GAME: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All
CASE: Reunion, and Turnabout
CONSOLES: GBA, DS, Wii, iOS, 3DS
Apologies to anyone who missed this series last week. I've just finished working a 10 day week, and the new Dark Souls III DLC came out, so I had to get my character ready for that and record two podcasts. . . plus it was Halloween so I had to make a pumpkin, dress up, go out drinking... I'm a busy boy!
Before going back to play the Ace Attorney series, my memories of the games were that the first was great and the third was amazing but the second was a bit crap. Too much mysticism, so much Japanese culture the translation doesn't work, and a lot of stories I didn't really care about.
After the first case, which was silly and throwaway, I tried to go into Justice For All with an open mind. There is a lot to like here. The case in hand covers a string of deaths by medical negligence, a revenge plot, familial jealousy and stolen identities with aplomb. The hints about what to notice and which pieces of evidence to use are a little more obvious than in the first game, but the overall case is exquisitely written.
Unfortunately, despite the murder at the heart of this case being Ace Attorney at its best, the very worst of the series also creeps in. Lotta Hart returns to the picture, her "Heartland of America" schtick making absolutely no sense among the kimonos and kanji of Kurain Village.
Kurain Village and the Channelling associated with it is key to the case- Mia is called in to channel a dead woman and the case revolves around her family and their relative abilities to summon the dead. The case has a nicely Sherlock Holmes ending, where magic actually isn't involved, but this is ruined slightly by the fact that spirit mediums canonically do exist.
Then there's Pearl. Pearl is Mia's 8-year-old cousin, a pretty ordinary precocious child character who happens to be a powerful spirit medium. It's uncomfortable and overly animé when Maya transforms into her sister or someone else and the only difference is a growth in breast size. When an 8-year-old child, in appropriately small clothes, is temporarily transformed into the busty Mia Fey, this is all a bit weird for me.
There are hints for the game to come; where is Edgeworth? What is going on with the Fey clan? What will happen with Franziska Von Karma? This is still worth playing, but not great.
Pun of the Week: Dr Turner Grey, whose clinic was responsible for a number of deaths, seemed like the winner until I realised why there was a lady called Ini Minie . . .
Simultaneously the best and worst of Ace Attorney.