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OBJECTION!: Ace Attorney Series Review

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney boxart for the No...

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Capcom first introduced the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series with its first release on October 11, 2001. [1] Although it is a popular series, it does not yet have the widespread popularity that similar series such as Mega-Man, or Zelda have been able to attain.

The series has showed great prosperity however, even having a shortage during one of the North American releases due to such an unexpectedly high demand. [2]

The series certainly features an interesting cast of characters, including a coffee addict named Godot who always finds a way to reference coffee to all of life’s situations.

Caffè latte as being served in Oslo

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“…Add the pureness of milk to the perfect, clear darkness of coffee. Stir.That is the state of the witness’s mind right now – a cup of café au lait Mr. Trite’s words are the milk and you are the spoon, Your Honor.” -Godot

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribu...

Image via Wikipedia - Characters from Left-to-Right: Godot, Mia Fey, Phoenix Wright, Maya Fey

The first half of the series follows the life of a novice lawyer by the name of Phoenix Wright. After the death of his mentor Mia Fey, Mr. Wright undergoes tremendous character development and his desire for justice grows stronger. His goal is to protect those who are innocent – and most of all, to uncover the truth. To do this he takes up a position as a defense attorney, conducting detective-like investigations. This leads him into a variety of cases, and into an association with his mentor’s daughter, Maya Fey: a fun-loving, childish, 18-19 year old girl, who becomes his assistant. As the story progresses, so too does the complexities of it’s mysteries and the addition of characters. Sherlock Holmes related-situations and references (in both content, and dramatic intellectual battles) also tend to sprout up throughout the series, providing a somewhat familiar environment, with the same appealing suspense and deductive reasoning. There is however, one thing Sherlock Holmes did not do – and that is engage in courtroom proceedings. A majority of the games consist of dramatic courtroom battles, with finger-pointing galore and the yelling of “OBJECTION!” and “TAKE THAT!” (for which the series has been popularized as well as parodied).

Soon we are introduced to Miles Edgeworth, the childhood friend and rival to Phoenix Wright. It becomes evident that he will play an important part in the development of the series’ plot and continuation, as much “screen-time” is dedicated to his personal development. Edgeworth is most likely one of the top fan-favorites, with his higher-than-thou bearing, restrained emotions, and cold intellectual glares – yet bursts of kindness, humility, and realization of truth. Most likely due to his popularity, another official series, entitled Ace Attorney Investigations, has been developed with Edgeworth as its chief protagonist. As opposed to the original Ace Attorney Series, less or virtually no time is spent in courtroom battles, with a primary focus on crime scene investigations – it also holds a greater resemblance to Sherlock Holmes.

List of characters in the Ace Attorney series

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Game play throughout the series is quite consistent, with definitive similarities such as:

→ Cross-Examinations: Cross examinations are typically the interrogation of a witness – typically inquiring of their testimony regarding the given crime, and revealing any inconsistencies with solid proof. Cross Examinations prove to be major road blocks in both series and allow for much progress to be made when solved.
And…
General Investigation: During a general investigation of the crime scenes, Miles Edgeworth and Phoenix Wright typically act the part of a CSI investigator (usually getting in the way of the official investigators – or in the case of Miles Edgeworth, using them to gather evidence), checking the scene for clues, obtaining an autopsy for whoever seems to be in charge, a bit of randomness here and there, and so on. This takes up quite a bit of game time. When you find a clue or obtain a particularly noteworthy testimony, it is added to the Court Record or your personal organizer, from which you may present proof the courts or identify the lies in a witnesses’ testimony.

Content-wise, the series is generally rated T for Teen, due to the graphic nature of the crimes entailed (which are typically murder). There is however, never any intense violence, as everything is handled with an abundance of ambiguity. For example, at the beginning of each case (there are around 4+ cases per game, which are connected at the end to one focal point) the crime which will form the basis of the plot will be displayed in the form of a simple animation sequence. To show that someone has been “disposed of” there may be a foreboding pool of crimson. The fact that you typically review the site of the autopsy also brings about a plethora of disturbing images which are unfit for young children. In the series however, most of these sequences are brief, and the graphic nature quite minimal – though some of the installments are of differing extremities than that of the others. Generally content is made up of problem solving testimonies, and court room battles.

Christian Perspective

Although the violence in minimal, there is another aspect of the series which may prove highly controversial to Christians – which is that of conflicting beliefs. There is some talk of “Spirit Channeling” in around two of the games, which is to be taken with a very hefty grain of salt. Later installments of the series prove to have much less, if any, of this content and are highly recommended over the first few.

Upcoming Games :[34]

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Image via Wikipedia - The Original, to Which will be the Sequel!

