- Developer - Capcom
- Publisher - Capcom
- Platform - iOS
- Device tested - iPhone 4
- Price - Three games, £11.99
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney HD Trilogy
If you're not already familiar with the Phoenix Wright games, this is where to start and you need to start now. A courtroom drama slash Saturday morning Japanese cartoon, it has you play the eponymous spikey haired defence attorney as he goes around collecting evidence on upcoming cases and representing his clients - animatedly representing his clients - in court.
It's incredibly wacky. The characters in Phoenix Wright games range from a pink toupe wearing business magnate who makes up words ("these accusations are ridiculosity!") to a prosecution attorney called Von Karma who dresses like Dick Turpin. Given the size and silliness of all this, it would be easy for the game to get annoying, but it's not, it's genuinely funny. There's no audible dialogue - the speech is all presented via subtitles - but every character still has a distinctive voice and the gags always sing.
The gameplay, across all three games in this trilogy pack, isn't quite as colourful. If there's one big complaint against Phoenix Wright it's that you often find yourself tapping away at the screen trying to skip through scenes. Navigation is also a pain. A point-and-click adventure in the spirit of Broken Sword, rather than physically walk anywhere, you have to open a map of the local area and click where you want to go. There's always a brief loading screen before you arrive and if you're in a situation where you don't know what to do, frittering between locations trying to work it out will drain your patience.
It also suffers from that point-and-click problem of being annoyingly opaque sometimes. It's not that you have to use logic to work out the puzzles, it's that you have to guess them, generally by tapping all over the screen in every area, trying all the dialogue options and combinations of items until something clicks.
The humour and the look really help that, though. They're what carry the Phoenix Wright games. There's also a buzz when you finally crack the prosecution's case and the tempo in the court picks up. When you and your opponent are yelling "Objection!" and both flinging evidence at one another - exciting music pounding all the way - Phoenix Wright shines. These are funny, challenging and unique games, and they're perfectly suited to the iPhone's touch controls. If you haven't played the original Phoenix Wright trilogy already, or even if you have, get this.
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