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on September 22, 2009
This is truly an unique game, im not sure what genre it fits into, but its definately an original game. Phoenix Wright is not going to win any awards for realism, but who would have thought a court room game would be fun? The basic flow of the game starts with a viewing of the crime without giving too much away, you are then tasked with investigating and questioning witnesses, then its off to trial after you have gathered all the clues you can find. An attorney out investigating a crime scene isn't very realistic but it makes for a fun part of the game.

What makes this DS title so addictive is the well written and often times humorous storyline. Its divided into 5 chapters for this first game, each chapter being a different case. The dialogue is fun to read, with the occasional filler line here and there that i could have done without. Events that happen in Phoenix Wright don't really go down like they would in real life but the developers clearly weren't going for realism. In fact, most of the time i couldn't believe how the story was unfolding, just when you think you know who the culprit is the writers lead you to another person, but that is what is so much fun, it keeps you guessing.

Phoenix Wright is a defense attorney, so you will be defending your client by questioning witnesses with the sole purpose of tearing their testimony apart to get to the truth. Watching witnesses slowly break down with each objection is what keeps you playing. Phoenix wright has spawned 3 sequels with a 4th one coming in 2010 so Capcom knows people are eating these games up like brownies, including myself. I got hooked after this first title and already bought the next 2 sequels. Trust me, this game will deliver the goods!
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on January 1, 2013
It takes a lot for me to become engaged in a handheld game. I really have to enjoy the gameplay and/or the story and characters as I generally prefer console games. I typically purchase Nintendo handhelds to play Pokemon. I came across this game by accident on Amazon, and after reading reviews and watching gameplay on Youtube, decided to ask for it for Christmas. I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a shot. I'm so glad I did! This game is awesome. You play Phoenix Wright, up-and-coming attorney. You have several cases to solve (I think 5. I'm on case 4 already because I play it so much!). Each case is a unique story with memorable characters. Every case I've played has been a murder trial. You get to investigate by searching for clues and talking to witnesses. After that, you get to go into the court room. Your job is to defend the murder suspect and prove his/her innocence by finding contradictions in the witnesses' statements and presenting evidence. You get 5 mistakes. If you give the wrong evidence, object at the wrong time, badger a witness too much, or sometimes answer incorrectly, you lose a "life." You have 5 throughout each trial. I'll admit, I've lost a few times, but I just retry and think until I can figure it out. This game is text/story-based, so if you don't like that, I wouldn't recommend it. It also might be a little much for young children. It's not super violent, and it only shows a little bit of animated blood, but still.

The dialogue is funny, and I find myself laughing at the banter between Phoenix and other characters. He's very likable as are many other characters like Mia Fey, Detective Gumshoe, Larry Butz, etc. The prosecutors, however, you just want to hate! They'll try anything to stop you from winning the case. It does get a bit frustrating sometimes because I'm not sure what to do, but I usually just replay that part, and then I figure it out. The nice thing about the game is that you get to save at any point in the game, even in the middle of a trial, so you can retry if you lose the case. It really does require you to think! After playing this game, I can't wait to try the others! I went out and bought Apollo Justice Ace Attorney from Gamestop. The games are not easy to find, though. I haven't been able to find any of the other 3 games except on Amazon. I may end up just buying them from Amazon, even though they're a bit expensive. They're such good games. I can't help it! So, if you like challenging games with a good story, pick this one up! It's pretty cheap on Amazon.
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on December 7, 2012
I like how in this game, the only way of winning each case is to pay attention to the biggest and smallest details. You get about five cases in the whole game; each one you have to investigate, look for clues, interview witnesses and bystanders so important information you gain can help you get the real criminal. After the investigation is over, you go to trial. Then you cross examine the prime suspect, while they are giving you the side to their story you have to find any flaws to their statement by using the evidence you found. And make sure you use the right evidence at the right time because if you screw up you lose a life (sort of) and you have a total of five I think. If you lose all five you have to start the chapter over or your last save point. Then there are obstacles as well, sometimes when the trial gets more complex the game will ask you to decide either keep questioning the suspect or let it go.
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on June 12, 2014
Honestly, this games is a decent length. There are 5 cases to solve and after the first one (which is the shortest) they get longer and there are more things you can do. I was just so addicted to it once I started playing that I finished it within 3-4 days. If you are someone who will only play when you get a little spare time this game will last much longer for you. That said I love this game. I have already ordered Justice for All, the next game in the franchise. The characters are all likable and oftentimes they make you laugh. I like the art and character designs, and once you get the hang of the game mechanics you shouldn't have any problems playing. The cases get trickier as you go on and some require some extra thought and maybe even a few redos until you figure it out, but none of them were so tricky that I had to look up an online guide. If you're into mysteries, quirky unique games, and interesting storylines, this is the game for you.
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on August 1, 2011
This game is a lot of fun. On paper, it sounds stupid. You play as a defense attorney? Come on. But in reality, this game is a blast, and it has none of the boring courtroom stuff that you might be imagining.

