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Wanderer Feb 24, 2008

I'm still making my way through Justice for All, clearly savoring this series. After the weakish third case, the four case is really grabbing my attention. wink

Angela Feb 24, 2008

AJ's Case Three was very, very good, though somewhat unconventional as far as Case Threes go.  Unlike the Case Threes of the past, which often bordered on lightheartedness, this one is pretty gritty and serious.  It also comes equipped with a good amount of "Things you were previously lead to believe all get turned on their heads" moments - great moments, indeed.  Oh, and there's one discovery sequence that will almost guarantee you to initially go, "Holy shit....." due to its visual punch.  *_*

This case is also where we get to see Klavier shine, whom I'm really liking as both a character and prosecutor.  Unlike the over-the-top prosecutors of past games, where they were always on a constant mission to berate and run down Phoenix (they weren't exactly respectful to witnesses and the Judge, either), Klavier keeps it civil.  He still makes a formidable rival, but the guy's got integrity.... and a genuine desire to find the truth.  Honestly, when I heard about the whole prosecutor/rock god angle, I thought it was questionable and hokey.  But Case Three justifies that angle pretty well.

Ah, and I caught just ONE pop culture reference so far; it's pretty subtle and slyly integrated, but there's no mistaking what it is. :)

Nekobo Feb 25, 2008

Achtung, baby!

I'm midway through Case 2...and so far, so good. It's still early, but I'm liking Trucy more than Maya.  And playing as Apollo wasn't a let down like I thought it'd be. I just wish he looked a little older. Phoenix is pretty cool as a mentor, too. I want his beanie, stat!

I do agree that the game has been streamlined. I had a lot of fun presenting every piece of evidence and profile to see what kind of response I'd get. Oh well...

Jay Feb 25, 2008 (edited Feb 25, 2008)

My copy has been sitting in work since Friday but I haven't been there. It's now 7.05am and, for one of the first times in a good while, I'm itching to get into work.

Edit: And now I'm here, justice prevails!

Angela Feb 26, 2008 (edited Feb 27, 2008)

Finished Case Four, thereby completing the game.  I will say this: you've never quite played Ace Attorney like Case Four.  It's a very bold and fascinating way of telling the story, and in my opinion, wraps up the seven year Phoenix story arch with excellent efficiency.  The implications of the ending, and where the series can go at this point, is the most intriguing part of the entire game.  Will they really continue on with Apollo's story?  How will the proposed "new system" impact the way future games play out?  With the resolutions at hand, one is lead to wonder just who and who isn't going to be coming back.

You're going to notice something very quickly: the game is SERIOUS.  Deadly serious, in some regards.  Not that it's devoid of humor, but the structure and mood of the game feels like one big thriller, with few situations allowing for genuine laugh out loud moments.  The humor is more derivative of Smith's clever wit and character responses; a good chuckle every now and again, but nowhere near the wacky, over-the-top grabs of the last three games.  It's the characters, too; they're more grounded in reality. (At least, as far as 'reality' can readily be defined in the Phoenix Wright universe.)  Grounded in the sense that even spirit-channeling sounds like some absurd piece of far-out fiction that never belonged in this game's world to begin with.

The Perceive system is interesting in concept, but fairly underused as a gameplay element.  The same goes for the whole forensics science investigation stuff, which differs very little from PW1's Case Five.  I did, however, enjoy the use of the mixer in Case Three; that was admittedly very cool.

Where does Apollo Justice rank in the series for me?  Squarely third, after PW3 and PW1, and before PW2.  Capcom gets kudos for putting some new spins on an old formula, as well as weaving another engaging entry in this amazing story series.  The game still manages to surprise even a veteran fan like myself, and that counts for a lot.

Idolores Feb 27, 2008 (edited Feb 27, 2008)

Angela wrote:

Finished Case Four, thereby completing the game.

God, you're quick (Edit: Or maybe I'm just slow?). Only been out for, what, a few days here in Calgary (as far as I know, anyways), and I'm still interrogating Orly (maybe a reference to the O RLY meme, with the owl?).  http://www.o--rly.com/owl_orly.png

Still think Apollo is a knob (he looks so much like Dan Hibiki that I just can't for the life of me take him seriously), but he's genuinely fun to watch. And his mentor is just several kinds of cool.

Yeah, I know my take is limited, but it's almost like a whole new world now that Phoenix is gone (I miss him immensely), and I'm just itching to know what happened to him.

