Phoenix Wright – Justice for All

I’ve now played all three Pheonix Wright games.  It takes me a long time to finish them (I usually need a sizeable break between cases), so I only have a clear memory of the last two cases of this one.  The second last one, involving an extremely improbably murder in a circus was frustrating.  I thought it was highly contrived (and not in a good way) and required some ludicrous leaps of logic.

The last case, however, is my favourite of all the games.  Part of this is due to meta reasons – I don’t think it would have had anywhere near the impact if it was amongst the first I played.  Phoenix Wright cases go like this – Someone is accused of a murder and you are tasked with defending them.  Fortunately, there are never any ethical problems for you as your client is always clearly innocent.  Through a gradual accumulation of evidence, and over the course of 2 or 3 days of questionings in court, it becomes apparent that, in fact, one of the witnesses is the guilty party.  In a dramatic reversal you clear your clients name by proving that this other person committed the crime.  There is almost no deviation from this formula across the three games.  That’s OK as it’s a satisfying tale, even if it is one that’s been told many many times…

This last case, which involves a media personality being killed just before they were going to make an announcement at a major awards show, initially seems like it’s going to go down the same route.  But then things start to deviate – your quasi love-interest and sidekick is kidnapped.  The ransom? Ensuring that your client gets off scott-free.  Assuming he’s innocent this seems like a superfluous move, since it’s your job to make sure that happens…

The tension that emerges, as it becomes increasingly clear to Phoenix that his client isn’t as innocent as he seems and that he might have to ensure that someone else goes to jail in order to keep his kidnapped sidekick alive, is exquisite.  It’s this tension that gives this particular case a narrative force that isn’t matched in any of the other games.

Fans of the Wright/Edgeworth metastory (a rivalry-based relationship which has been the subject of MUCH slashfic) will especially enjoy the case and the addition of a whip-wielding German dominatrix teen adds some delightful spice to the mix.

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2 Responses to Phoenix Wright – Justice for All

  1. Sharon says:

    Franzeska is a stereotyped loss, as far as I’m concerned, but I agree that this is the best of the PW games.

  2. Isaac says:

    The switch in animation from innocent doofus to evil guy swirling brandy blew me away. Definitely the best case in the franchise.

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