The game happens in two "modes." On most of the game's five chapters, you start out in an investigation mode, where you play the part of detective, unofficially, by talking to people and collecting evidence to use in court. Then, once you've collected everything you need, the game moves into courtroom mode, where you battle it out with the witness and prosecutor to uncover the truth behind the grisly murder.

The greatest thing about this game is the anime influences. When you raise an objection or press a witness for more information, you don't simply clear your throat and nicely say a few words. Instead, you shout it and throw your hand out! (See the box art for an example.) You can even shout into the DS' microphone to make this happen, if you like. Then, when you've made a point that the witness or prosecutor doesn't like, they recoil in shock to the sound of an impact, as if they had just been hit with something. It's so cartoon-like and so much fun.

It's also really satisfying to go from a seemingly obvious murder case to something completely unexpected one little piece of evidence at a time. It's satisfying to call the culprit on his lies and watch him squirm as he tries to weasel his way out of it with yet another lie.

I guess I do have one objection. The only negative thing I have to say about this game is that it really is completely linear, despite the freedom it gives you while collecting evidence or during a courtroom scene. There is only one thing you can do at a time, and only one right answer. If you get stuck, it's really hard to figure out, and sometimes the game's logic is a little shaky. It helps to have a guide or a friend who has played it before to refer to every once in a while.
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on May 24, 2012
I bought this game because I heard that the Ace Attorney series are some of the best games on the DS, so I thought that I might as well try this game out. After I bought it, I thought that I would play half hour of it or so, to see what the games about, I played the first case, and I got hooked,now Phoenix Wright is one of my favorite series.

Story: You are a rookie defense Attorney, Phoenix Wright, as you go through 5 different murder cases, and that is it in a nutshell, there is more to than that, but I just wanted to say the basic premise, but I will say that this game has good/funny characters, and writing.

Graphics:This game is a port of a Japanese GBA game, so the graphics aren't as good as they could be, but they are still good, and the character animation are also pretty good.

Sound: The music for this game is really good/ epic,it is very catchy and memorable, and it also fits very well. The game doesn't really have voice acting, it just has a few voice clips, for the famous Objection, and hold it, but with those voice clips you have an idea of what the characters sound like.

GamePlay:This game is a visual novel, so there is a lot reading(People who don't like reading, wont like this game). you have three days to prove your client innocent. The first part of the case is the investigation, in this part you are in first person looking for clues for your trial, this part is a point and click section, to be honest this section is good, but a little boring compared to the trial section. in trial you cross examine witnesses and try to find contradictions in there statement, you usually have to present evidence on a certain statement,or you can also press them for more information.

In conclusion, It might not be a game for everybody, but it is fun game, with good music, and good/well written characters, and unique. and really how many games do you play as a Lawyer, and for it to be fun too.
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on March 10, 2011
Let me start out by saying this: I bought my Nintendo DS for the sake of playing this game. I was not disappointed. I plan to play the entire series.

Why play this?:
If you like games with a story, then Phoenix Wright is a must. Rather, this is a game played for the story; however, it's not like final fantasy, where you have to trudge through tedious, boring, & mindless turn-based battles before you can reach the next scrap of story line. Here, the story is the game, so it's constantly unfolding before you. There's never a dull moment in this game.

