SMO 02 - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All
Platforms: Nintendo DS
What is justice? I dunno. On to the game!
Does the familiarity and lack of the DS exclusive content, that made the first one excellent, ruin the game? Of course not. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And the loss of cool DS controls (although the touch-based gameplay is still intact) is made up for with the excellent script writing.
Which is, again, very solid. At times it can get a bit tedious (I like to explore EVERYTHING), but the characters are so gosh-darn charming it makes me smile. From their witty one-liners to their punny (hah) names I could not get enough of the Phoenix universe. Oh and Franziska von Karma. I liked the addition of the character. Although at times she did make me feel I was the most foolish fool who was so easily fooled by her sometimes fool-proof defense strategies.
While the exploration of the environments were linear, the courtroom drama took you from one surprise to the next. In the game, I felt there was more investigating than cross-examining, but that could have been my overall enjoyment of the latter. It really is satisfying figuring out who did the crime or finally getting the right evidence needed to lock up the guilty party.
The investigating part, though, did have one neat gameplay addition. This was the use of the psyche-locks. These are psychological padlocks causing a barrier between the truth and Mr. Wright who can see them. The number of psyche-locks depends on the witness and can range from one to five.
To unlock the truth (get it?!) the player must provide the right evidence to destroy the locks. Failing to provide the right evidence, results in the loss of some of your lifebar (no more exclamation points!). Destroying all the locks a witness has, replenishes any life lost. It was a welcomed addition to the gameplay and I thought it made the investigations a bit less boring.
So is the game better than the first? No. Is it still a good game? Absolutely. If you loved the charm of the first title, then there is no excuse to not play this one as well.
7 gavel pounds out of 10
Perhaps the weakest game in the whole series, but still solid
Good addition to have in your DS library
If you don't play it then you are the most foolish fool in this fool-filled world