Gyakuten Saiban Sound Box
Catalog Number: CPCA-10249~51
Released On: February 8, 2012
Composed By: Masakazu Sugimori, Akemi Kimura, J.S. Bach, Noriyuki Iwadare
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Suleputer
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 3 CD
Buy this album from CDJapan

Disc One
01 - Gyakuten Saiban - Prologue
02 - Courtroom Lobby ~Beginning Overture
03 - Gyakuten Saiban - Trial
04 - Cross-Examination ~Moderato 2001
05 - Logic and Trick
06 - Ryuichi Naruhodo ~Objection! 2001
07 - Cross-Examination ~Allegro 2001
08 - Pursuit ~Cornered
09 - Tell the Truth 2001
10 - Suspense
11 - Pursuit ~Cornered / Variation
12 - Jingle ~It Can't End Here
13 - Investigation ~Opening 2001
14 - Mayoi Ayasato ~Turnabout Sisters' Theme 2001
15 - Detention Center ~Elegy of the Guards
16 - Keisuke Itonokogiri ~Detective Itonoko
17 - Recollection ~Heartbroken Mayoi
18 - Soranosuke Hoshikage ~Aging, Regret, Repay
19 - Happy People
20 - Recollection ~The Bright and Dark Sides of the Studio
21 - Oo-edo Soldier Tonosaman
22 - Recollection ~The DL6 Incident
23 - Investigation ~Core 2001
24 - Recollection ~The Class Trial
25 - Victory! ~The First Victory
26 - Gyakuten Saiban - End
27 - Ballad of the Turnabout Sisters
28 - Turnabout Revival - Prologue
29 - Recollection ~The SL9 Incident
30 - Akane Houzuki ~Turnabout Sisters' Theme 2005
31 - Taiho-kun ~I Want to Protect You
32 - Kyosuke Zaimon ~Detective From the Wild West
33 - Kaiji Ganto ~Swimming, Anyone?
34 - Turnabout Revival - End
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Gyakuten Saiban 2 - Prologue ~From J.S. Bach 'Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565'
02 - Ringtone / Takamasa Moroheiya
03 - Courtroom Lounge ~Another Overture
04 - Gyakuten Saiban 2 - Trial
05 - Cross-Examination ~Moderato 2002
06 - Trick and Magic
07 - Ryuichi Naruhodo ~Objection! 2002
08 - Cross-Examination ~Allegro 2002
09 - Pursuit ~Pressed
10 - Tell the Truth 2002
11 - Ringtone / Ryuichi Naruhodo
12 - Pursuit ~Pressed / Variation
13 - Jingle ~Can't Sleep on a Night Like This
14 - Psychological Lock (Psycho-Lock)
15 - Investigation ~Opening 2002
16 - Mayoi Ayasato ~Gyakuten Sisters Theme 2002
17 - Detention Center ~Elegy of Surveillance Cameras
18 - Kurain Village
19 - Recollection ~Fire-Carved Scars
20 - Eccentric
21 - Gorgeous!
22 - Tachimi Circus
23 - More Happy People
24 - Recollection ~True Pain
25 - Sazaemon Koroshiya ~A Murderous Gentleman's Pleasure
26 - Harumi Ayasato ~With Hami-chan
27 - Investigation ~Middle 2002
28 - Great Revival ~Reiji Mitsurugi
29 - Hotline of Fate
30 - Investigation ~Core 2002
31 - Recollection ~Tonosaman's Ballad
32 - Great Revival ~Mei Karuma
33 - Victory! ~Another Victory
34 - Gyakuten Saiban 2 - End
35 - Prosecutors' Murmur ~Expecting the Next Meeting
Total Time:

Disc Three
01 - Gyakuten Saiban 3 - Prologue
02 - Courtroom Lounge ~Neverending Overture
03 - Gyakuten Saiban 3 - Trial
04 - Cross-Examination ~Moderato 2004
05 - Ryuichi Naruhodo ~Objection! 2004
06 - Cross-Examination ~Allegro 2004
07 - Pursuit ~Caught
08 - Tell the Truth 2004
09 - Pursuit ~Caught / Variation
10 - Chinami Miyanagi ~Distant Traces of Beauty
11 - Godot ~The Fragrance of Black Coffee
12 - Jingle ~Can't Go Back to a Normal Life
13 - Investigation ~Opening 2004
14 - "The Stolen Turnabout"
15 - Takabishiya Department Store
16 - Detention Center ~Elegy of the Prisoner
17 - Phantom Thief Kamen Mask ~Pleeeeease Listen!
18 - Aiga Hoshidake ~I Just Want Love
19 - Yahari Masashi ~When Something Happens, I'm Usually There
20 - "Recipe for Turnabout"
21 - Trés Bien
22 - Shohei Igarashi ~An Anguished War Anthem
23 - Toranosuke Shibakuzo ~Swingin' Zenitora
24 - Recollection ~Curse You, Dear
25 - "Turnabout Beginnings"
26 - Recollection ~A Shadow on Oboro Bridge
27 - Hazakurain
28 - Elise Tenryusai ~Gentle Melody
29 - Investigation ~Core 2004
30 - Recollection ~The Bitter Taste of Truth
31 - Pursuit ~Cornered 2004
32 - Victory! ~Neverending Victory
33 - Gyakuten Saiban 3 - End
34 - Ringtone / Godot
Total Time:

