Home » Game Reviews » Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice Review — The Beginning of New Revolution

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice Review — The Beginning of New Revolution

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General Information:

  • System                               Nintendo 3DS (Digital only)
  • Release Date                   September 08, 2016
  • Publisher/Publisher       Capcom
  • Main Series                       Ace Attorney

 

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice (AA: SoJ) is sixth entry for the main series of Ace Attorney. And this is the second time for Nintendo 3DS platform. Unfortunately, like previous entry (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destiny), this game still released for digital exclusive in the west. But, no matter what, I still excited to play this game.

Presenting evidence and pressing the witness’s testimony are the most thing I miss in this series. Because even when I present some evidence that’s not important but we still can see the funny dialogue from it. Pressing all witness’s testimony is still fun, actually. But I thought the testimony part felt a bit too long because the witness rambling longer than their testimony. Moreover, the setting in this game has changed to somewhere new and has unique mechanic gameplay that I never seen before.

You can watch the official launch trailer below:

 

Story

AA: SoJ is quite different from previous entry. Because the location divided in two different countries, the Kingdom of Khura’in from Phoenix perspective and the U.S from Apollo and Athena perspective. Kingdom of Khura’in is the origin of the Kurain Channeling Technique and this kingdom also has law system that make this Kingdom didn’t have any Lawyer.

Here Phoenix Wright who visited Khura’in to visit Maya Fey, accidentally involved in weird trial where the defendant already gave the guilty verdict without help from the defense. From that Phoenix knows the bitter truth that in the Khurha’in, cases are determined by the Divination Séance, led by the Royal Priestess, Rayfa Padma Khura’in, and only prosecutors may act as representatives of the law.

Meanwhile, Apollo Justice faces his own challenges to prove Trucy Wright’s innocence in the trial and to protect the Wright Anything Agency, as he takes on a case that will have explosive implications. In this case, he also meet the International Prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, who comes from Kingdom of Khura’in.

I felt the story in AA: SoJ was quite intense from the very beginning. Imagine the trial has ended with Guilty verdict without I could do anything. Especially, The Guilty verdict in Khura’in is very terrifying for the Defense. Although, the story is divided into two places, the main story just only about Khura’in. It was unfortunate, because any case not Khura’in-related just like a filler. Kingdom of Khura’in was interesting place with interesting background history. It’s a shame Capcom didn’t explore more about this place. And just like the previous game, the main problem will start and end in the final chapter.

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Even with that, I quite pleased with how the story ended. There are some plot twist that quite surprising when revealing some truth. But in this game, it’s too easy to guess the true culprit before the trial. However, the crime scene was quite difficult to solve even when in the trial.

The story isn’t always about scary and gloomy stuff. There also many funny dialogues in every investigations and even in the trial. I think AA: SoJ has the most funny moment from the entire series. There are many movie references in some dialogue too. Maybe the scriptwriter (or the translator) was a Hollywood fan.

Gameplay

Like in many Ace Attorney game there are two sections each chapter, Investigations and Trials. Sometimes there are no investigations, just trial only. It only happened on two chapters, though. Many gameplay elements from previous entry make return in this game. Not only that, the new gameplay introduced for the first time, Divination Séances, but this is exclusive only in Khura’in.

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Investigations

When Investigation mode, I could talk or present evidence to the character. If there are no assistance, I could just investigate only. Just like any Ace Attorney games. To investigate the background I just have to drag the pointer with stylus in the below screen to any place and when the pointer has red highlight it must be something there. Sometimes we would get some evidence.

Investigations mode was much longer here because there were many places I could visit, not only crime scenes. Maybe that’s why I felt AA: DD so short compared from this game. And we could also did other gameplay element during investigations.

Forensic Investigations

Because Ema Skye already became Forensic Investigator, she will help the Defense to get new evidence. The most Forensic mode I could do in this game just only dusting. I could got fingerprint in some place and analyze who the owner of that print. I am glad Forensic made a return it’s make the investigations less boring. But more than that, nothing new about forensic.

