Phoenix Wright: Justice For All is the second chapter in the titular attorney’s series of text-based adventures. If you are not familiar with the previous instalment, it is highly recommended that you check it out first before proceeding to this courtroom.
That said, if you’re aching for light-hearted mockery of real-life courtroom drama and don’t mind reading more than playing, you’ll absolutely love this.
It usually starts with a homicide case. A brief synopsis of the crime is presented by the prosecuting side, along with any incriminating evidence. Witnesses are then called to the stand where they are to provide ‘truthful’ testimonies. It is now your job to analyse what is being said and to press witnesses on certain dubious statements in order to provide clarification on what really happened. Soon enough, you’ll have ripped apart their words, pin-pointed the blatant contradictions and be yelling “Objection!” into the DS microphone.
Unravelling mysteries by challenging preposterous claims and exposing discrepancies is definitely the high-point of the Ace Attorney games. Time spent in court is always enjoyable and never a chore. However, there are occasions when all the evidence is not spoon-fed to you. In such cases, you’ll have to do a bit of digging around yourself, investigating crime scenes and adjacent areas of interest via a touch-based interface. In contrast to the courtroom, these sections play out more like a point-and-click adventure: you’ll have to search for clues within static backdrops whilst chatting to locals around the scene to gather intelligence. In contrast to the buzz that you receive in the courtroom, these sections are fairly slow-paced and the highly linear nature removes what real detective work is required outside of talking to everyone, and examining and presenting everything that you possibly can.
This is all really the same as it was in the last game. If you could deal with the faults before, there’s no reason why you can’t deal with them now. However, newcomers may feel somewhat intimidated, but then they really ought to start with part one first.
The premise may seem downright ridiculous and this is reinforced by the witty, pun-filled dialogue bursting with plenty of memorable and laugh-out-loud moments. Justice For All offers up a candid parody of criminal court-cases: full of discombobulations, drama, suspense, intrigue, deception, multiple plot threads and of course, finger pointing! It may be a bit daunting for newcomers to start here in the middle, but for fans of the Phoenix Wright and his colourful cohorts, this is another drama that’s well worth a read.