GAME: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
CASE: Turnabout Memories
CONSOLES: GBA, DS, Wii, iOS, 3DS
Oh yeah. This is where it's at.
While my memories of Justice For All were vague and generally unsatisfactory, I remember Trials and Tribulations as one of my favourite games. Sitting down and replaying this first case, I'm reminded that those feelings are bang on the money.
Everything about this game is just a bit better than the predecessor. The solutions aren't as awkwardly signposted, but instead rely on the logic and memory of the player. The music, while much more reminiscent of the first game's than the sequel's, is bloody brilliant again and I haven't even bumped into Godot yet.
After the weird and arbitrary way the previous game reintroduced a tutorial, this game uses the tutorial to show us a meaningful and enjoyable flashback. We see Mia as a rookie, Phoenix as a civilian and hints of the grander storyline to come.
The initial case itself is a more serious affair than the openers of the first two games. This time, we're thrown straight in with a sordid tale of multiple murders and the abuse of love. The villain, a pretty young girl with the judge wrapped around her feeling, gets under Mia's skin and the player's.
Our defendant this time is a young, lovestruck Phoenix Wright. Doe-eyed and sneezing, he's a pathetic character at the start of the case but by the end we can see hints of the man he'll become.
On prosecution once again is Payne, this time with a Chekov's hairdo plonked atop his smug head. That this case links several major characters, and follows on from an incident we'll see more of later, makes me desperate to carry on with this game.
Overall, this is just a smashing opening. Funny when it shoots for it, dramatic when it needs to be and all built around a strong, logical core.
Pun of the week: Not the best case for puns, but they make up for it with constant butt jokes from Grossberg.
A smart way to give a tutorial, all wrapped up in a shocking case.