Psyche Lock

The way to unlock truth that witness hide and only Phoenix Wright could do this. When talk to the witness during investigations, sometime Psyche Lock would be occurred and should be solve right away. Phoenix Wright would unsolved the hidden truth with the evidence and the lock would be shattered.

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Perceive

Apollo’s ability to see witness’s nervous tic when they lied. Same as Psyche Lock, this would be occurred when talk to the witness or defendant during investigations and Trial too. It’s not difficult to see the tic because the weird statement was too predictable. Just search the weird movement from the witness and perceive in the right statement.

Trials

Trial mode was the trademark gameplay in Ace Attorney series. Basically, it still the same old mechanic. Hear the witness’s testimony, press the right statement, and present evidence. Sometimes there would be multiple choices and I had to answer the right answer or got penalty. For the penalty, if I got wrong 5 times, it will be game over. There were 5 points each trials. Sometimes, special occasion when penalty would reduce 4 or all my points. That moment was we have to get the right answer or present the right evidence.

I admit it, the trial in AA: SoJ was quiet difficult. Maybe just as hard as AA: Trials and Tribulations. I had to save and load many times. If your point got reduced to 2 or 1, the consult option would available. Consult would help you to solve the problem. But it didn’t help either, for me they just add riddle and confusions. The difficult part didn’t make me to stop playing this game. Because I am a curious person and I just wanted to know how the trial would end.

Divination Séances   

This new entry mechanic gameplay was the tradition in The Kingdom of Khura’in when trial begin. The Royal Priestess, Rayfa Padma Khura’in, could unveil the final moment of the victim. Then she would inform everyone with her insight about what the victim tell her about their death. During Séances we could see what the victim felt with all their senses before their death. Just like Mood Matrix, we had to point inconsistency between Séances and Rayfa’s Insight.

At first this Séances was quiet easy to guess but the latter chapter was too confusing because the message was not too clear. Nevertheless, this mechanic was really intriguing because it’s like we could get the victim’s testimony in trial. But it’s quite scary when “Pain” word came up because that was the moment when the victim died.

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Mood Matrix

Unlike the other mechanic when the Defense had to intimidating the witness to tell the truth, Athena did therapy to the witness so their emotion would be stabilized. The witness hide their true emotions in some statement. With that, Athena would know what truth they hide in the trial. And the witness cannot control the emotion, Athena had to point the source of their breakdown.

Maybe because the Séances, the Mood Matrix was easier than before. But this mechanic is still my favorite, though. To see people emotions and use it for trial was fun.

Characters

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Many returning characters from previous game in AA:SoJ come to help Phoenix and Apollo with their struggling to searching the truth. Not only that, many new Characters as well from Kingdom of Khura’in, some of them serve as Phoenix and Apollo opponents at trial.

Phoenix Wright

A year after he got his Lawyer license back, Phoenix came to Kingdom of Khura’in to visit his former assistant, Maya Fey. He came just for mere vacation but the surprising incident made him to defend his guide tour in a murder trial. As he battle with at his ability to save his client, his life was in danger too. Because the unforgiving law known as Defense Culpability Act.

Apollo Justice

Apollo took responsibility to take care The Wright Anything Agency while their boss went to visit Khura’in. However, Trucy Wright was accused of murder at a magic show and what make the thing worse, his opponent was International Prosecutor from Kingdom of Khura’in. With his ability to sense lies in people, Apollo had to fight hard not only with his loud voice but with solid evidence.

Athena Cykes

The newest rookie attorney at the Wright Anything Agency. She accompanied Apollo as the two of them do their best to hold things down back home in the U.S. Thanks to her heightened ability to sense changes in people’s voices and her robotic companion, Widget, Athena could use the Mood Matrix program to hear the voice of someone’s heart, allowing her to psychoanalyze the differences between someone’s emotions and their words.

Nahyuta Sahdmadhi

Known as the “Last Rites Prosecutor,” he seems to hold a strong rivalry towards defense attorneys, and sees his duties as a prosecutor as a service to put the soul of the recently departed at rest. Because he is a International Prosecutor, he could back and forth from Khura’in and U.S. He is a man with full of gentle smile and kind to other people but with defense he won’t hesitate to pierce them with his sharp tongue.