SonicPanda Feb 27, 2008 (edited Feb 27, 2008)

OK, I'm nearly done with the game, entering the final day in court. My review at this point is generally positive except for one mild irritant, and one ENORMOUS issue.

OK, first the good. The plotting is fantastic, the characters more endearing than the internet would have one believe, and the soundtrack's probably the best overall since the first DS entry. I love the Perceive system, and the touch-screen features are awesome. I miss some of the old characters, sure, but Capcom has pulled off their re-invention better than I'd anticipated.

Now, the complaints. First the little one: I'm going to go ahead and award the Most Excessive Use of, and Reference to Panties Award for 2008 to Case 2, and hope to God no other game this year contends for the title. Still, not a big deal.

My ENORMOUS complaint can be summed up in one word: MASON.

I greatly appreciated the streamlining of the Investigation segments, and was glad to be rid of the Psyche-Lock business seemingly once and for all (for me, it had seriously worn out its welcome by the end of Tribulations). Let me say that I completely loved Case 4 up to this point. It was clever, unsettling, and bittersweet, and the retro trial was a beautiful little nostalgic bomb. But instead of returning me to the field with the horse I rode in on, here I am using a computer to go time-skipping around with Phoenix for a f---ing MULTI-HOUR PSYCHE-LOCK MARATHON. I swear it's designed to make me hate the guy.

Granted, it's a neat concept, mainly in giving the player a chance to get to know certain victims better without leaning on spirit channeling, and the scenes with young Trucy and Mike Meekins are fun. But from a story-telling perspective, it not only divorces me from the cast I'm supposed to be growing accustomed to but makes no chronological sense whatsoever. When I have to use evidence obtained in the present day to break open Psyche-Locks of people from seven years ago, thereby getting evidence to show the guy who died only a few months ago, your narrative has some serious problems. Compared to this, ghost cats explaining half the plot to Chrono Cross in the last minutes before the final boss doesn't seem so bad.

I still love the game, really. I fully expect to have a good time in this final trial. But it's ironic in a sense that a game largely about perception would be nearly undone by Capcom losing focus for the sake of fanservice.

EDIT: Two things I nearly forgot to mention.

1. I'm amused by the idea of a stamp still costing 41 cents in 2017, and
2. Klavier's air guitar animation is the awesomest thing EVER.

OK, I'm done now.

Angela Mar 1, 2008 (edited Mar 2, 2008)

SonicPanda wrote:


I greatly appreciated the streamlining of the Investigation segments, and was glad to be rid of the Psyche-Lock business seemingly once and for all (for me, it had seriously worn out its welcome by the end of Tribulations). Let me say that I completely loved Case 4 up to this point. It was clever, unsettling, and bittersweet, and the retro trial was a beautiful little nostalgic bomb. But instead of returning me to the field with the horse I rode in on, here I am using a computer to go time-skipping around with Phoenix for a f---ing MULTI-HOUR PSYCHE-LOCK MARATHON. I swear it's designed to make me hate the guy.

Now see, I really liked this part, because, well...... I actually did miss the Psyche-Locks. I do agree about the paradox of presenting evidence from the present to the past -- but the concept seems more feasible if you view the whole thing as a "simulation."  That the Mason system was a collective tool for the players themselves, gaining information through Phoenix's perception of the truth, regardless of time and place.  That's what made the fragmented narrative work, I thought. 

SonicPanda wrote:

1. I'm amused by the idea of a stamp still costing 41 cents in 2017, and
2. Klavier's air guitar animation is the awesomest thing EVER.

OK, I'm done now.

1. You caught that too, eh?  Think we could send this as a subtle hint to USPS?  ;)
2. Even better than Eldoon's MAD HARMONICA SKILLZ??

Stephen Mar 1, 2008 (edited Mar 7, 2008)

I just finished the game, and it was a very good game.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Alexander O. Smith on the translation team.

I didn't like the introduction of a new user interface in the last case, primarily because it broke the story pacing a bit, but it makes sens within the story.

Apollo's new power is certainly more challenging to use than the Psychlock system, although they don't use it very much.

The ending certainly will make me wonder how Capcom will write future stories in the series.

Jay Mar 6, 2008 (edited Mar 6, 2008)

I've just finished this too and pretty much avoided this thread while playing (and anything else on the game) so I'm just reading these fresh now. For me, I really enjoyed playing it. I would agree with Angela's ranking (behind 3 and 1, ahead of 2).

