Religion and science doesn’t usually mix, but in this title, they could be the combination that literally kills you. In the latest iteration of the Phoenix Wright franchise, we’re back with a vengeance – and this time, defense attorneys are in as much trouble as their clients. From religious ministers hellbent on making sure you fail, to divination seances designed to make your clients look guilty, this might be Phoenix’s toughest trial yet.
||June 9, 2016|
|Genre||Adventure game, Visual novel|
|Price on 3DS Store
Phoenix is to meet up with his old friend Maya Fey, a spirit medium from Kurain Village. She’s gone on a course to become the Master of Spirit Channelling, but in order to do so, she needs to visit the home of Spirit Channeling, Khura’in. But in the process of doing so, Phoenix is going to learn about how law in Khura’in is quite a bit different than it is back home. In a place where defence attorneys are reviled rather than the norm, Phoenix must defend his clients in a variety of toxic cases, where his own life is literally on the line as well.
Meanwhile, Apollo, Trucy and Athena must look after business back at home in the Wright Anything Agency. The only problem with this… That might be easier said than done. Whilst Phoenix is away, troubling cases come to stay. Apollo and Athena feel the need to step up to the plate whilst Phoenix is in Khura’in, so can they defend their clients successfully without the aid of their mentor near by?
Like all of the Phoenix Wright franchise, the gameplay is practically the same, with the addition of a new mechanic. The mechanic in this game is called a Divination Séance, where the spirit medium of Khura’in, the princess of the land, performs her divinations in a way to prove that the accused are guilty. During these Séances you must find a statement that princess Rayfa says and then find the sense that contradicts the statement.
But as well as Divination Séances, most of the old mechanics make a return, from Phoenix’s Psyche Locks, to Apollo’s Bracelet mechanics, they’re back and they’re certainly not a gimmick. If you’ve never played one of the older titles, the game gives you an option to learn how to deal with the mechanic. Of course, you’re not limited to having to watch it, the game is generous enough to allow the fans of the series to just skip the tutorial sections of the older mechanics. The only bits you couldn’t skip were, of course, the Divination Séance explanations. Though you can skip the animation that accompanies all Divination Séances.
One thing that has been bugging me slightly, is the fact that the audience are so vocal in this title. Whilst this doesn’t affect the gameplay, it does somewhat slow it down. I understand that Khura’in is a kingdom full of hatred towards defence lawyers, but that seems to be hardly worth whole audiences chanting “Death! Death! Death!” at Phoenix. However, this is just a personal opinion – I do find it slows the cases down somewhat unnaturally.
Once again, the Phoenix Wright series knows how to make some compelling character music. From the mysterious sounds of Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, to the culturally appropriate music of the courtrooms, you get an instant vibe as to what to expect from the place or the character. Along with this, favourites such as Cornered make a reappearance. One that I found most odd was the reappearance of the Steel Samurai theme tune, but hey, it works for the cases it’s featured in. Some classic songs mixed in with some new tunes, the audio in this title is brilliant. The voice acting of the characters are also superbly done.
As always, seeing is believing with games, so we’ll let you be the judge of whether this courtroom drama anime-styled game is appealing or not.
This might be the hardest one I’ve played to date, although it might just be at the same difficulty as Trials and Tribulations. The weirdest part about this title is the back and forth nature of Khura’in and back at the law offices of Phoenix and co. Sure, this title was built to help you understand more about one of the main protagonists of the series, but it’s strange that in doing so, they brought back so many old mechanics. From the classic Psyche Lock, to the new Divination Seances, there’s a lot to see and do in this latest iteration. Heck, even Luminol Testing makes a reappearance. Old prosecutors are name dropped often and it feels like this one was made to tip the hat at anyone who has followed the series so far, but not to the detriment to anyone who hasn’t picked up one of these titles in the past.
I don’t think it’s the best one yet – Trials and Tribulations and Dual Destinies are higher up in my list. I do think that for any Phoenix Wright fan, this is a great addition to an already great franchise. Sure, they’ve done better, but due to how well polished the game is, it stands up there with the majority of the games. I feel this might be the most jam-packed one yet, if only because of the amount of features included. But what do you think? Have you played Spirit of Justice yet? Which is your favourite Ace Attorney game? As always, leave your comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.