Take a step back in time and relive the litigation.
Nintendo’s famed “third pillar” handheld ended up being one of the greatest success stories in the company’s history; games like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney are a big part of how that came to be. Despite the fact that the games were originally designed for play on the Game Boy Advance, it’s hard not to directly associate them with the success of the Nintendo DS. The touch screen interface, as well as gimmicky voice controls, are inherently tied to the DS platform, and now they’re being remastered and resold to you on the Nintendo 3DS in one neat package.
What you’re getting in the 3DS package is simply the contents of all three DS games: Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations. There isn’t really anything else besides the contents of the original games. However, it is worth noting that the art in the games has been remastered for the 3DS. The 3D display makes for a nice diorama effect and the characters pop off of the background. The games play the same as they did before (with excellent stylus-based control), and they sound as they did before. If you didn’t like the games on DS, nothing will change your mind on 3DS, and vice versa.
For those who missed these games the first time around, here’s a quick & dirty explanation: You play the title character of Phoenix Wright, a new lawyer who, in the first game, is just learning the ropes of practicing law. Each Ace Attorney title is broken into several cases, and each case involves point-and-click style investigation to find clues, as well as courtroom scenes where you cross-examine the witness and try to poke holes in their testimony. The games in this series are equal parts visual novel, old-school adventure, and crazy sci-fi/fantasy mystery. The draw is not only the puzzle solving, but also the completely absurd and generally delightful characters that Phoenix Wright comes in contact with during the course of protecting his clients.
These are fairly meaty games, taking probably around 15 hours or more each to complete. If you’re like me, you’ll stumble from time to time during the cross-examination sections of the game when the point you’re trying to make isn’t straightforward or the solution isn’t obvious. It was more than a few times where I ran out of room for mistakes and had to replay entire conversations to get back to where I had failed. This sort of trial-and-error (no pun intended) is the biggest flaw in these games; sometimes you just have to brute force the answer and the solution you come across doesn’t make a lot of sense, nor is that method of problem solving very satisfying. Luckily, these moments aren’t extremely common, and the more you play, the more you begin to pick up on the “language” of the riddles in the game.
Although each case in these games acts as a stand-alone story, there is definite plot progression among the main characters from case to case and from game to game. Phoenix Wright becomes more and more confident in his abilities as an attorney, and his stream of rival prosecutors come and go to move the story along. This package presents an easy way to digest the entire trilogy from start to finish, but it’s worth noting that all three games look, control, and feel exactly the same. While it may be an absolute blast to run through 15 hours of a single Phoenix Wright title, you might find yourself a bit burned out if you try to plow through all three games back to back. Pace yourself and you won’t have a problem. Either way, the overall value on this package is enormous.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a hallmark series on Nintendo’s handheld, and if you missed it the first time around, this trilogy is a great way to dive in. Everything from the art, to the writing, to the storytelling is really a blast, and if we can’t have DS games sold via the eShop, this is the next best thing.