The game starts you off as a rookie lawyer by the name of Phoenix Wright, a wet-behind-the-ears attorney who has been thrown into his first major case - a murder trial. Luckily it would appear that nothing is quite as bad as it might seem due to the fact that he is set to defend one of his friends, a person who no matter how often finds himself in trouble, actually is totally innocent. Therefore, it is your job to shoot down the plaintive's case and protect your defendant by exposing the lies, examining evidence and generally being a full-blown lawyer trying to uncover the truth, the whole truth and nothing but...the truth!
Phoenix Wright distances itself in graphical terms from other games on the market as it is not your run-of-the-mill 3D platform or action title. Instead, gamers are treated to what appear to be hand-drawn visuals that have a distinct character and air about them. Now, for some this may not appeal too much, but those that enjoyed playing around with Another Code will definitely be far more appreciative of the styling found within. The locations that appear during the game as the story unfolds are all well-detailed and characters go completely crazy during trials, giving the whole game a great sense of feeling and atmosphere, making you chuckle at times as well as shocking at others. As for the soundtrack side, though, there is barely anything to talk about as you hardly notice it at all. But hey, that does not really matter too much as the main part of the game will be keeping you so involved that you will not be bothered in the slightest.
Some people might wonder what all the fuss is all about, to be honest, there is hardly what you could call drastic action going on throughout the whole game. In fact, certain groups of gamers could well find the pace far too slow to hold interest. Where are the guns, the violence - the meat of the title? Well, if you are not willing to get your brain into gear then perhaps this really is not the game for you at all. Do you like reading books and working your way through text-style adventures? Then Phoenix Wright is the one for you...
This is not the first game in the series, but unfortunately until now we had yet to sample its delectable charms. In some ways it can be described as one of the many point-and-click adventures that litter the PC market, only slithering into the console world on a very irregular basis. Now, just like with Another Code, these appeal to a niche sector of the gaming community (myself included). Fans of old text-based adventures will enjoy this thoroughly as it is one of those masquerading as a current generation game. But thankfully the use of the stylus ensures that everything flows smoothly and does not prove awkward and cumbersome. Although, for the sticklers out there, you can still use to old control setup.
The idea is that you are a real-time lawyer thrown into situations that call upon your deductive skills to work out how your client is actually being framed for something they never did. Luckily the proceedings are nowhere near as boring as they may sound as the script is absolutely crazy and creates many a laugh-out-loud moment primarily due to the complete inanity (and insanity, for that matter) of many of the characters' conversation. You also will not be left out in the cold, as there are advisors that stay by your side every step of the way, plus your trusty Court Records, of course, which contain all the relevant evidence that you need to sift through. Should you uncover something contradictory when witnesses are giving their statements you can choose to grill them even more or even throw a strong piece of evidence into play, basically embarrassing them or causing them to hastily change their story (to which you will normally be shown a wonderfully over-the-top animation).
But it is the strange humour and over-exaggerated expressions that help to maintain the thrill of the game. As well as the fact that the DS is perfect for this type of point-and-click experience and the way you can go digging for clues as the game progresses by examining various locations and grilling numerous 'dodgy' folk. Unfortunately, though, there is a slight drawback in the fact that when you are given choices in conversations they are not as influential as you may think, in fact not so in the slightest, with Wright laughing off the 'incorrect' answer, leaving you with the correct one in the long run. There is also a major limitation in the number of routes to take in order to reach the climax – just the one! Plain and simple, no pretences, just one way to go and that is it, with your hand held most of the way through. But hey, with a game this good you can hardly hold too much of a grudge.
Leaving this game be is not an option once you have delved into its deep confines, and being forced to close your DS after watching the credits roll will not be something you have to worry about any time soon either. With clever use of both screens, the ease of touch-screen use, a wide-spanning world to navigate, the massive script to work your way through, all the investigative nosing around that is required, PLUS a lovely ‘little’ extra that extends the game beyond imagination, your money will safely be bet on this Capcom DS title.