Visual Novel Theatre- Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice


Man, Phoenix Wright. Ace Attorney. You remember those games? I didn’t, apparently, because I completely missed this new release until Red Metal reminded me it existed. Luckily, that has since been rectified. And my life is better for it. Let’s use that to make your life better, too.

Phoenix Wright is one of those series that is completely beloved and adored by everyone, so of course Capcom is convinced it’s barely selling enough to keep itself afloat and has thus relegated it to digital only releases on the 3DS. Spirit of Justice is the newest release in the series. And you know what? Phoenix Wright has not stopped being good.

Oops, spoilers. Now you don’t even have to bother reading this post.

Spirit of Justice is the 6th (I think?) entry in the mainline Ace Attorney-verse. It’s also the second entry in the new era they started building after the conclusion of Apollo Justice. It follows directly off of Dual Destinies, with the status quo much like it was then. Ol’ Phoenix is back to practicing law, and actually has a respectable law firm/talent agency, composed of the Superstar titular lawboy himself, the Superloud Apollo Justice, the Superyoung Athena Cykes, and the Superpantied Trucy Wright, who’s not a lawyer at all but that doesn’t matter for the purposes of this discussion. It’s still a pretty decent timeskip after what most people think of as the Phoenix Wright setting, and much like last time, part of the fun is seeing what the old characters and old places are up to in this new era. You finally see Maya again. That was probably one of the big selling points. And it’s not even a spoiler to say that you need to bail her out of a murder charge. In fact, that’s just tradition, now.

Spirit of Justice continues on some of the story notes started in Apollo Justice and continued in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, in that the cases you’re facing now impact matters beyond just the life and death of your clients. In this case, you’re dealing with the stability of and rebellion against a quietly oppressive regime in a foreign country.

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Visual Novel Theatre – Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies

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I am a man who enjoys the finer things in life. I like good wine and fine company. I have an eye for the great wonders nature has to offer, such as the steadfast mountain vistas, the pristine lakesides, and of course, my own gorgeous hair. And, as anyone who’s been following this blog for a while is aware, I have a great appreciation for the twin arts of literature and video games.

For most of my life, I have been forced to enjoy these two loves separately. It wasn’t until 2005 that my eyes were finally opened, with the release of one specific game. A game that combined the two art forms, delivering action primarily through narration and dialog as a good book might while still requiring reader involvement to work through its many puzzles as a video game. A game that served as introduction to the world of Visual Novels for both myself as well as so many other English-speaking individuals. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

The original game definitely made an impact on me. With its unique blend of strong writing, adventure-style gameplay, and great characterization, the game drew me in so hard that I’ve replayed it more times than I can count, even after I’ve memorized the solutions to its logic puzzles. This was the game that brought me to the Visual Novels, and the series is still my favorite example of the genre.

So, I thought it fitting that with the recent release of the latest entry in the Ace Attorney series, Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies for the Nintendo 3DS, that I revive our Visual Novel Theatre and give the new game a good working over. Sound solid to you?

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