Have You Played… Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney?

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and the other two games in the trilogy, are in my opinion some of the best games for the Nintendo DS. That is not hard to believe since the DS library is vast and filled with masterpieces, some that I even play to date.

In  Ace Attorney, you play as Phoenix Wright, a rookie defense lawyer who fights to get a “not guilty” verdict for his clients. The game has a total of five cases; each with their own cast of characters and personalities. These often quirky characters add to the charm and zaniness of the game. The person you often think committed the crime based on their personality or looks is sometimes in all actually innocent. The cutesy/innocent looking characters are sometimes the murderers. You never really know what to think of each case until you do some investigating before the big day in the courtroom.

Ace Attorney is split into two different gameplay sections. There are the investigation portions and the actual courtroom trial. While investigating, you talk to witnesses and examine murder scenes to try to find any evidence that will help your case. All evidence gathered while investigation gets added to the court report which becomes vital in the trial portion of the game. Once you discover everything that there is to find and talk to all important witnesses or police, that game automatically transitions to the day of the trial, my favorite part.

While investigating murder weapons and pools of blood may sound exciting for some, playing the role of a defense lawyer is much more exciting for me personally. In these courtroom trial, you/Phoenix Wright listen to the testimony of witnesses during cross-examination. After a witness is finished recounting their testimony, it is your job to find the contradictions and lies in their statements. When you find an inconsistency or contradiction in the testimony, you shout OBJECTION! and present a piece of evidence that shows that the witness is somehow lying. You do not literally have to shout objection, but with the DS mic there on the system, why not? However, you better make sure that your objection pairs up with the evidence or the judge will place a strike on your case (shown by losing exclamation marks). Losing all 5 marks means that the judge will not tolerate your case anymore and will automatically give your client the guilty verdict, therefore you losing the case. You win obviously by getting your defendant off the hook and making sure that they get a “not guilty” verdict.

Although playing a “lawyer” game may seem weird to some, I can honestly tell you that this title is worth giving a shot. The soundtrack is stellar and really captures the tense moments in the game and the quirky characters give a subtle balance to the underlying dark themes in the game. You can play the first three games in the trilogy by downloading them on the Nintendo 3DS eshop and there are also a few more titles available in the series. Once you give the game a try, you will be shouting your fair share of OBJECTIONS! in real life.

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