Rayfa Padma Khura’in

The royal priestess and the sole heir of Kingdom of Khura’in. Her duty is to perform various ceremonies including the elegant Dance of Devotion each day for the dedicated Khura’inist monks at Tehm’pul Temple. In the courtroom, Rayfa’s powers of Spirit Communion also allow her to guide the soul of the victim to a large reflecting pool in the center of the hall, a practice known as the Divination Séance. With this, the pool will display for all to see the last moments of the victim’s life, and with Rayfa’s insights based on these scenes, judgment is then passed.

Ema Skye

The detective who helped Apollo in his early year as Defense Lawyer. She also indebted to Phoenix and always ready to help them investigating the crime scene. She also joining the forensics team, a job that she longed for years. Ema is a cheerful lady with sense of justice that didn’t blindly judge the defendant. only. At first she respected Nahyuta as nice prosecutor but at the end he just make her stress worse.

Maya Fey

Maya’s family line is able to use the Kurain Channeling Technique to summon the souls of the departed, allowing them to communicate through the person channeling them.Now Maya in the Kingdom of Khura’in to complete her training and master the Kurain Channeling Technique, but despite her years of training, she’s still the same spirited Maya.

The Defense team didn’t change much from previous game. Phoenix still the same old Phoenix and Athena still had a bit difficulty took the case alone. Apollo had matured a bit because circumstances made him to make decisions himself without Phoenix’s help. Maya too has matured more than the last time we met her. Ema didn’t change a bit, though.

Nahyuta, as the new Prosecutor, is a tough opponent for the defense like the other Prosecutor. He always makes rambling about Defense’s putrid mind and Twilight Realm before stating a counter argument. He is boring at first but we will know more about him in the latter chapter. Rayfa is a princess so she always acting high and mighty. Phoenix’s appearance before her made she always upset and furious but she still wanted to observe Phoenix to see what the meaning of true lawyer is.

Graphic

AA: SoJ has the same graphic like AA: DD with more improvement. The characters has many actions and movement, especially when they breakdown. I like the animation better here because animation become more smooth. They still has anime cutscene too and the studio which handle it was the same as the anime series. In My opinion, the anime cutscene was better in the AA: DD.

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Sound

I’m a bit disappointed with the music in AA: SoJ. The music not as good as before especially in Trial and when Investigations. Well, in AA: DD the music not that good either, I like music in the first trilogy better. But the “Reminiscence” song was always good.

I never picky about English VO, as long as I could heard clearly what characters said, everything fine with me. Not the characters has many voiced scene, though. You could hear the main characters VO in the launch trailer. The characters who always voiced in the game just Rayfa and Nahyuta.

DLC

There two types of DLC. One is costume set for Phoenix, Apollo, and Athena. And two short stories with 3DS theme. There also full length episode “Turnabout Time Traveler” but this DLC not yet avalaible.

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Replay Value

There is no special reason to replay Ace Attorney games. There are some multiple choice, but it didn’t effect anything because the game forced us to choose the “right” answer. Personally, I always replay for understanding the story better. Just like after finished read detective novel, I would read again from very beginning after knew the answer. It feels so different. Like AA: DD there is gallery and anime cutscene that would unlock after you beat the game.

Summary

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+ The difficulty more challenging than before.

+ The graphic has improved greatly.

+ Has many funny moments and dialogues.

– The music not as good as before.

– Only some chapter has interesting story.

Score

Story: 4

Gameplay: 5

Characters: 4

Graphic & Sound: 4

Additional Appeal: 3

Replay Value: 3

FINAL SCORE: 4.1

Conclusion

Moved the setting to foreign country was the good idea. It became some refreshment to see new law systems. With funny and pun dialogues everywhere, it still has the drama with surprising plot twist. If this is the first time you touched Ace Attorney, I suggest you to play the previous games. At least from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Phoenix Wright: Ace of Attorney – Spirit of Justice is now available for 3DS in North America and Europe.

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A JRPG lover but like another genre as long as it's fun and easy to play.

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