After a long hiatus, the Ace Attorney series returned on the 3DS with a game that references all the tropes that made the series so good. Phoenix Wright has his badge back, Apollo Justice was given a better backstory and Athena Cykes, our newest lawyer, joins the team to prove the innocence of a man who once saved her life.
Following up the Ace Attorney trilogy was never going to be easy, but radically changing Phoenix Wright’s character in order to shoehorn him into the story where he didn’t belong? Overall, it seemed like the ace attorney formula was running out of steam.
When the first Ace Attorney game was remade for the Nintendo DS, it was given an extra case: Rise from the Ashes. Surprisingly, this case was adapted into a musical by Takarazuka Revue in Japan. What’s even more surprising is that it worked really well, leading me to wonder if we should try to make more video game musical adaptations.
This is my pick for the title of “best story in gaming”. Building upon all that the two prior games have laid out, Trials & Tribulations features one of gaming’s greatest and most complex characters: Prosecutor Godot, a mysterious man who has come back ‘from the depths of hell’ to do battle with Phoenix Wright, the man he despises. Featuring one of gaming’s most vicious antagonists and exploring themes of love and relationships, this climactic conclusion to the Ace Attorney trilogy is the gold standard of video game storytelling.
The sequel the the incredibly innovative Ace Attorney series decides to turn things around. The final plot twist, which I spoil in the review and will not do so here, is incredibly audacious, and the result is a game where Phoenix Wright proves what kind of lawyer he is.
My very first video review! When I finished playing Ace Attorney, I closed my DS and said “That’s it. Video games are art”. I was blown away by the sheer storytelling ability of this lawyer video game series but it wasn’t until my second play-through that I realized what made it work so well.