Phoenix Wright
Platform: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Adventure
Format: Cartridge
Release: US 10/11/05
Japan 09/15/05

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I don't think this needs a caption.
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Wow.. she looks angry.
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I wonder if I'll ever grow a beard...
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Are we sure this isn't an 'adult' adventure?
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Mike Wilson
First Look Preview
Mike Wilson

Most of us won't admit it, but at some point in our lives, we all wanted to be like Matlock; solve cases, badger witnesses, and then go out to lunch afterwards. Since few games are based in the courtroom, we have never been able to fulfill that fantasy. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, a courtroom drama for the Nintendo DS is going to change that. While it won't help your pass your Bar Exam, it is guaranteed to make you laugh.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a remake of the first game in the Gyakuten Saiban ("Objection Court") series for the Game Boy Advance. It stars a young, naive lawyer named Phoenix who has finished law school and landed a job at a prestigious firm. When the game opens, he finds himself defending an old friend, Larry Butz, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend. In addition to helping four other clients in the game, Phoenix will need to find evidence, crack testimonies, and do whatever else he can to prove his friends' innocence.

The game works much like an actual courtroom proceeding, minus the boring protocols. The trial begins with the opening statements presented by the two opposing lawyers. Next, witnesses are called to the stand. The top screen of DS displays the witness' testimony, and if you find something odd, you can press the witness for answers and try to catch them in their lies. However, if you press witnesses at the wrong time, you will lose points and possibly the case. The bottom screen of the DS displays menus. You can use the stylus to navigate and organize your thoughts during the testimony. You may also use the bottom screen to view profiles of the witnesses on the stand, which could provide valuable clues about their credibility.

For a completely menu-driven game, the visual presentation is sharp. The game looks and feels like a manga, filled with over-exaggerated characters and facial expressions. Phoenix's artwork captures the vigor of his character, and many of the witnesses have a comical look to them- such as Mr. Sahwit, who looks like an unsuccessful car salesman. The game's script is also filled with witty humor that you typically wouldn't find in the courtroom.

Since the game is a remake, it is going to be packed to the brim with new features. There will be microphone support allowing you yell "Objection!" when you find something wrong with a testimony. This feature is optional, of course, so you don't have to worry about embarrassing yourself. There will also be a brand new case, bringing the total number of cases to five. The game will also have two player support, where you and your buddy can take your frustration to the courtroom and try to beat each other.

Phoenix: Wright Ace Attorney will appeal to many audiences when it is released this fall. It doesn't follow any court systems directly, as its geared more for fun than as an accurate sim, but it still feels realistic. If you own a DS and you've been waiting for a new and unique title, look no further.


© 2005 Capcom.
All Rights Reserved.

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