As I'm Negative Nelly, or whatever it was, I'll get my big negatives out of the way first. Given that this was the first AA game designed for the DS, the first new game since maybe 2004, I was disappointed to see almost no progression. In fact, I'm with you Angela on the Profile presenting and Psyche-Locks so I actually felt this game a step backwards. And it felt plain lazy to me that responses to presenting stuff were so limited. The Investigation parts always felt weak to me in the PW games. In my opinion, the game really needed something like the Psyche-Locks and a lot of good responses to keep those interesting.

I found the investigation parts of Episode 3 a real chore and painfully dull.

There was the Perceive system, which was nice but it's not the trial parts that needed that extra attention and it was so limited in use it didn't really feel like an actual addition.

While the game got a lick of paint and some of the animations were stunning (Klavier's slam and guitar in particular), I would liked to have seen this go even further. There's no doubting the ability of their artists and it would have been just lovely to have put a bit more actual animation in there. On that though, I was disappointed during the flashback sequences that they didn't touch up or completely reanimate Phoenix himself. Against the amazing looking young Klavier, he looked a bit crappy.

In general, I just would liked to have seen much more of a series progression. And with a new system and new set of characters this would have been the perfect game to bring the series forward. That's my main negative done.

What was here, in general, I really enjoyed. I was so glad that Case 1 was a bit more meaty and I thought it was an great introduction to the new cast. Oddly, unlike Angela, I really liked Case 2 and wasn't a big fan of Case 3 (mostly because of the investigation parts). I think it was the characters that drew me to Case 2, especially the noodle guy. And, yes, his harmonica animation was excellent.

Case 4 was long but it had me hooked. And while I thought the computer device maybe wasn't needed, what it amounted to and the way the information came together in that section kept it really interesting for me. The way the cases came together was all a bit neat admittedly, but I loved it and getting those final pieces to fall into place in that section had me actually excited. I thought it worked great.

I did think that Case 4 was slightly lacking in that it seemed to fizzle a little bit rather than come to some huge climax but it was still a satisfying end and the getting there was fun.

I was so glad we had a new cast. Yeah, pal, I missed Gumshoe and didn't think Ema MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH had anywhere near as much character but I think I was ready for a new story. Apollo himself was very like Phoenix but I liked that he felt a little more green all the way through. And the character touches like his impressive chords were nice. I like him and would like to see more of him. When I hit the end, because I was slightly disappointed with some elements I was left wondering what the reactions have been like. I was afraid, if they haven't been really positive, Capcom may lay the blame on losing the familiar characters and may well back pedal. Whereas, for me, I want to see where these new characters go and think there was a new dynamic created at the end that could move them away from the Phoenix/Maya relationship that Apollo and Trucy had throughout the game. Though I kind of hope Trucy ditches the magic outfit in the next one.

I loved Mr.Hat too.

So there you go. I enjoyed it. Some really good cases in there. But it was just another AA/GS game and I guess I was hoping for more and, even just being another one, PW3 had set the bar pretty high.

So... when is the next one out?


Edit: Gah! I can't hide spoilers! How do I do them?

Another edit: Got it.

Ryu Mar 6, 2008

Guh, I just started Justice For All.  I'm curious how you all rank the games in the series, including Apollo Justice.

Angela Mar 7, 2008

Ryu wrote:

I'm curious how you all rank the games in the series, including Apollo Justice.

Seems Jay and myself see things fairly eye-to-eye when it comes to the AA series..... quite a contrast to issues like Sonic and SF4, at least. ;)  But yeah, I'd be curious to see a general ranking of the games from you other fans as well.

And just because I want to mention it, my favorite character in AJ is..... young Vera.  She's too adorable. ^_^

Stephen Mar 7, 2008

Ryu wrote:

Guh, I just started Justice For All.  I'm curious how you all rank the games in the series, including Apollo Justice.

3, 1, 4, 2.

Idolores Mar 7, 2008

Stephen wrote:
Ryu wrote:

Guh, I just started Justice For All.  I'm curious how you all rank the games in the series, including Apollo Justice.

3, 1, 4, 2.

That's pretty much mine right now.

Zane Mar 7, 2008

Ryu wrote:

Guh, I just started Justice For All.  I'm curious how you all rank the games in the series, including Apollo Justice.

Since I only completed the first two games, I'm going to say that 1 is #1 and 2 is #2. tongue

Ryu Mar 8, 2008

Zane, did you lose interest in the series?

Hm, I guess I'll just have to look forward to Trials & Tribulations when I finish this one.

