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Two video games of thought, part one: Ace Attorney

March 15, 2013

Today I’ll present a videogame that I really like: Ace Attorney. This is a game of reflection and available on Nintendo (DS, DS lite, DS i and 3DS for the latest episodes). This kind of game is my favorite; when I play at Call of Duty or others, I’m killed in one minute because I’m not really good at shooting, killing or spying on my enemies. I prefer pondering a lot.

So, let’s deal with Ace Attorney. At the beginning this game was only available on Gameboy, that’s why the graphisms aren’t as good-looking as in another game like Legend of Zelda. Ace Attorney is developed by Capcom and counts nowadays four episodes (one is in preparation for the 3DS and there is also a crossover with Professor Layton of which I’ll talk about later): Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright A.A Justice for all, Phoenix Wright A.A Trials and Tribulation and Ace Attorney Apollo Justice. The story is straightforward: you are an attorney who has to investigate and find proofs in order to use them at trial to defend your client. There are 4 or 5 cases in each episode; the difficulty and the length increase more and more, and sometimes the personal stories of the clients can reappear later.

ace attorney

I won’t explain each case because it would take me a long time (moreover, I don’t think that you want to read too much or to be spoiled).

– In the first one, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (PW A.A), we have to deal with four cases, plus one in bonus which didn’t exist on the Gameboy version: The first turnabout, Turnabout Sisters, Turnabout Samurai, Turnabout Goodbye and Turnabout Trial: Turnabout rebirth. This episode takes place in 2017. Some clues about the main theme of the game are spread in the trials, like the mystery of the disappearance of Mia and Maya’s mother or Mia’s  death. I really enjoyed Turnabout Goodbye but even more Turnabout rebirth because the game system is a little bit different.

– In the second episode, PW A.A Justice for all, there are four trials entitled The Lost Turnabout, Reunion and Turnabout, Turnabout Big Top and Farewell My Turnabout. It’s in this episode that the common theme of the whole game (until A.A Apollo Justice) is revealed: the Fey’s family and the Kurain’s Master who heads the mediums applying Kurain’s Channeling Technique to talk with spirits and is the best in this practice. This episode takes place in 2018. The trial I preferred playing  is Turnabout Big Top and theone I like the  least was Farewell My Turnabout (it’s really difficult, probably the most difficult case of all the episodes… and I don’t like the characters so much).

– The third episode, PW A.A Trials and Tribulations, takes place in 2019. It counts five cases entitled Memories and Turnabout, The stolen Turnabout, Recipe of Turnabout, Turnabout Beginnings and The Bridge to the Turnabout. I have to confess that this episode in my favorite in the whole series; there is the apparition of a new charismatic character named Godot; each case (well, not all; the second and the third case aren’t really related to the main story even if we meet Godot first in The Stolen Turnabout) brings us answers to our question, and we play Miles Edgeworth during one of the trial, which is really pleasant because he’s sarcastic and really different from Phoenix. And, the most important thing: the end is simply beautiful and sad at the same time.

– Finally, the fourth episode. It is different from the others because the character you play isn’t Phoenix but a new rookie, Apollo Justice. Your assistant isn’t Maya Fey any more but a teen aged girl (15 years old) named Trucy Wright; she’s indeed Phoenix’s adopted daughter following a case he had to solve seven years ago. The story takes place in 2026. There are four cases: Turnabout Trump, Turnabout Corner, Turnabout Serenade and finally Turnabout Succession. The common theme this time is Phoenix’s last trial seven years ago and the Troupe Gramarye, of which Trucy is the heiress as Magnifi Gramarye’s (the founder of this Troup of magicians) granddaughter. My favorite trial was Turnabout Succession because this is the longest and  we learn a lot about why Phoenix is not a lawyer anymore, and about Apollo’s family. I have enjoyed to play the second and the third trials too, because Trucy, the new assistant, is very funny; Apollo has even to find her stolen panty (a magic panty in fact) in Turnabout Corner.

Now I’ll present you the most important characters of this game’s series:

