Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 19.03.2007

Review for Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All on Nintendo DS

Following the runaway success of the first Phoenix Wright on the Nintendo DS, a remake of an old Japanese-only GBA release, it was no surprise to find out the second GBA game was on its way as well to the DS as well. Renamed Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All, you are back in control of the former rookie lawyer for another set of intriguing cases. Now it has finally made its way over to Europe, does it live up to its predecessor, though? Why not let us tell you...

Considering the first game was based around Phoenix Wright starting off as a wet-behind-the-ears rookie lawyer, this sequel sees him once he has hit his stride and won several big cases. However, right at the start of the game something untoward happens and poor Phoenix is left with temporary amnesia. Can he regain his memory in time to find the culprit and bring justice to the world once more? With your guidance not only can he do that, but much more, meeting old friends along the way and providing thrills and laughter throughout the whole game. Phoenix Wright is back with a bang...

...However, not in the graphics department, as the game stays extremely faithful to its original GBA form. However, thankfully that version was drawn and animated so well that it still looks nice enough here on the DS. Whilst the various backgrounds may be somewhat lacklustre, it is the range of characters and the visualisation of their personality traits that helps make Phoenix Wright stand out. Each and every person gesticulates like crazy, throw various crazy facial expressions about on a regular basis and have certain other detailed animated features that will shock and make you laugh out loud in equal measure. As for the soundtrack, those that loved that of the first DS outing will feel right at home here as the same template is used throughout. Once it grows on you, you will definitely find yourself humming specific ditties even after your DS has been switched off, which is always a positive sign.

Screenshot for Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All on Nintendo DS

Many people clambered upon the bandwagon when the DS launched, stating that adventure games were perfectly suited for the system thanks to its touch-screen input option. Thankfully Capcom agreed and brought us an upgraded port Gyakuten Saiban from the GBA. The fans did not let the company down either, as across all three territories people (regular, lapsed and non-gamers alike) lapped up the amusing antics of Wright, with him becoming their new favourite lawyer. Whilst basically a linear text adventure with pretty imagery, just like any good point-and-click game from the PC world, Wright's script was pieced together cleverly enough to grab the attention of the player and not let go until the final credits rolled.

And if anything Justice for All does this even better than before. The basic aim is to first of all navigate to various locations (by clicking on the name of your destination and then magically appearing there), find numerous clues and pieces of evidence (by digging through the static locations whilst in search mode), and interrogate all and sundry in the hope of gaining enough knowledge to take with you into the courtroom. This can all be carried out either by completely using stylus control or the traditional D-pad and face buttons in the easiest of manners, making the game instantly accessible to anyone that cares to try it out.

Screenshot for Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All on Nintendo DS

There is a new addition to the proceedings this time round, in the form of Psyche Locks. This means that rather than merely talking to someone to gain the relevant information, certain people will lie to your face and you must crack them with other evidence you have obtained. Thankfully this works extremely well, adding a harder element that was sorely missing from the first adventure. After garnering everything you need it is off to the court to try and gain victory at the trial that takes place during each chapter.

This is crunch time and too many wrong answers results in instant loss. Therefore, you must use all your concentration when reading witness statements in order to find the holes that are there. You flick through the witnesses' testimonies, reading what they have to say and being able to pressure them on certain points until you are 100% sure a flaw has been found in what they say...and then you pounce with the appropriate evidence to leave them floundering. The sense of achievement throughout is amazing; building up your case, gathering all the evidence and then hitting that home-run on the trial day. Phoenix Wright is a sheer wonder to play through and never seems to grow tiresome in the slightest.

Screenshot for Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All on Nintendo DS

The first Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney was by no means a short adventure, with not only the four main cases from the GBA début, but a special DS-specific fifth case to extend the game. This time round that extra case has not been included, but the four on offer from the GBA’s Gyakuten Saiban 2 are far more in-depth than the first outing, especially the fourth and final one. Each case will ask more and more of you, dragging you deeper and deeper into the conspiracies, betrayal and intrigue found during the investigative process. Whilst there is no real reason to play through the game once completed, the sheer satisfaction of getting through all four cases anyway should be more than enough value for money…

Screenshot for Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

On import last year Justice for All rated as one of the best for 2006 and now it has come to the West there is no doubt the second Phoenix Wright adventure is a contender for the same mantel, albeit in 2007 this time round. Packed with character, charm, humour and stacks of tension, being a lawyer has never been so much fun!

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (3 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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