US release date: May 10th, 2010 | EU release date: May 21st, 2010
Phoenix Wright's last starring role and his best.
Review written by
May 10th, 2010
Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations is the last actual Phoenix Wright game. The Ace Attorney series is still alive, but our favorite spiky haired lawyer is no longer its star, giving way to his rival Miles Edgeworth and his successor Apollo Justice. However, Trials and Tribulations is a great way for the original series to end, and at least ties up most of the series' loose ends.
It can be argued that Trials and Tribulations is the series' longest game, and it starts off not with a tutorial involving Wright, but actually the second case of his mentor, Mia Fey. It's a good way to introduce new players into things, as coming up with a way for Phoenix to need a reminder on the way things work would have been difficult and hackneyed. Ironically, Mia's case involves defending Phoenix Wright himself, still a college student who isn't even studying law. This first case gives just a glimpse of things to come and is part of a far larger case which makes up almost the entire game. There are thankfully two unrelated cases which serve as more lighthearted affairs, one which is arguably the funniest in the entire series involving an impostor of Mr. Wright. The characters and writing are just about the best they've ever been, with the arguable highlight being the chronic coffee addict prosecutor Godot and his sense of style.
The gameplay is pretty much the same as every other Phoenix Wright or Ace Attorney game. The player investigates crime scenes in order to gather evidence, talks to people to gain information and pieces together things that people are hiding through the mystical psyche-lock system. Once in court, the player presses witnesses for information while testifying and if a contradiction is found, they present evidence to discredit the claims of the prosecution. The puzzles are both more and less challenging than in previous titles, involving far more 'thinking outside the box' to solve. Some aren't very obvious and can be slightly irritating, but that's a small quirk that has stayed with the series since its inception. If one isn't a fan of the gameplay now, they never will be.
The graphics are also similar, being taken from a several year old GBA game turned DS title. If players don't mind 2D sprite and static backgrounds, just enjoying the game for what it is, players will enjoy it. Most of the characters still retain their original sprite animations, with the only standout in court being Godot and his coffee antics.
Depending on whether or not players use help to finish the game, it will still take at least a fair few hours to read all of the text and get all of the game's story, as it must be played in order from start to finish. Once it is done however, there isn't any new material. It can be fun to replay specific cases afterward, but there aren't any bonus cases like in the first Wright title.
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations is not only the longest game in the Wright series, it is also the best and well worth the asking price of 1,000 Wii points. With the best writing, characters and story, it is definitely a fitting send off for the lawyer who can always turn things around in his favor.
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