cases right.
You can object to things or push a suspect further to see if you can find more meaningful perspective in the hopes of gathering information. The entire game is about finding the truth and it does so in a way that makes it very fun.
The most difficult thing can be the logic of the game. You will think you got something right to be told you are wrong, with the answer being very out there. It is fun though and challenging, it would be another title I would say is really going to be difficult for younger users as it requires MUCH reading.
This is a hard one to answer, it is a cut and dry path, you are always going to end up at the same destination. However, the story has brought me back to the series many times since the original release of the trilogy.
I would say in terms of content, no, you don't have much replay value here. There isn't a New Game + where Phoenix is decked out with all of his evidence already from the last playthroughs.
But it is more like a great movie, or a novel you really liked. It is more about going on the same journey again because it was so enjoyable then seeing something new your second go.
I can't recommend this enough, not only do you get Phoenix Wright updated for modern machines, you get the original trilogy all in the same pack and after playing these games since they released, they are still fun.
Phoenix Wright takes a lot of what you would see in the soap operas you would be stuck watching when you visited your grandparents and puts it in a courtroom.
Updated while keeping the original intact
Game "logic" can be odd (Not a huge deal however)
Controls feel good for an originally touch heavy game