GAME: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All
CASE: The Lost Turnabout
CONSOLES: GBA, DS, Wii, iOS, 3DS
Here we are, back again for game 2. I've been playing the cases back-to-back, but of course the games' original releases were quite staggered. This puts today's case in an even more awkward position than the first case of the original game. Not only does it have to introduce the characters and the gameplay to newcomers, it has to do so while being a sequel for returning fans.
It does this in the silliest way imaginable- Phoenix Wright awakens from a bad dream only to be hit round the head and given some generic daytime TV amnesia. Compared to the exquisite opening of the third game and the natural start of the original, this is very obvious about what it wants to do.
Thankfully, much of the instructional dialogue can be skipped. The amnesia is handled with a nicely comical touch and the case itself is brief. A simple murder of a policeman by a panicking conman, this is another Columbo mystery, where the player knows the answer before the characters. Either because I'm used to the gameplay by this point or because the contradictions really are painfully obvious, this was the easiest case yet. Easier, even, than I remembered it.
The most noticeable thing now is the way the case revolves around early 2000s cell phones. It even features a payphone! At the time of release, this was all standard stuff. It's rendered ridiculous by something I forgot to mention up until now: these games are set in what would have been the future. Mia Fey's murder was dated for this very year! Playing it now, it's hard to imagine the characters being seen dead with those phones, let alone discovering a working phone booth.
That said, it's tightly plotted and the lies are very satisfying to unravel. For a knowingly daft tutorial level in a videogame, it's nothing special and nothing terrible. Easily forgettable, as far as this game goes, is not too great a sin.
Pun of the Week: Victim "Dustin Prince" had one character trait: he is a policeman.
A silly case that shows its age but was mercifully brief.