Getting stuck in the game:
Not being a gamer, when my friends get me to play certain games, if I get stuck too soon or the game takes forever to progress, I end up getting bored & quiting. This game, however, ensures that you are fatally hooked on it before there's a chance of that happening. Even when it does happen, getting unstuck is usually just a matter of putting the game down, & coming back to it later with a fresh mind. (on a side note, 3am really isn't the best time for problem solving.) Some people have noted in reviews that there are times in investigation when you have to guess at presenting completely random pieces of evidence in order to progress. That's only half true. You will have to present evidence outside of court, but there's always logic behind what you present.

Here, I would like to make an OBJECTION to a common complaint about the game-play. When moving from location to location, it's true that you can't go straight from point A to point F. For those who say this is tedious, I say you're picking at cross-hairs. For one thing, it's logical that before going to the park woods, you have to go to the park's entrance, yes? yes. If you were able to skip around illogically, it would be harder to maintain a sense of where things are. Also, it would be all to easy to completely miss places you need to go back to. Finally, even if you have to progress through 4 different locations to get where you're going, this takes all of 4 seconds.

Extra amusement:
Go to youtube & look up "Boot to the Head" & "Phoenix Wrong" these videos, as well as the amazon reviews, are what made want to play this game in the first place.
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on May 1, 2008
While playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, I got the impression that the company that made it didn't spend a lot of money on it because they didn't think it would be very popular. The graphics are very minimal, but not without their charms. There's very little animation, there are no slick movie interludes or smooth transitions. There is hardly any voice acting and only a few sound effects. The music, I should add, is incredibly catchy and expressive. I found myself getting caught up in the music so much that I got distracted from the game at times.

If you want this game to be a realistic depiction of what it is like to be a lawyer, don't get it. That is not the point of this game. It's basically a fun logic and whodunit murder mystery game featuring some very endearing characters. Alternately dramatic, funny, tearjerking, and shocking, this game puts you in the shoes of Phoenix Wright, a young rookie lawyer who is starting to take cases on his own. You ask questions and look for contradictions in the courtroom, and search for clues and talk to witnesses outside. In the final case, you even get to dust for fingerprints and look for bloodstains. The plotlines are very interesting and get more complex as you progress through the game.

Gameplay is limited to clicking on things with your stylus or flipping through your inventory with the arrow buttons. It's pretty intuitive and easy to learn how to do.

This game's main strength (besides the great soundtrack) is the well-written and endearing characters and dialogue. I loved seeing Phoenix get stressed out and sweat during a trial, seeing his friend/rival prosecutor Miles Edgeworth get aggravated, Detective Gumshoe's downtrodden puppy-dog look, Maya's charming naivete, and the entertaining variety of witnesses. While not as impressively rendered as most DS games, the artwork is very expressive and often hilarious. My only gripe is that there were a few misspellings and gramatical errors that should have been caught in the translation.

Overall, I thought this game was very charming and a refreshing change from games that rely on realistic graphics wow-factor instead of great storylines and well-written characters. It gets a "Teen" rating for some blood and a few off-color jokes, but I don't think younger kids would be able to put together the pieces of these rather complex mysteries enough to understand this game anyway.
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on August 25, 2013
For longer than I can remember, the Phoenix Wright series was just out there in the world, occasionally popping up in references, random video games and such. It has taken me a long time, but I finally found myself buying this game to check out the series. Though a very simple game consisting of endless dialogue, I loved every moment of it! There was something so satisfying about investigating the crime scene, finding new shocking evidence, and throwing in the faces of the courtroom with an "Objection!" or a "Take that!"

It really does give off a hilarious, anime-like-feel of a real life courtroom, and often makes you feel as though you really are there in the jury witnessing the heated debate between Phoenix and the prosecutor. I found my jaw dropping quite literally several times from the smallest turn of events in the courtroom.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase. The gameplay is different but interesting, the characters are unique and lovable, and the music and sound effects top it off amazingly!
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on March 25, 2018
Boring and dialog heavy. It felt more like reading than a game. I am a big fan of Layton games, this was recommended, but it made me fall asleep everytime I played.
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