GAME: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
CASE: The First Turnabout
CONSOLES: GBA, DS, Wii, iOS, 3DS
The first case in the first Phoenix Wright game has to solve all the challenges of a first level in a videogame and of the pilot episode of a procedural drama. Fortunately, it does both with aplomb.
A simple whodunnit about a woman hit on the head with a blunt object, this case is Phoenix Wright's first as well as the players. The mechanics of the courtroom are introduced by Wright's mentor Mia Fey, and characters like the Judge and Larry Butz are introduced alongside perennial first-case family the Paynes.
The case is pleasingly simple and logical. It's simple enough to act as an introduction but even so, every deduction feels incredibly satisfying. All over in one witness, the mechanics are laid out right here from the start. The witness lies and the evidence can prove it.
All the elements that go on to make the game a success are here. The characters are well drawn and their simple animations are full to the brim with character. The writing is top class- funny dialogue and tight mysteries. Best of all, the series' phenomenal music is here. The tension of the prosecution's case, the drama of the turn and the elation of the NOT GUILTY verdict.
The mystery itself is, naturally, not the series best. A tried-and-true tale of an ex-lover in the frame for a bungled burglary murder, the central piece of evidence being no more than the time difference between the game's "American" setting and Paris.
Pun of the Week: The first witness is a guy called "Mr. Sahwit"
A good start that does the job admirably and leaves you wanting more.