→ Ace Attorney Investigations 2

[for the DS/DSi/3DS]: The first installment was more than hoped for, and I hope to say the same of it’s sequel! Starring the fan-famous Miles Edgeworth, this series is composed most brilliantly with solid storylines, amusing and complimentary soundtracks, and a host of uniquely developed characters. A sample of the game is available to play, though it is in Japanese, it provides some general insight of what the game will look like (though the North American version is most likely subject to revision), you may find the sample at the Official Site. (North American Release: TBA 2011).

Professor layton ace attorney-art

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Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney [3DS]:

The ultimate showdown! Puzzle Master Professor Layton meets Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright! This dynamic duo must face off against the dastardly Story Teller (Ed. Just strikes fear into your heart, doesn’t it?) who is evil for some reason… unknown to some of even the most informed gamers. With this blockbuster-game is accompanied a very impressive soundtrack, and rich plot. Two of the most famous soundtracks may be heard at the Official Site, which is in the form of a virtual book. Also available is an animated trailer for the game and some screen shots (North American Release: TBA 2011).

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Nintendo DSi vs Nintendo 3DS

Although it has yet to be released in the United States (it’s official release is March – 27th for the U.S.), the Nintendo 3DS seems quite promising, simply from its marketing campaign. Yet will it truly measure up to expectations?

English: Nintendo DSi Polski: Nintendo DSi

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The Nintendo DSi
The Nintendo DSi, and it’s XL Version as well, brought about a large change to the Nintendo DS line. It started with the simple DS system, and the slightly improved Lite, which enhanced visual capabilities with it’s brightness level feature. Then comes the DSi – the first in its line to introduce duo built-in cameras with corresponding software, a voice-record system with alteration features (such as pitch or echo), and even going so far as to make available the option of a built-in, Opera-based internet browser, along with the animation program Flipnote and its Hatena sharing capabilities – further allowing a SD Card Slot for additional memory. The DSi was certainly developed for personal use, complimented with fun, socially interactive features.

Opera Browser 2.0

Image by Jorge glеz via Flickr

Fun Fact: I’ve recently noticed an increase in web searches relating to DSi Flash player inquiries which have been redirected to this blog. The Nintendo DSi does not support Flash Player on its web browser, nor any other add-on’s. Therefore many online sites such as YouTube, or MMORPG game sites like Club Penguin or Adventure Quest are rendered useless and incapable of operation. This is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.

English: Nintendo 3DS Deutsch: Nintendo 3DS

Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo 3DS
According to Wikipedia (and now first-hand experiences), which has based its information  on reliable resources, the Nintendo 3DS features push-buttons, D-pad (which operates with similar purpose to the control pad. Allows users to pan through environments, scroll through menu’s, etc.), analog stick, touchscreen, volume slider, 3D depth slider, wireless communications switch, 3DS/DSi/DS and SD Card Slots, and a variety of programs, including Wii-based features, such as 3DS Sound , Mii Studio, PictoChat, Street Pass Mii Plaza, Face Shooting, Download Service, 3DS Camera, Augmented reality games, 3DS Shop, Internet Browser, an Activity Log, and 3D movie playback capability (with movies by Warner BrosDisney, and DreamWorks). As it’s main attraction, the Nintendo 3DS enables 3-D game play for select games, including a slider to adjust the 3-D graphics at any time. The dramatic effects of 3-D gameplay requires no special glasses or additional equipment as it operates on the concept of autostereoscopy. It certainly ups the ante!

Nintendo 3DS Experience Group

Image by HK-DMZ via Flickr

Hopeful Developments

As terrific as all these new and returned features are, there are some updates that could be made – and hopefully will be, such as:

-Increased Web Browser Capabilities (We don’t yet, since Nintendo has yet to release the update containing their web browser): Now we do, the Nintendo 3DS Browser is superior, includes an automatic “word-guesser” which saves time!

-Upgraded FlipNote software with additional, advanced options: Nintendo has now released SwapNote, superior to FlipNote. Send notes to your friends, and even animate the process of drawing, instead of page by page animations (although this is still possible).

-More release-date choices in bundles – such as with Mario Kart 3DS, and others I’ve commonly discussed (a few bundles are currently available from GameStop, though they’re not really big deals): Nintendo carried through in this aspect as well, with Zelda, Mario, etc. bundles!

Check the Adventure Writer Blog in March 2011 for a full review on the Nintendo 3DS  and perhaps one of our first video blog posts! For updates, check: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi] category, which is where all  Nintendo 3DS [and related DSi] posts will be added.

If you liked this, be sure to check out…

Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney {Level-5 & Capcom}

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Nintendogs + Cats

Mario Kart 3DS

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Kid Icarus: Uprising