February 12, 2008

Von Karma Strikes Back

If you are unfamiliar with the Phoenix Wright games, it is recommended you read this Epitaph first.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney- Justice For All
is the second entry in the Phoenix Wright trilogy of games. It contains four new dramatic and humorous cases. It plays similar to the first one with a few new gameplay elements thrown in to improve the experience. There are many references to the events of the previous entry, although the game won't be rendered unplayable if you don't have any prior knowledge. But much like when starting any series, it's highly recommended that you start at the beginning.

Like Ace Attorney before it, Justice For All is rated T for Teen, as it contains blood, mild violence, and suggestive themes. Although there's no citation for language this time, despite the presence of such words as "dammit" and "crappy". Then again, Capcom slipped the D word into MegaMan 7's original SNES release and didn't suffer for it. Or did they, for it was changed to "darn" when rereleased in the Anniversary Collection. Back on topic, the blood warning comes from the fact that, once again, Phoenix is saddled with nothing but murder cases. Can't the guy ever get to defend a petty thief, where the repercussions won't be as severe? Mild violence should be obvious because the scene of the murders is described in detail. As for suggestive themes? Let's just say that a couple of characters have rather "inappropriate" reactions to the weapon of choice used by the new prosecutor.

New Features
Patience Bar- The first title allowed you five errors in court before ending your game. This time you get a meter that depletes a certain amount depending on the seriousness of your mistake. This allows you a little more headway if you screw up, although certain bad decisions can cost you your entire meter.
Psyche Lock- Sort of like contradicting witness testimonies in court, except you do it during the investigation. Present evidence to break apart people's attempts to shield hidden truths. The patience bar will deplete for every wrong move you make, but having it emptied will not result in a game over, just an end to the interrogation. You can also stop in the middle of questioning if you feel you don't have the proper evidence to proceed. If you fail to complete the process, you will have to start all over again. Quite a pain if you have no patience bar left, forcing you to go through the entire thing in one shot. However, successfully breaking all the locks will refill the patience bar by fifty percent.
Character Identity Evidence- Now you get to present profiles of people involved with the case as evidence. You'll often be asked questions regarding a "who" rather than just a "what" this time around. Mostly as the answer to: "If the defendant isn't the murderer, THEN WHO IS?!"

Main Cast
Phoenix Wright- The cunning attorney is back and can't seem to catch a break. He has a knack for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, although he'll need a little help from his friends (and you).
Maya Fey- Phoenix's partner in justice. Her nosiness often helps Wright find vital clues at the crime scene. She is a spirit medium who can often call upon help from "the other side".
Pearl Fey- Maya's eight-year-old cousin who is a prodigy in spirit channeling. She'll lend Phoenix support while her cousin is busy with her "misfortunes".
Franziska Von Karma- The nineteen-year-old daughter of prosecuting demon Manfred Von Karma comes to America to get revenge on Mr. Phoenix Wright. But it may not be for the reason you'd think. Her two trademarks are her untouchable winning streak and the whip she cracks in court.
Dick Gumshoe- The slow-witted detective who is always first at the crime scene. He'll often give you valuable help during the investigation, much to the chagrin of the prosecutor's office.
Mia Fey- Your deceased mentor and Maya's sister. She'll usually be by your side in court proceedings to set you on the winning path, utilizing the bodies of her relatives.
Lotta Hart- The human camera from America's heartland returns with a recurring role. Lotta always seems to be around at the right (wrong?) time, and her snapshots always find their way into the court record. And herself onto the witness stand.
Miles Edgeworth- After a year of seclusion, the star prosecutor returns after discovering not only himself, but what his profession truly means. Is he on the side of Wright or wrong?

In addition to these, many new characters will play a part in the various cases, including a few familiar faces from the preceding game.

Case Previews
The Lost Turnabout- The tutorial, but much longer and tougher than the one in the first game. While napping in the court lounge, Phoenix is hit over the head and incurs temporary amnesia. Not good since he has a trial to tend to!
Reunion, and Turnabout- Visit Kurain Village, Maya's home and training ground. You stop for a visit while Maya tries to channel a spirit for a doctor wanting to question a deceased nurse. But something horribly unexpected occurs that lands Maya in hot water.
Turnabout Big Top- Who ever would have thought the circus would play host to a murder mystery? When the lights permanently go out for the Ringmaster, the world's greatest magician is fingered as the culprit. While trying to clear his name, you'll meet all the colorful characters of the Berry Big Circus, who will turn the court house into the Greatest Show on Earth when they're brought in as witnesses!
Farewell, My Turnabout- The lavish Gatewater Hotel hosts the yearly Grand Prix awards, a show that honors the top entertainers in the world. The Nickel Samurai gains top honors, but when his rival The Jammin' Ninja is murdered, his prize is an all expense paid trip to the detention center. This case contains many twists and turns, including one that WILL make your jaw drop. As well as a life-altering decision where you will be forced to choose between your heart and justice.

Is there anyone that can tell me why each case in the Phoenix Wright series contains the word "turnabout?"

-SAVE OFTEN! Especially when you're about to make a decision where your patience bar is at stake, such as attempting to break through Psyche Locks or presenting a piece of evidence in court. Like the game before it, the correct choice can often be vague, and too many mistakes will force you to start over from that particular segment of the case. And also like the first, there is much text to read, and you probably won't be able to tolerate going through it too many times.
-Don't bother trying to break Psyche Locks when you first encounter them. You'll usually have to do a bit more digging around before you find the required "keys" to unlock them.

And that's just the way it is.

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