Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice

Jason Phang, Sun 02 October 2016, Gaming

gaming, phoenix-wright

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The other game I finished this weekend was Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice.

In Spirit of Justice, we're back to out usual lawyerly shenanigans. This game plays pretty similarly to Dual Destinies, so gameplay-wise you should know that you'll get exactly what you expect. What makes SoJ interesting is the setting and plot. Unlike previous games that primarily took place in America, more than half of this game takes place in the far off land of Khu'rain, a country where channeling and reliving the final moments of the dead (through a "Divination Seance") are commonplace knowledge and accepted in court as perfectly valid evidence. Oh, also defense attorneys are culpable if their clients are found guilty, so there're no more defense attorneys left. What a riot!

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The PW/AA games have always had a tad of mysticism in them, but this game takes that premise and runs with it. Oddly, everything not so different from business as usual since, like Wright, we players have seen enough of the channeling magic to not be fazed any more. What's nice is that the game's different cases are (mostly) tied together through the new setting and the conflict over its controversial legal system.

Another really nice thing is that we get to see more of the older characters, including the long-awaited return of Maya Fey, who I can't believe is 28 in-game, and the much appreciated reintroduction of Ema Skye, who's much nicer this time around (compared to her appearance on AA4) after qualifying as a Forensic Scientist. Edgeworth also makes his return, and of course we get to see the three-lawyers-and-a-magician ttroupe in Wright's Anything Agency really bond and bounce off each other. Wright's maturing into a fine mentor, Apollo is finding his footing as an established attorney, Athena's eagerly learning from her two superiors and Trucy's being the same old cute Trucy.

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Overall, the game doesn't introduce a ton of new elements, but mostly subtly refines the old and well-tested formula. We get to see all of the old lawyerly gimmicks of course, with the new Divination Seances also being pretty fun. In other words, like I said above, you will get exactly what you should expect. I'd give this game a good 8/10.