Phoenix Wright(Ryuuichi Naruhodou):
A rookie attorney who works at the Fey’s and Co’s law office. You incarnate this character throughout each episode but the fourth (Ace Attorney Apollo Justice). He’s 24 in the first episode, 25 in the second, 26 in the third and 33 in the fourth. He appears in each case of each episode but the fourth of PW. AA Trials and Tribulations.
Mia Fey (Mayoi Ayasato):
Phoenix’s mentor and Maya’s older sister. She’ll quickly die in this episode because she was investigating on her mother’s disappearance but will help Phoenix in his trials thanks to Maya. She’s 27 years old. She appears in each trial but in Turnabout Goodbye and those of A.J.A.A.
Maya Fey (Chihiro Ayasato):
Mia’s younger sister. She’ll be a a suspect in the case of her sister’s death and Phoenix will defend her. Then, she will be her assistant at the law office. Ami Fey’s descendant and Misty Fey’s second daughter, she practices Channeling, a spiritual technique which permits her to communicate with the spirits of dead people. She’s 17 in the first episode, 18 in the second episode and 19 in the third. As Mia is dead, she’s supposed to be the next Kurain’s Master because Misty has disappeared but Morgan Fey is preparing her revenge on Misty who has ousted her. She doesn’t appear in the first and the fifth of PW.AA, the first and the fourth of PW A.A. Trials and Tribulations and those of A.J.A.A, but does in the others.
– Pearl Fey (Harumi Ayasato):
Mia and Maya’s younger cousin, she’s 8 years old in the second episode, in which we meet her for the first time (Reunion and Turnabout), and 9 in the third. Her mother, Morgan Fey (Misty Fey’s older sister), was supposed to be the Master of Kurain’s Channeling Technique but has been ousted by Misty who had more spiritual power. Thus, Pearl became the heiress of her mother who hopes to make her the future Kurain’s Master. She appears in each trial but Memories and Turnabout, The Initial Turnabout and those of A.J.A.A since Reunion and Turnabout.
Dick Gumshoe (Keisuke Itonokogiri / Dick Tecktiv in french):
A naive inspector who tries to help Miles Edgeworth to win all the cases but fails each time… He seems to be gruff but he likes the children and he’s really kind-hearted. He’s in love of Maggy Bird, who will be a client of Phoenix in a future case. He appears in each trial but those of A.J.A.A.
Miles Edgeworth (Reiji Misurugi / Benjamin Hunter):
A prosecutor who works for his mentor, Manfred von Karma. He lost his father when he was young, and the story of this death will be the topic of the “Turnabout Goodbye”.  He became a prosecutor at 19 and he’s a so called  genius. He’s also a childhood friend of Phoenix but seems to be reserved at their reunion. Miles has the age of Phoenix. He doesn’t appear in The first Turnabout, The Lost Turnabout, Reunion and Turnabout, Turnabout Big Top Memories and Turnabout, The stolen Turnabout and Recipe of Turnabout.
Franziska Von Karma (Mei Karuma):
Daughter of Manfred Von Karma, Miles’ mentor. She became prosecutor at the age of 13 in Germany. When we first meet her she’s 18, in “Reunion and Turnabout”. She’s 19 in the third opus. Franziska is a kind of adoptive sister for Miles, and she really wants to defeat him and Phoenix, because he’s responsible for the death of her father (he has been sentenced to death because he was a murderer). She appears in Reunion and Turnabout, Turnabout Big Top, Farewell my Turnabout and Bridge of the Turnabout.

There are also many other characters who appear very often in Ace Attorney like Larry Butz (Masashi Yahari/ Paul Defès), childhood friend of Phoenix and Miles; Wendy Oldbag (Kaoru Ooba/ Flavie Eïchouette), an old woman fan of Miles; Lotta Hart ( Natsumi Osawagi/ Eva Cozésouci), etc…

Now I’ll present the principal characters of Ace Attorney Apollo Justice:

Phoenix Wright:
He’s now 33 years old and we learn very quickly that he lost his badge of attorney after a trial he lost in mysterious conditions. He has an adopted daughter named Trucy and works as a piano player in a Russian restaurant. In fact, he’s a poker-player who is required by customers who want to confront to him. He appears in each case of A.A.A.J.

Apollo Justice:
A rookie attorney who will defend Phoenix for his first trial and accused his former mentor, Kristhop Gavin. He’s 22.

Trucy Wright (Minuki Naruhodou / Vérité Wright):
Phoenix’s adopted daughter, she’s 15 years old and a novice magician. She’ll help Apollo in some trials and will be an important character in the last one, related to her real family, the Gramaryes. She’s the biological daughter of Zak and Thalassa Gramarye, and so the granddaughter of Magnifi Gramarye.
Kristoph Gavin (Kirihito Garyuu):
Former mentor of Apollo, he’s accused of being a murderer by him. Older brother of Klavier, they had to face each other during Klavier’s first trial but he was dismissed by his client, Zak Gramarye. He’s the murderer in Turnabout Succession too, even if he had hidden this fact for seven years thanks to a complicated scheme. He’s 32.
Klavier Gavin (Kyouya Garyuu/ Konrad Gavin) :
Kristoph’s younger brother, prosecutor and musician in the group “The Gavinners”, he doesn’t want anything but the truth. He faced Phoenix Wright at his first case, at the age of 17 (he’s called a genius) and defeated him. He appears in each trial but the first. He’s 24 years old.
Ema Skye (Akane Houdzuki):
Forensic-obsessed detective, she has met Phoenix for the first time in Turnabout Rebirth and was in the US all these nine years. She’s in charge of the same cases that Apollo Justice handles. Ema is always munching “Snackoos”, and she even throws them at people who annoy her. She doesn’t like Klavier and calls him “Glimmerous fop”. She’s 25.
So, this is the end of this review. I know I’ve wrote a lot, but there are still a lot of things that I haven’t even mentioned… If I don’t speak about Ace Attorney Investigations (with Miles Edgeworth as principal character), it’s because the gameplay is completely different from the other Ace Attorney episodes. Furthermore, we don’t attend trials.
I recommand you this game, it’s very fun and pleasant; an entire episode can last many days, even weeks if you don’t use the answers on Internet.

Hope you enjoyed this (long) review !


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