Friday, September 7, 2007
Gyakuten Saiban 3 / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations mini-review
Is there really a point to reviewing another Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney here in the west) game? The gameplay mechanics are alike as the first two GBA to DS ports (you should read a review somewhere). But what you get in the final Phoenix Wright outing is more cases to solve (yay!) and closure too (boo!).
Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations) opens with a glimpse to the protagonist's past and how he came to meet his mentor Mia Fey. It is sort of a tutorial case similar to the first cases in the previous two cases though it is much longer than those two. The case is also more challenging to solve than its previous equivalent cases from the other two games, signalling that the writers has opened up to new imaginations. Other cases are also similarly more challenging and present more twists than 100 David Fincher films.
Then we have out new prosecutor Godot, who in my opinion is the highlight of GS3. Suffice to say I won't ruin it for you but his involvement in Gyakuten Saiban 3 is deeper than previous two main prosecutors from the first two games combined (don't worry we will have a prosecutor reunion in this game). You will also find that with the cast of new characters, beloved old ones makes a hearty and significant return. The much derided Psyche-Lock mechanism that bring trial like solutions during investigations is also back for this game. This may annoy some folks but it does increase the amount of challenge within the investigations part of the game.
The localisation effort is impeccable with plenty of reference to modern popular culture. There are hilarity abound that will delight fans of comedy (such as a very nice dig at Microsoft's blue screen of death), and rival that of other comedy point and click adventure games such as Sam & Max and Monkey Island. As with any text heavy adventure games there are bound to be elementary English mistakes (mainly typos, some grammar etc.), and they do exist. But these are so rare that they are negligible. However if you are the kind of people who are easily distracted by such minute details then you will be pleased to know that Capcom has promised to improve on the localisation for the western release. That and you shouldn't be reading this English challenged blog.
The game isn't without its problem though. The soundtrack by Sega's Noriyuki Iwadare, while awesome, is plagued by what seems to be of a lesser audio quality output compared to the first Gyakuten Saiban DS port, especially when playing through a headphone. You can easily hear the artefacts due to poor audio compression or maybe though the non-optimisation by Capcom.
You will also find that in the final case (where you play a previous prosecution attorney in a defence role) rather than redrawing his/her sprites, the developers merely flipped the stocks of sprites, complete with his/her typical persecution attire. While it is understandable since they have already spent so much time redrawing the same person's sprites (and others too!), it just doesn't look as right as non-flipped sprites. You will also encounter a rookie prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (the main prosecutor from the first game) in one of the case and may find that the sprites aren't as detailed.
Despite the minor annoyance, the game is filled with awesomeness. GS3 is a fitting end to the law career of Phoenix Wright. It delves into Phoenix and other main characters past as well as tying up lose end. The fifth and final case for example is a major one, worthy of Hollywood proportion that ties all three titles together. And it delivers an emotional ending for this reviewer.
Does it take three glowing review to entice you to purchase a Gyakuten Saiban game? I hope not. It is easily the best Gyakuten Saiban game of the Phoenix Wright arc trilogy, though I would well to recommend that you buy and play the games chronologically. Go order it now. I will now weep and wish a Haitian remove any Gyakuten Saiban from my memory so I can play it again.
Related posts: Gyakuten Saiban, Gyakuten Saiban 2