Sunday, November 29, 2009

Phoenix Wright- Trials and Tribulations

Warning: Spoilers may be ahead. Read this review with caution (and comments are loved)

I've been a fan of the Phoenix Wright series for a year or so, but it was only recently that I played the third installment, due to the fact that I could not take it anymore. (I've sadly been playing on an emulator due to my lack of cash for my own DS, but now that I received one it's only the matter of finding the cartridge.)

So anyway, while I don't know if I can consider this a "casual" game, I decided to write about it anyway while the game is still fresh in my head.

First of all, before you play this game, I highly recommend you play the first 2. That would be "Ace Attorney" and "Justice for All." Why? First of all, Trials and Tribulations contains plots and details that happened in the past 2 games. Second, I feel it could be said that Trials and Tribulations is difficult for someone who is not familiar with how the game mechanics work.

I would think Capcom made sure that their targer market would be those who have already played the previous series and would not make it any easier to finish the game. After all, it would suck if their latest game did not do justice to the first two.

Anyway, let's talk about the game.

Interactivity One of the cool things about the DS is that it's quite interactive, with the implementation of a microphone that can actually be used in games. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney made use of this during some of the investigations where it's like you're part of the CSI. However, Trials and Tribulations did not implement this. You don't do any CSI stuff in this game, but I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It might be...if you like that stuff.

Story and Character Development The cases that had happened, all have something in common. They all revolve around the main antagonist, Dahlia Hawthorne. There was only one case that didn't have anything to do with her, but it was still a pretty interesting case. (Well, Recipe for a Turnabout was KINDA silly with the whole Tigre looking like Phoenix but I suppose they needed a side-case somehow to sorta sidetrack the player for a while)

This is where we get to learn more about Mia Fey, and how her life was before Phoenix Wright took over. It was a good thing to do this actually, since her death was kinda surprising considering we all thought she was going to be a MAJOR character and then gets cut off so early in the game. It's also interesting to see how it all started before Phoenix Wright came in, during the first case where Mia Fey and Miles Edgeworth made their debut and in a sense, how the last cases related to it. (On another note, Mia and Miles 6 years ago == WOW)

Other than the DL-6 incident from Ace Attorney, we also are brought back to a case in Justice for all which was the murder at the Kurain Village and Maya Fey was put to the stand. In T&T, we learn more information about the Kurain Village and the cruel family feud where the branch families are fighting for the main bloodline, and as promised from Justice for All, Morgan Fey did try to cast revenge.

It's amazing how one case connected these 2 past cases, and older cases that were only brought to light in this chapter of the series. We've come to understand more about how Mia Fey grew up to the lawyer she was before she died, and how Phoenix has also become more mature to handle his cases. If you've noticed, Phoenix is rarely unsure of himself when he makes objections unlike before. He knows his stuff now, which I feel is a major development. After all, even by now the players are more familiar with how the cases go so it makes sense that Phoenix has a more confident attitude than he did before.

Miles and Franziska have slightly changed as well. While Edgeworth is still arrogant and Franziska still whips anyone she finds annoying, they actually do help out Phoenix Wright when he needs it, and are vital characters in this game.

Larry is still an idiot though, but I think we can all live with that.

Art and Gameplay These 2 haven't changed since the first game which is no problem at all. The only major game update of the 3 was starting from the second game you can now present profiles for evidence and the feature of the Magatama. Phoenix Wright never had the need to change their art, and I don't mind that at all. The only thing that seems to change is the cases and the challenges of getting your client the "not guilty" verdict.

Overall: Trials and Tribulations is yet to be one of the best Phoenix Wright games I have played, and if you're a fan, you'll miss out if you don't play it.


  1. We need picture of Mia Fey!

    Anyway, I wanted to play this game for the longest time, but when I tried it, it sadly wasn't my type; the series that is, not T&T. But its still a very interesting game, and I'd probably like to play it if I had the DS, emulators just don't do justice to the interactivity.

    Anyway, I wonder if Phoenix Wright games will ever tend to the social concern of lawyers being liars. I'm not sure if the concept had been touched heavily yet, it'd be cool if it was. Players would get to make moral decisions as to how correct their actions would be.

  2. @Ryan> Haha, that's a good question. And don't worry. Phoenix Wright isn't for everybody....and some of the games REALLY require you to use a microphone..specifically Ace Attorney and Apollo Justice.

    Hmm, I'll be honest. The way the legal system works in Phoenix Wright doesn't seem to be accurate to LA's legal system, and how it works in the game is something you'll probably never see in real life.

    But there has been a case when Phoenix had to make a choice as to whether to get an guilty client to get an innocent verdict to save his friend or be truthful to the law at the cost of his friend. Most of the time, usually at the end of the game Phoenix starts to realize what he does as a it's more of a self-realization thing than anything.

    But there have been cases where there are rumors of forged evidence or witnesses that were told to say certain things just so a lawyer could win a case. You'll mostly see this with the prosecutors, like the Von Karmas. I'd chat more but..too long.

    Good question though!