Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Court is in session, and Capcom is presiding with their upcoming Nintendo DS title, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Hands-on here.
Growing up as a kid, some of the most basic board games offered practical experience for a variety of professions. Doctors had Operation, detectives had Clue, and bankers had Monopoly. But where was the game for wannabe lawyers? They had no true elementary educational tool with plastic pieces to help them decide on a career. Though not a true replacement for this amazing void, Capcom's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney looks to have just the right blend of courtroom drama and tricks of the trade included to bolster any gamer's prosecuting ability to Law and Order levels.
Known as Gyakuten Saiban in Japan, this series was originally a Game Boy Advance title that made the jump to the Nintendo DS with a revamp of the original after three successful briefs on the GBA. In the version of the game we played, we get to see Phoenix Wright as a complete neophyte, having just passed the bar exam. He'll need to be on his toes, though, as his first case will be defending an old friend against murder charges.
Luckily, our novice attorney will have plenty of help from his cohorts, though not everyone wants the young Phoenix to succeed. The mother-daughter combo of Mia and Maya Fey will be helping Phoenix excel in different ways. Mia Fey, an ace attorney herself and long time mentor of Phoenix, will continue to council him. Maya Fey is a budding psychic that lends her fledgling powers to Phoenix inside the courtroom. Meanwhile, prominent prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is gunning for his peer, not willing to let his perfect conviction rate fall victim to our green protagonist.
With that type of competition, you'll need to do a lot of legwork outside the courtroom, and lot of a convincing inside the halls of justice to prove Phoenix's friend innocent. That's why the game is broken up into two modes of play: an investigation mode and a court phase. Each mode tests your attention to detail and ability to sort through what's fact and fiction in various statements and reports.
In investigation mode, Phoenix has the opportunity to use an assortment of tactics to build his case. You can survey the crime scene, searching for those rocks unturned and potentially incriminating evidence that law enforcement missed in their investigation. There are also plenty of witnesses to interview, where you'll need to search for inconsistencies to bring up in the actual trial.
When you're getting your litigation on in the courtroom, that's when all the hard work invested into building a strong case really pays off big time. Just like in a real trial, you'll have the opportunity to call and examine witnesses, cross-examine the oppositions' witnesses, use daunting legal tactics to prove you client's side of the story, and yell objection to prevent the prosecution from getting away with unscrupulous tactics. Be careful with those objections, though, as you can lose the case if you call it incorrectly too many times.
Unfortunately, before we could prove our client's innocence, we had concluded the E3 demo. Phoenix Wright is in recess until the Fall, but we should have more information about this legal adventure title closer to launch.