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280 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix aces it.
Once in a while, a Japanese game gets translated, takes the scene by storm, and makes people wonder why it didn't happen earlier. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has the potential to become such a game. Originally released only in Japan, "Gyakuten Saiban" (loosely translated as "reversal judgment") is a popular legal simulation game for the GBA that gives you a chance to...
Published on October 12, 2005 by Lestor neeker Wong

versus
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please no more 'objections' puns...
To be honest, after reading all of the glowing reviews I was disappointed playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It's true that the characters & stories are fantastic, but I found the gameplay itself to be somewhat tedious. Overall, I found it to be entertaining, but more as a story than as a game.

What really makes this game stand out are the characters. There...
Published on December 2, 2007 by JoAnna Neary


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280 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix aces it., October 12, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Once in a while, a Japanese game gets translated, takes the scene by storm, and makes people wonder why it didn't happen earlier. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has the potential to become such a game. Originally released only in Japan, "Gyakuten Saiban" (loosely translated as "reversal judgment") is a popular legal simulation game for the GBA that gives you a chance to become a defense attorney. The series has already spanned three instalments, with one more being slated for release for the Nintendo DS next year. Before that happens, however, Capcom released "Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten" in September to pave the title's transition from the GBA to the DS. The game included a fully translated English version, which is eventually released in the US as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (PWAA) recently.

So, what really is PWAA? Well, it's basically a point-and-click adventure game that is set in a legal background. As rookie lawyer Phoenix Wright, you'll take on five cases in this game, which includes four from the first Gyakuten Saiban game, as well as a brand new case that was created with the features of the DS In mind.

The game takes place primarily in two platforms - investigation and court proceedings. In the earlier scenario, you go from place to place, talking to people and examining crime scenes to gather evidence that may be important in proving your client's innocence. Although the investigation process could be tedious at times, it's never dull since the game throws up so many colourful characters and stereotypes to keep you busy with. Also, despite a large number of items to examine in the various locales pertaining to a certain case, the game is rather helpful as it automatically includes all evidence that will somehow have some bearings on the case. This means that you'll never really need to wonder what's useful and what's not, thus reducing information overload. It also essentially leaves you with the task of finding out why these evidences are important, which gives the game a better focus.

Information that you gather during the investigation will be added to your court record, which is one of your greatest weapons in court. The court record also provides additional information about the evidences that are collected. For example, you may score an autopsy report from the detective in charge of the case, but it's only when you look into this report in the record that you'll get a summary of the contents. This applies to most, if not all the evidences at your disposal, and because of that, reading the court record becomes an important task that you should never forget. The game also has the knack of turning the most insignificant looking clue into a decisive one, so you should take heed that a screwdriver, for example, could turn out to be that one clue that nails the truth for you in court.

During court proceedings, apart from coming against prosecutors who're eager to convince the judge that your client is guilty, you'll also come face-to-face with witnesses who can either make or break your defense. You'll get to cross-examine these witnesses as well, which is where the fun really begins. Almost every testimony you come across in this game has some weakness or two, which you can exploit to turn the tide in your favor. Each testimony is broken down into statements, and each statement allows you the opportunity either to press for more information, or object by presenting a contradictory evidence. While this may sound easy, finding the exact evidence to present could still be a tricky task if you don't follow the case closely. Of course, being good at solving puzzles of this nature helps a great deal, but the cases are all designed in a logical, though linear, fashion that even those who're not exactly quick-witted can guess the killer if only they exercise some diligence and commonsense.

Now, as there's usually only one correct objection for each testimony, it's entirely likely that, when confronted by a bottleneck, you eliminate incorrect choices by simply presenting everything in your record if no form of restriction is set. To prevent this possible abuse, the game has a penalty system that reduces your "health" if you present a wrong objection. The health gauge is represented by exclamation marks on the screen. Each incorrect objection will lead to a dramatic explosion of one exclamation mark. Do this for five times, and you'll be greeted with the game over screen. While this may sound harsh, it actually encourages you to spend time thinking through the cases, which should in turn lead to a more satisfying gaming experience.

Now, there seems to be so many things to do in the game, so the controls must be pretty complex? Well, not exactly. In fact, the controls of PWAA are so user-friendly, you can play through the game without even using the buttons on your DS at all. Every action can be performed by clicking the respective buttons on the touch screen with your stylus. Want to move to another area? Click "move", and a menu will appear to ask where do you want to go. Want to examine an item? Point your stylus to it, tap it, and you'll get your findings. It's just that simple. Apart from waving your stylus, the game also makes use of the DS' voice recognition ability, so it's possible for you to shout "Objection!" into the mic to counter a witness' statement. Similarly, you can also shout "Hold it!" to press a statement, and "Take that!" to present a decisive evidence. Although the idea is a little quirky, it does give you that sense of satisfaction, especially when you finally deal the murderer with a forceful "Take that!" after a tiresome three-day trial. The voice recognition, however, is never forced upon you, so if you're not into talking to a machine, you can always rely on your good old stylus.

