The best computer role playing games have the best storylines. As long as there's a definite, compelling goal to the game and players can see waht happens as they make progress towards the goal, interest will remain high. Without such a storyline, all you get are a series of battles, success in which only leads to more battles against tougher enemies. And that's pretty much what you get in "Devil's Attorney," a game that has a pretty good gimmick (the battles in this game all take place in the courtroom), but soon becomes very repetitive.
"Devil's Attorney" is a typical turn-based game, but one that uses variations on legal terminology. Your character, Max, is a cocky defense attorney with a steady stream of clients (58 trials in all). You have two basic types of opponents: witnesses and evidence. You attack each opponent using the skills at your disposal, which have names like "discredit" and "cross-examine." Each attack reduces the credibility of an opponent. When the credibility goes to zero, the opponent is eliminated. You also have defensive skills like "tamper with evidence" and "hypnotize" that reduce the strength of one or more of your opponents' attacks. When your opponents successfully attack you, your case strength goes down. If it goes to zero, you lose the case and your client goes to jail.
Each time you win a case, you earn your fee, and collect a certain amount of money, with a bonus for winning the case in a certain number of rounds. You can use that money to "upgrade" your apartment of wardrobe or buy a car. In addition to whatever intangible benefits you get out of some tacky living room decor, when you purchase upgrades you get additional skills as well. However, there's no real harm resulting from losing a case (other than the blow to your ego). If you lose a case or don't solve it in enough type of earn the bonus, you can just keep replaying the case until you win. The game also has three difficulty levels (I played the two easier ones). The cases are the same for each difficulty level, but you start with greater case strength and more action points in the easier levels.
The idea behind "Devil's Attorney" is clever, and the game has a fair amount of humor to it. Your clients aren't murderers and bank robbers; they are usually petth con artists who have tried to pull off some sort of scam. Plus, before each case you and the prosecutor assigned to the case have some pre-recorded banter, usually consisting of hurling insults at each other, much of which is extremely childish. However, once you get past the third rate comic shtick at the beginning of each case, what's left is essentially the same trial over and over again with slight differences in the number and strength of opponents each time. The last case involves a surprise prosecutor and is by far the most difficult at any difficluty level.
I really liked "Devil's Attorney" when I first started playing it and found a good bit of humor in the first few trials. After about a half dozen cases though, I realized that I would just get a procession of variations on the same scenario. The gameplay was occasionally somewhat difficult and challenging for the later cases so the game does require a bit of strategy or trial-and-error to win. Still, what the game really boils down to is 58 versions of the same trial with the same rather limited sets of opponents. "Devil's Attorney" may have won the case, but it's no Perry Mason.
I loved this game. It is true that is pretty easy and might not be what you expect out of it.
In this game you play as Max, an attorney that defends all kinds of "unique" individuals. Before each case you have a brief summary of the crime your client allegedly committed and what he says that really happened. Those little paragraphs are amazing. One of the cases for example is about a man that was caught walking around naked and said he was from the future and his drawing looks a lot like the Terminator. You also have a short banter that happens between Max and the respective defense attorney (the voice acting in these is great), and the dialogs are cohesive and keep progressing throughout the whole game, giving you the sense that time is actually passing. The dialog that Max had with attorney A will affect what attorney B says. The one thing is that you have no control over these dialogs, but are extremely fun to watch.
The gameplay itself is very simple, it plays a lot like a turn based rpg or card game (like Magic the gathering). You are given a certain amount of action points and a set of skill you can use. Your opponent has a group of witnesses, evidence, and random skills that will damage your case. If your case strength goes down to 0 you lose the case and have to try again. This game is very forgiving in the sense that losing a case will not really harm you at all. You can try again and again until you get it right, and even if it is your 10th time trying, you will still be able to get the bonus if you finish it within a certain amount of turns. Even with that the game is very entertaining, the story is light hearted and fun and will keep you busy for a little while.
To enjoy this game to the fullest I would recommend you read the little paragraphs before each case and listen to the banter between attorneys. You do have multiple difficulties and different endings that make for great replay value.
The graphics, voice acting, and fun gameplay make it most definitely worth its price of $1.99.