You’d be forgiven should you missed out on the Ace Legal professional trilogy, which debuted in English on the Nintendo DS approach again in 2005. (It was beforehand a Japan-exclusive GBA collection courting to 2001.) In spite of everything, the video games are fairly bizarre. They star a spiky-haired protection lawyer in what’s greatest described as “Legislation & Order however anime.” Not solely does that ridiculous-sounding premise work, however the collection is kind of presumably one of the best instance of an ongoing crime drama in all of gaming. It’s unusual and foolish, candy and charming, and now it’s the very best time to play.
This week, Capcom launched the Phoenix Wright: Ace Legal professional trilogy on the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Swap, a remastered model of the primary (and greatest) three video games within the collection. The video games are nearly fully the identical as after they first launched, however with out the extra DS second display screen and cleaned-up visuals that make it appear like a slick anime moderately than a pixelated handheld sport.
Style-wise, Ace Legal professional might be greatest labeled a visible novel, which implies that a lot of the expertise is spent speaking to characters and studying plenty of textual content. However this isn’t the chore it’d sound like: the writing is sharp and hilarious, and the localization holds up remarkably nicely contemplating how previous these video games are. It’s the type of story the place your assistant is a budding spirit medium who has a relentless longing for hamburgers, and it’s a must to cope with grumpy witnesses who received’t cease calling you a whippersnapper. You’ll go up in opposition to a prosecutor who wields whips in court docket and one other who chugs espresso whereas carrying a futuristic eye masks. There are some moments that make the video games really feel a bit dated in 2019 — like a TV producer who talks solely in lolspeak — however principally, it nonetheless works nicely.
Like an episode of Legislation & Order, every chapter is split into two important components: first you examine the crime, gathering clues and speaking to witnesses, and then you definitely spend the day in court docket. The investigative sequences are usually fairly simple, however the courtroom scenes are the place the sport actually shines. There’s one thing extremely satisfying about cross-examining a witness and recognizing a seemingly tiny contradiction that upends all the case. Watching witnesses visibly unravel as you poke holes of their story is without doubt one of the sport’s nice thrills.
That stated, the Ace Legal professional video games do use some bizarre online game logic at instances, so I’d positively advocate conserving a walkthrough useful. Even after taking part in these video games a number of instances, I nonetheless discover myself getting caught after I revisit them.
There have been extra trendy Ace Legal professional video games, however the authentic trilogy stays the collection’s excessive level. They inform a narrative that, whereas it goes a bit off the rails in later chapters, is tightly interconnected, with every sport constructing off the final. The truth that it’s so cohesive seems like a minor miracle contemplating it wasn’t initially deliberate that approach. “The choice to make a sequel was handed right down to us across the time we had been wrapping up the primary sport,” Ace Legal professional creator Shu Takumi just lately wrote. “The truth is, we had been informed, ‘Why not make it a trilogy?’ This… actually confused me out, personally, as a result of I’d simply spent all of my concepts on the primary sport.”
Nevertheless it does all come collectively ultimately, and what’s nice concerning the new assortment is which you can expertise the story in its entirety. The remastered video games look nice on a big-screen TV, however I extremely advocate the Swap model. Ace Legal professional was designed as a conveyable sport, and it’s greatest skilled that approach, as should you had been taking part in via an important crime novel — one which includes historic spirits, clueless judges, and a endless provide of inexplicable plot twists.
The Phoenix Wright: Ace Legal professional trilogy is out there now on Xbox One, PS4, and Swap.