Additional controls are added for the fifth case of PWAA. As I mentioned earlier, this fifth case was designed specifically for the DS. This brand new case fully utilizes the DS' innovative features. You'll get to rotate and zoom-in on evidence to examine them more thoroughly. You'll also get to join pieces of broken evidence together. You can even set powder on your screen, and then blow it away to gather fingerprints. All these features really provide a strong involvement for the player - they make you feel that you're right in the thick of the action.

Graphically, PWAA uses an anime style to portray the various quirky characters. The style should appeal to most people, even though they expectedly become repetitive as the game progresses. Still, as you'll be spending most of the time reading the conversations, you'll tend to be more forgiving when Phoenix Wright points his finger out again (for the umpteenth time) as he tells the judge that the witness' testimony is faulty. The audios of the game are also heavily anime-inspired. The music blends in with the action really well, and it's quite obvious that the developers actually tried to create different background music that are unique to the different characters. Again, this complemented the game greatly.

All in all, PWAA is a game that I'd recommend to all DS owners, even those who're not exactly interested in murder mysteries. The game may be a little too linear for players who tend to think ahead of time, but it's still a great adventure for those who want to try something different. It's not everyday that you become a lawyer, and I'm pretty sure that after you relieve your role as Phoenix Wright, you'll be itching for a sequel. If playing a quality game is a thing for you, then you should really consider making an appointment with PWAA.
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103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who could object to this?!, October 28, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
There is a wonderful review of Phoenix Wright already up on Amazon, so I don't feel the need to go so in-depth with my explanation. I just want to cover some things I think about this amazing game, and give you a second opinion of sorts.

American's don't seem to normally fare well with text-based games. There's just something about having to sit and read and select choices that has the average american teenager running for the hills.

As such, I was amazed when I heard this game was coming to the States. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of this genre in Japan, but the US hasn't seen many of them. Yet, with the oddities of the DS and the growing interest in obscure Japan-only games among a certain cross-section of the gaming demographic (see Katamari Damashii, Wario Ware, Feel the Magic, or even such things as DDR or Para Para Paradise [okay, that last one not so much, but I'm a big fan]), publishers seem willing to take the risk a bit more than they would.

And so we have a slew of strange text-based games. There's Sprung that came on release (a very, very simple point and click text game, but actually it hardly counts, seeing as it's from a Canadian developer), and then the puzzle/text adventure Trace Memory (which I enjoyed, too), and now Phoenix Wright. While the others were fun, Phoenix blows them out of the water with one thing: style.

I'm not just talking about the anime-inspired art. No, I'm talking of the energy of the scenes and the stories, the various characters and charicatures you meet through wonderful dialogue, the forcefulness of the flow of the courtroom scenes, and just the overall feeling of giddiness underneath the suits of Phoenix and Edgeworth.

The plots here aren't groundbreaking, but they're of similar quality to your average Law and Order or CSI, and personally I think they're a lot cleverer, as they know they're melodramatic and revel in it with a cheesiness and sly humor that those shows with their self-imposed seriousness lack.

Yes, like all text-games it's fairly linear (though that's sometimes hard to tell), and the exploration/investigation parts where you visit scenes and talk to witnesses/suspects can drag a bit, but it's a text-game, and these are typical drawbacks. But when in the courtroom, Phoenix Wright pops with energy and power, turning legal proceedings into battles of wills with the prosecution (the wonderful Miles Edgeworth, who I want to see more of if there's a sequel) and the witnesses (a certain witness in Chapter 3 is memorable, a hilarious female that floors even Edgeworth).

These courtroom battles are over the top, with effects that seem more in keeping with a samurai duel than a trial, but it works in a way that is surprising and entertaining. For a text adventure, Phoenix Wright has more energy and excitement than any cookie-cutter action game out there.

And it's lengthy, too. The first case is short and quick, and leaves you wondering whether or not this game will be disappointingly short in the end (the one drawback to Trace Memory, though one wonders if these are even the same genre). Yet, each chapter gets longer and longer, until they become multi-day cases with witnesses and investigations stretching on as new facts unfold in the courtroom. Trust me, length isn't an issue, though you might end up beating it quickly just because you play it that much.

Phoenix Wright is a remake of an original game of three for GBA in Japan, and hopefully this game will prove to Capcom that there's a market for these things in America now, and all us English-speaking peoples can have a chance to experience more Wright. C'mon, give it a playthrough. It's worth picking up, and so long as you don't mind reading, and like entertainingment, and aren't put off by the idea of playing a lawyer in a courtroom melodrama, you'll love it.