Zane Mar 8, 2008

Ryu wrote:

Zane, did you lose interest in the series?

Yessir. I started up the third game, but never finished it. When a game (or series) starts to feel like a chore, that's when it's time for me to move on. My fond memories of the first game and my fun with the second are enough to keep me happy.

Angela Mar 8, 2008

Ryu wrote:

Hm, I guess I'll just have to look forward to Trials & Tribulations when I finish this one.

Justice For All isn't a bad game; it's just the weakest link in the series.  I loved the case stories, but my beef was with the comparatively weaker writing and music, and certain choices in localization.  It's still an important and crucial part of the overarching story line, though, especially for the events that lead up to Trials & Tribulations.  So by all means, finish it up.

And who knows, you may actually end up enjoying Justice For All more than Trials & Tribulations.  SonicPanda seems to, at least.

Angela Mar 8, 2008 (edited Apr 13, 2008)

Ah, it's interesting viewing a complete recap of the threads we've had thus far.  I'd love to do more in-depth polls for JFA and TAT, like the ones in the first Phoenix Wright topic...... but maybe after we've let some of the newcomers had their run through with them.   

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
http://www.soundtrackcentral.com/forums … php?id=536

Phoenix Wright: Justice For All:
http://www.soundtrackcentral.com/forums … hp?id=1652

Phoenix Wright: Trials And Tribulations:
http://www.soundtrackcentral.com/forums … hp?id=2307

Datschge Mar 9, 2008 (edited Mar 9, 2008)

Finished Apollo Justice yesterday. You don't want to read this if you want to avoid negativity. I don't even know if I want to spend time writing about it.

Regarding how I rate the series so far:
1 > 3 >>>>>>>> 2 >>> 4

Apollo Justice didn't grab me, at all. I understand that the game is pretty much by a new staff compared to the Phoenix Wright games, but their new 5th case of AA1 was far, far better than this game. The new main characters backgrounds', motivations', and developments' are all either messed up or completely non-existing. The use of music in climaxes is absolutely abysmal, whenever I felt like actually enjoying a scene they chose to play that one highly repetitive danger/hurry piece which regularly forced me to turn off the sound (something I usually never do in story driven games as they are bland to me without it). Cases wise the first two are fine, but the latter two are no more than convoluted jokes, unsatisfying due to seriously off pacings. If you want details I'd like to refer to Pureauthor's detailed text at neogaf which I agree with except for the music part.

I don't think I'll bother looking at whatever sequel Apollo Justice gets, and a continuation to Phoenix Wright seems very unlikely at this point considering what Apollo Justice did with it. sad

Angela Mar 9, 2008 (edited Mar 15, 2008)

Datschge wrote:

The use of music in climaxes is absolutely abysmal, whenever I felt like actually enjoying a scene they chose to play that one highly repetitive danger/hurry piece which regularly forced me to turn off the sound (something I usually never do in story driven games as they are bland to me without it)

Yeah, I do think they went a bit overboard with the new Suspense ~ Thrill theme, but I absolutely love the piece, so I didn't mind so much.  Still, it felt like they should've used the original Suspense theme in certain moments that didn't seem nearly as tense.

Pureauthor does put out a number of valid points as well.  Speaking of misplaced characterization and motives, I absolutely could not stop laughing at this comic.  *DO NOT* read these until you've beaten Apollo Justice: 

~The Gramaryes Are Jerks Series~
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6  (Not necessarily part of the series, but a funny bit of final closure, in any case.)

Jay Mar 9, 2008

He points out some things that clearly got to him and many are definitely valid. But it doesn't really justify his 'worst in series' placement. You could go through any PW game and tear it apart like that. Quite easily. He's just chosen to do it with this one.

In fact, just to point out one example has been nothing in this series worse than the fact that in the Edgeworth case in PW1, the number of bullets was made clear in the evidence from the start and yet you weren't able to bring it up until the end of the case. If anyone can make it past that, AJ shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Datschge Mar 9, 2008

Angela wrote:

Speaking of misplaced characterization and motives, I absolutely could not stop laughing at this comic.

Those are great. A fan remix of the game with those improvements would be fantastic. =P

Amazingu Mar 12, 2008

Does anyone know if there's something like a guide or FAQ out there that not so much analyses the plot as it does the many jokes and references? I kinda need something like that for a translation thesis I'm working on.
I can find plot and dialogue transcriptions, but no real analyses.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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