Masakazu Sugimori, Akemi Kimura, Noriyuki Iwadare, and Johan Sebastian Bach – with their powers combined, we have a varied three-part box set. The Gyakuten Saiban Sound Box, or Ace Attorney Sound Box, contains the WiiWare editions of the original trilogy. Whether these sound any different, I cannot discern, but they're close enough to the DS versions that this convenient collection still exudes the series' playful, pensive, and dramatic atmosphere. Though, one has to wonder: is the Ace Attorney series fit for box set release, or is this just objectionable content?

Fans of the series know what they're getting. With so many different themes that denote memories of Herr Lawyer's escapades in the courtroom, this soundtrack may be more about nostalgia than it is music. However, with undeniably intense, desk-slamming entries like "Pressing Pursuit ~ Cornered / Variation," one cannot disregard all entries as gaming-only affairs. Though, the inclusion of filler tracks like "Jingle ~ It Can't End Here" simply don't belong on an iPod or CD for casual listening. Those especially attached to the series' unique vibe may embrace these soundbites, but they're certainly not for the typical audience, RPG fans or otherwise.

In fact, tracks like "Investigation ~ Opening 2001" are pure atmosphere, and not really toe-tapping tunes. In addition, not everyone enjoyed going through the motions of questioning characters; these tracks just beg to be skipped. At other times, backdrop tracks like "Victory! ~ The First Victory" are welcomed entries, since they not only contain a fuller sound, but remind us of triumph and welcome resolution to a sometimes grueling battle in the courtroom. Repetitive in nature, these tracks, while enjoyable, demand passive listening. I simply cannot imagine lying in my bed, hands behind head, staring at the ceiling while listening to one- to two-minute tracks like "Turnabout Revival - Prologue," which is almost entirely a collection of sounds at a murder scene. I suppose if I were feeling especially wistful over the decline of the series, I might partake in such lounging, but that impulse has yet to grab me.

While mascot theme songs like "Taiho-kun ~ I Want To Protect You" inundate this sound box, not every track sounds like an ice cream truck driving past your house. For every thirty seconds of Ringtone, we have a Byronic cowboy theme like "Kyosuke Zaimon ~ Detective From The Wilderness" or smooth jazz number like "Godot ~ The Fragrance of Black Coffee," reminding us that life can be like the dark abyss that is a hot cup of cafe noir.

The problem with a comprehensive collection of music like this is that the Phoenix Wright series, while definitely enhanced by the excellent music, isn't for casual listening. First, we notice that the only tracks that surpass the three-minute mark are the ending themes for each game, with most falling somewhere between one and two minutes. While length doesn't necessarily define quality, it certainly hints to style. These bite-size tracks remind us that the music is not only short and repetitive, but isn't meant for independent listening as well. Before one can even get into the music, it's over. Each Objection track might yield a speeding ticket or table-shakingly frantic typing, but they are best heard sparingly. Second, the colorful cast of the Phoenix Wright series means that some character themes are just silly, and almost embarrassing to be caught listening to. I might have to move if I were ever caught listening to "Beauty Hermitage," and not because of the track name. Did I absolutely love this character and laugh even harder because of the music? Absolutely, but here is why the sound box is not necessarily a worthwhile purchase.

Am I overjoyed to hear "Chinami Miyanagi ~ Distant Traces of Beauty?" Of course. In fact, I wouldn't mind throwing this on a video game music playlist, but even this track only makes it to just over a minute before repeating. The Phoenix Wright series rests on laurels of innovation, strong characters, and exceptional pairing of music to story. Many have appropriately compared Ace Attorney to Professor Layton, and although the two spar to a draw in most regards, few can contest that the latter has superior music. While this box set contains phenomenal tunes, this is one instance in which the game makes the music.

Reviewed by: Bob Richardson


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