Capcom’s latest entry into the Nintendo DS library, ‘Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney: Justice for All,’ is a worthy follow-up to the 2005 cult hit that started the series.
Known as ‘Gyakuten Saiban’ in Japan, the franchise has actually existed on the Game Boy Advance since 2001 with several entries already released in the land of the rising sun.
Picking up where ‘Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney’ left off, the second stateside outing follows the winning formula of the original and is another must-have title in the growing catalog of DS hits. However, the game often feels more like an extension of the original rather than a true sequel.
For those unfamiliar with the formula, the game follows a young defense attorney named Phoenix Wright as he deals with a nameless judge, quirky perps and a repertoire of eccentric witnesses and clients to get to the bottom of the case.
The role of the player in these adventures is to sort through the various clues and testimony to find inconsistencies. To do this, the player uses the touch screen to sort through the ‘Court Record,’ which contains evidence and character profiles.
Evidence ranges from crime scene photos and fingerprints to cell phones, business cards and even witness files. Progressing from one ‘case’ to the next replaces traditional level progression. Each case has two different modes and a procedure for advancing. Depending on what the story demands, the case will either begin in the courtroom or in an investigation stage.
In the courtroom, players listen to witness testimony, analyze it sentence by sentence and can ‘press’ the witness by zeroing in on a particular segment of testimony.
A contradiction can be pointed out by using the ‘present’ feature, which allows the player to demonstrate evidence from the court record appropriate to the situation. New to ‘Justice for All’ is the ability to present the character profiles as evidence