Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney-Justice for All
Since the original Phoenix Wright first hit in 2005, Capcom’s whimsical litigation simulation has grown into a bizarre cult phenomenon, amassing a surprisingly sizable fan base of wannabe defense lawyers. Justice for All picks up precisely where that first caseload ended: Expect to enjoy the same charming characters, snappy writing, and quirky sense of humor here. Sure, the whole thing skates dangerously close to the “edutainment” realm by building its gameplay around reading comprehension and deductive reasoning, but DS gamers weaned on Brain Age will likely welcome the cerebral stimulation. Unfortunately, even Phoenix's biggest supporters will raise a few objections about this slightly underwhelming sequel. While Capcom wisely added a new, DS-exclusive scenario (complete with cool touch-screen puzzles) to the first game, Justice (also a GBA port) gets no such upgrade. And although it’s a shorter game, annoying new “Psyche-Lock” puzzles force you to backtrack and hunt for clues.
If it weren’t for the new Psyche-Locks, Justice for All would be pretty much the exact same game as the first one (which I consider a good thing). Personally, I like having more investigative options when not in trial because it feels like I’m actually working a case instead of reacting to everything around me. See, that’s what I find annoying about Phoenix Wright: The trials always pit him as the inexperienced underdog struggling to win against insurmountable odds. It’s part of the character’s charm, sure, but it also makes the cases repetitive and predictable. Toughen up, Nick.
OK, guys. I’m split. I’m happy Capcom tried to make this sequel feel different with the Psyche-Locks (which make the exploration parts more difficult), but they don’t really improve gameplay. Instead, they simply serve to distract gamers from how much of a retread this truly is. Still, I loved the original, and I don’t feel the rehash rings hollow. The first Phoenix Wright game was a little bit better, a little more fulfilling, but DS owners looking to tackle another caseload will get a kick out of this,
Clever writing, challenging puzzles
A tad short, repetitive