Vasvi Recommends: Ace Attorney

aceattornetCapcom, 2001.
It’s punny ok.

Ace Attorney is a series of Nintendo games on attorney Phoenix Wright, who defends the most peculiar characters in court.

What began as a low-budgeted game for the GBA, has now developed into an amazing game series with 5 sequels and several spin-offs.The first three games have been remastered and are available at the Nintendo e-shop. The fourth game is now also available on the App Store and Play Store. The later games are available on the 3DS. Don’t have a DS/3DS? Why on earth not? It has so many awesome games to play (if you don’t have one it’s fine of course).

 

The trilogy is is made up of separate cases, but the big cases are all tied together.They revolve around one old case named DL-6. Throughout the three games, themes of family, loss, revenge, and faith are important in these games. It’s not very surprising considering Phoenix Wright is a defense attorney for people accused of murder. Furthermore, the game deals with spiritual concepts as well: Phoenix’ mentor is Mia, an attorney from a bloodline of spirit mediums. The spiritual concept plays a big role in the games, and while it does not fit the logic and pragmatics of a courtroom (despite there being none in the actual game), it blends in nicely with the issues of family and revenge. The fourth game introduces new characters, such as Apollo Justice, but the themes of the previous games are still resonant throughout the fourth game. Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice introduce more new characters and reveal their story lines. While all the games deal with pretty heavy subjects and themes, the game manages to stay lighthearted.The great thing about Ace Attorney is its humour, story telling, and characters. The humour is filled with references to pop culture and later on in the games also anime. However, as the characters develop, the game makes room for jokes based on the characters and for slap-stick comedy. To top it off, there are more puns than you can imagine. Pretty much all of the names are puns or wrecked versions of something resembling an English word;for example, in Ace Attorney 6 there is a boy who guides Phoenix around town. His name is Ahlbi Ur’gaid, or in other words, “I’ll be your guide”. The names are pretty cringe-worthy at times, but become part of the fun. I spent a good 1 to 5 minutes per name trying to figure out what the name is supposed to be. I enjoyed playing each and every instalment and I’ve played them more than once as well. Jokes that before I didn’t understand, I then finally understood; character relationships and backgrounds became more vivid; and I appreciated the minor characters, settings, dialogues, and music more and more.

While the story is one of the best aspects, the game play is one of the most boring aspects.The defending is done through pressing statements and presenting contradicting evidence. Investigations are done by looking for clues. There is only one possible route and you need to finish everything in order to continue to the trial. While this format could be boring to some, it makes it impossible to miss out on important evidence. It also prevents you from making mistakes that will hinder the win of the trial. Imagine missing one piece of evidence and not being able to finish the trial–that’s no good!

A film adaptation was released in 2012. It’s only rated a 6,6 on IMDb, but I think it’s a wonderful adaptation with a good balance between a dark theme and the game’s humour. An anime series was released in 2016, but I didn’t the first season at all, and I didn’t bother to watch the second season. I’ve heard and read mixed reviews on the anime.

The games? Play them! They’re simply great!

 

 

 

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