elbeato's Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (DS)
| [March 5, 2008 07:21:42 AM]
| Gameplay 2
Since the first game is a straight trial episode, all of the evidence was introduced during the trial without an investigation period. Don't even begin to ask me about the way the justice system works in this game, where there is no discovery period for new evidence, nor is there a jury of peers. The trial is not even structured in the conventional method of segmenting the trial into portions allotted to the defense and the prosecution. It is best to leave that to creative license.
The music is not as catchy as I thought it would be, but you get what you get. I maintain that the first game's music was still the best of the series, but that may be a biased statement. This game's music is less dynamic than those of the previous titles, but luckily the game recycles some older tracks for nostalgic purposes.
The investigation portion of the second episode has been a bit frustrating so far. The type of progression I have been doing lately is that of item collection. I need to instinctively go back to Phoenix Wright for more clues on how to conduct the investigation, even though I know what I have to do. He just keeps giving me options that weren't previously available, even though I knew exactly where I needed to go to progress the story. The names of these new character have transcended wackiness, while some are just downright lazy. There is a specific character I have targeted for this criticism: a man named Mr. Eldoon. If I told you to flip his name backwards, would you know what his profession was? Odds are you said "noodle-maker", so you would obviously be correct. Something like that just makes you feel that the designers were trying to be witty, but failed miserably.
I was mildly disturbed by the inclusion of the fact that there was a thief in the game stealing women's panties, as well as the nonchalant attitude of the female victims' in their openness about the crime. Have you no shame, women? Feeble attempts to censor adult themes fall of deaf ears for simple reasons. They attempt to avoid the fact that Phoenix Wright is an alcoholic by stating that a bottle of wine is a bottle of grape juice, but do not seem to care about the fact that every case is a murder mystery, there is a guy stealing a 15 year old girl's panties, and that a disheveled man who looks like a crack addict is recognized as a doctor and has an unhealthy obsession with attractive young females. Quite an imbalance in adult themes I would say. They should have just let something as simple as alcohol slide if they planned to include all those other vices.
The series seems to have some tendency of using twin siblings or extended relatives as characters. This is another example of laziness when it comes to new character design. Instead of drawing a new character for Klavier Gavin, a new prosecutor, they just redressed his brother Kristoph Gavin in a leather jacket a made him into a rock star bike rider. It just feels a bit lazy to skimp on something so fundamentally obvious.
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| [March 5, 2008 07:03:19 AM]
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is a point and click game from the Phoenix Wright series, made exclusively for the Nintendo DS. The player takes the role of Apollo Justice, a rookie defense attorney tasked with defending several unlucky clients in a court of law. Taking testimonies and finding fallacies in witness statements are Apollo's main tools in determining who the real criminals are, in order to free his clients' from prosecution.
Apollo Justice follows the exact same menu system and gameplay as the other games in the Phoenix Wright series. The top screen shows all of the cinematics and story, while the bottom touch screen is utilized as a tool to scroll through text shown on the top screen. The bottom screen also has buttons that allow you to present evidence, examine items, press for more details, and choose between decisions.
The game is separated into two different kinds of gameplay. The first kind deals with investigation of crime scenes and digging for clues; the player controls Apollo through a first person point of view, talking to people by asking them questions. The player also uses the stylus to point at the bottom screen to look for possible pieces of evidence. These pieces of evidence are used in the trial as proof against a contradictory statement made by supposed witnesses to the crimes.
The second portion of the game is the style most associated with the series. Here, Apollo Justice is pitted against several different prosecuting attorneys, each attempting to indict Apollo's clients for murder, under the supposed conclusion drawn from their own police investigations. They use every bit of evidence and attempt to discredit Apollo's evidence in order to trap the player in logical arguments. Only by listening to witness testimonies and finding contradictions in their statements can Apollo find out the truth of the crime. You can either present evidence to object to a statement or you can press the witness to expand on a detail. There is a very linear progression in the way you can expose the witnesses' lies, so you must choose the correct sequence of statements and present evidence at the right time to proceed to the next portion of the story. The HUD is very simple to understand and all the options are laid out to the player in a straightforward manner. The first trial is made to act as a tutorial for first time players, so you play as you go, which is a very successful way of teaching.
One large addition to the Apollo Justice entry in the series is the utilization of 3-D graphics. In the previous titles, the use of 3-D graphics and interactive tools was extremely limited. It was almost non-existant in the previous games, due to the fact that they were essentially direct ports from the Gameboy Advance to the DS. Now the player can do activities such as getting fingerprints from a murder weapon or examine items with 360 degrees of view.
One thing I've noticed immediately with this addition to the series is that YOU ARE NOT PHOENIX WRIGHT. I was shocked to learn this at first, but it turns out that he is your first client and that you interact with him for the duration of the game, so all is not lost. It turns out that Apollo acts and talks almost identically to Phoenix as it is, so he is essentially Phoenix Wright with a different avatar. This makes playing the game more comfortable, as you see a familiar face here and there.
I have always been a fan of this series because of the genuine twists and turns the stories offer the audience. This particular game has already intrigued me with the introduction of Phoenix Wright as a supporting character, rather than the protagonist. Even more strange are the seemingly mysterious happenings since the last game; there are allegations that he is a murderer, he has apparently been disbarred from being a lawyer, and that he has a daughter. However, from his exceedingly cool demeanor, you can be certain that he is not the killer and that something fishy is afoot.
Navigating the HUD is just as easy as the other games, considering that it has not changed at all since the first game. This seems a bit stale at times, but I guess its hard to improve upon perfection! The art style has not changed at all, besides the updated images of the courtroom, as well as the redesigned characters. The game is supposed to take place 15 years or so after the events of the last game, making it reasonable for characters to age. Using the stylus more often is a great idea for a DS game, as the last two Ace Attorney games had barely any stylus-related activities.
The story is just as shocking as those of the previous titles, never failing to keep me on the edge of my seat. Some of the seemingly "obvious" logic tends to be incredibly nitpicky, as the game requires you to specify which portion of witness testimonies require presented evidence. Even if you know a certain piece of evidence will solve said problems, the game maintains that you need to present at the right time or else the game will not progress. Frustrating to say the least.
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elbeato's Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (DS)
Current Status: Playing
GameLog started on: Wednesday 5 March, 2008