If you've never played a game like this, this is the title to try. It's better than any I've ever experienced, and I can't recommend it highly enough as one of the best games on DS, period.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No objection needed for this game!, May 22, 2006
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Just to add my 2 cents to an already glowingly-reviewed title, a couple more clues as to how well-received this game was:

1. After selling through the initial stock, Capcom stopped shipping copies of the game. An uproar from the gaming community ensued and existing copies started selling for 2-3 times the SRP in online auctions before Capcom announced that they will ship more copies.

2. At E3 there was a trailer revealed for a Phoenix Wright sequel on the DS, which is the sequel to the original game in Japan but will be titled in the USA as "Justice For All".

If you are up for unconventionally written games with quirky charm, this is a fun title to sit back, relax and laugh with.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anime law and order meets adventure/puzzler, April 20, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
The hilarity, adventure, wit and fun of this game is nothing shy of stupendous (amazing great, marvelous). It has a certain nostaglia to it with a new twist on the adventure/puzzle genre.

Think of all the games that consumed our time back in the day such as King's quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry and put it to the tune of trials, evidence and investigation with hints of an RPG, text adventure and anime and you'll land on Phoenix Wright.

It's concept does seem retro but it really is like nothing you have played before. The star of this show is Phoenix Wright, a lawyer who is new to the scene and must prove is worth with the Fey & Co law offices.

As his first case, you must take on a murder case as the defendant's lawyer. In court, you will have prove to the court that the defendant is 'not quilty' by cross-examining witness testimonies. Your object is to find faults and contradictions in their testimony by referencing evidence and prior statements. You can 'press' them on everything they say to make them open up more about their testimony or to get them to confess more information.

The game doesn't stop there though, after winning your first case you will go on to also investigate the crime scenes, talk to witnesses and find your own evidence for your next case. Think law and order but you will be handling both sides of the coin. Sure, there is a detective but he is a bit slow witted and quick to come to mis-conclusions.

That is where you come in, to further investigate all the missing gaps that the detective doesn't fill, to use finding in the investigation to prove your defendant innocent later in court and to provide the court clarity as to what actually happened. It plays like a puzzle/adventure in that you must find clues and evidence and present them at the correct times (to object to a testimony, prove a contradiction or to trigger an event in a investigation) in order to progress through the game. These items are stored in your court record.

This game plays more like a interactive comic book and that is definitely not a bad thing. Most of your time will be spent reading text, I would say this takes up 75% of the game. This doesn't hurt the game's score any because for 1) the game has a great story and is intriguing around every corner 2) the interaction between the characters is oft times funny and not at all dry. It reads like a quality script written for a comic book or tv show.

The following 25% is interaction, the ability to choose the right option or to present evidence at the right moment of the game. This interaction goes seamless with the story and fits appropriately with the DS. As the stylus is greatly utilized for presenting evidence out of your court record and exploring crime scenes.

There is a good reason why this makes most people's top ten DS list.

Graphics: 3.5 out of 5. Although this game only consist of anime-esque stylings of still life characters that are only slightly animated amongst static backgrounds, the graphics still help carry the story. It looks like the makings of slightly animated, interactive comic book. The character art is well drawn and each character changes looped animations based on their current mood. However, the graphics could easily have been shown on a lesser system such as the GBA. Perhaps the graphics have been revamped and enhanced slightly for the DS version. The only real thing that separates it from a GBA title is its use of stylus and its length.

Sound: 4 out 5, good use of sound effects and use of music add suspense and drama to the game.

Gameplay: 5.

Story: 5.

Replay Value: 3.

Overall: 4.5 A must for DS owners.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Games like this make the DS the #1 handheld!, February 11, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a fun game. It's that simple.

Graphics (4 out of 5): I would say the graphics are on par with most DS games. They could be better, but they don't retract at all from the gameplay. They are fun and in the same style as games like Sprung and Under the Knife.

Audio (2 out of 5):The audio is where most DS games fall short. I am content with the graphic abilities of the DS, because quite simply the graphics don't make a good game. Sure they help, but the gameplay is were the entertainment truly lies. It's knowing this that has kept Nintendo on top in the handheld market. I just wish that the DS had a little more power behind it for the audio's sake. I would like speaking characters throughout an entire game, especially a game like this. And the music is so repetetive, it got to be so annoying that I found myself just turning the sound completely off. I guess they do the best they can for what they have to work with, but in this case, it's just not good enough.

Gameplay (5 out of 5): As far as the gameplay goes, you couldn't ask for a much better experience. You are put in the role of Pheonix Wright who in his first trial is defending his best friend who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend. Eventually you go on to work other cases and along the way you are required to gather evidence to use in court to suppport your defense. The characters are over the top and a lot of fun to interact with. This is a text based game and I suppose you might have to be a fan of the genre to really appreciate it. But it's a simple pick up and play game that held my attention from beginning to end. I really had trouble putting it down. While a game like Sprung got a little monotonous and came down more to memorization then common sense questioning. Phoenix stays on track in that area and logic plays more of a part in the solution of the cases. I highly reccomend this game!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please no more 'objections' puns..., December 2, 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
To be honest, after reading all of the glowing reviews I was disappointed playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It's true that the characters & stories are fantastic, but I found the gameplay itself to be somewhat tedious. Overall, I found it to be entertaining, but more as a story than as a game.

What really makes this game stand out are the characters. There isn't a single character in the game that isn't cleverly designed and written. The graphic designs of the characters are well done; each shows their emotions in a unique and very, very funny way.

The cases are interesting, but the conversations became extremely repetitive. After hearing the same point repeated 6 or 10 times, I got a little bit tired of even the most scandalous murder cases. Gameplay is point and click, solid enough for the genre, but nothing special.

What really hindered gameplay was the lack of effective use of the stylus, dual screens, and microphone that differentiate the DS from the gameboy. This is a port of an older GBA game, with one new case added specifically for the DS. You can use the microphone & stylus to do certain tasks, but all of them can also be accomplished with the buttons.

One case at the end was added for the DS specifically, but playing through it I felt as though the features were just a bit tacked on. An example: you can dust for fingerprints by touching the screen to distribute powder and then blowing it away. This entire process takes about 5 seconds, and there is little to no guesswork involved about where you should fingerprint (hmm, maybe the bloody handprint?) making it seem kind of pointless.

To sum it up, the good:

- Fantastic characters with amusing & quirky personalities
- Well plotted cases
- The game has a great sense of humor

and the not so good:

- Extremely repetitive at times
- It's a port of a GBA game and the features of the DS are barely used.

The game is well worth a look at, but I'd rent it or buy it used.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me want to be a lawyer, April 5, 2007
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
I originally laughed at the idea of a lawyer themed DS game. However, wanting to be a lawyer myself, I just had to pick it up. This is one of the best, deepest, most interesting games I've ever played. As Phoenix Wright, a rookie lawyer, you must defend 5 clients who are all charged with murder. The evidence is heavily stacked against you, which is part of the fun. The cases are never boring, and each one has at least one twist which (for me) made the game impossible to put down (until my battery died). The game gives you some cushioning in that you cannot lose unless you object without base (present evidence that doesn't contradict the testimony) 5 times. This, of course, forces you to think like a lawyer and carefully consider every segment of the case. Although at times the actual law is off, and some contradictions are almost impossible to find (though this makes your need to think even greater), Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney is a wonderful game for people who enjoy stories with depth and a game that actually makes you think. It even made me want to become a lawyer even more than I already did.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, unique game with some learning going on!, April 22, 2007
By 
KDMask (Rochester, NY) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
When my son ordered this game I wasn't sure what to expect. I had no idea how a 'courtroom" drama could be played out on a DS. Much to my surprise he not only loved playing the game, he has learned quite a bit about the judicial system. There are a lot of sites on the net that can help with strategies for play and he's really gotten a lot of the whole experience. The ultimate in role-playing for thinking gamers!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Objections!!!, April 13, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
When I began playing "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney", I saw exactly what it was people like about it. The cases take interesting turns and sometimes you never really know (sometimes until the moment you make a guess) who the real killer is. Investigating crime scenes and asking witnesses is fun but the best part is going to trial. It's very difficult at times but at the same time it's an interesting puzzle. You have to find contradictions in witness testimony by presenting evidence or pressing further into the matter.

There's a lot of reading in this game, more than usual for a video game. I would say that about 70% is reading and the rest is investigation, presenting evidence, and pressing witnesses. Sometimes I felt I was reading a mystery book rather than playing a game. Very fun and entertaining game!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take That!, November 9, 2006
By 
SKS (Montgomery, AL) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
I was a little late to the booming cult following that Phoenix Wright has acquired, having just bought the game this month. However, it did not dissapoint. I was always a fan of the point and click adventures on the PC but was dissapointed with Trace Memory, not so much that it was a bad game but it was soo short. I was hesitant to spend the money again on a game I could beat in about 10 hours time, but luckily I did. Phoenix Wright is one of those games that has enough challenge to it that you don't feel like you are breezing effortlessly through it, yet is open enough for younger players to be able to play and enjoy it as well. The length of the game is fairly long, with five cases to solve, each one becoming longer and more difficult as you play. I must say you really get into the characters in this game as each case is connected in some way to the others, and I really liked the last case that added the use of luminol and finger printing tools (makes you feel all CSI, and stuff ;) ). I look forward to the second one coming out soon, and definately recommend this as one of the best on the DS right now.
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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS
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