With Gyakuten Saiban 6, also known as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, our favorite quirky attorney returns to the courtroom to defend the helpless and innocents. Who would have thought that there will be enough murders to give Phoenix Wright still a truckload of work to do? Spirit of Justice proves that crime never sleeps.
Justice is my spirit
When you start playing a new case in the Ace Attorney franchise, most of the time you get what you expect – this also goes for Spirit of Justice. The sixth Gyakuten Saiban title starts with a weird but funny story in the far away and mystical land of Khura’in, where Phoenix just wanted to enjoy his holiday and meet his former assistance Maya Fey. However, as an honorable attorney he cannot let those without any defense be accused of murder. In Khura’in, everything depends on spirituality and mediums, and citizens do not really believe in evidence, facts or motives. They judge everything just by the Divination Seance, performed by the princess of Khura’in, named Rayfa. This Divination Seance is by the way also the newest gameplay addition of Spirit of Justice. The seances performed by Rayfa allow the player to get a closer look at the last moments of the victim’s life. Now Phoenix is able to easily gain a lot more information depending on what the murdered has seen, heard or even smelled. As interesting as this new concept sounds, in practice it feels a little bit redundant and sometimes not really necessary to use. But in combination with the usual cross-examination gameplay, it gives the whole gameplay more variety.
New characters require new murders
To be honest, most fans of the Ace Attorney franchise won’t really care about gameplay additions. The series lives from its weird and funny stories and quirky characters. The set change from the usual courtroom to a more exotic environment leaves a fresh touch, and introduces more eccentric and entertaining personalities. Sure, other protagonists like Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes do return, but the fictional area of Khura’in allows the player to get to know so many interesting characters like princess Rayfa, whose design is absolutely gorgeous, and the odd but hilarious monk-in-training Ahlbi. However, besides the new characters, sometimes the new setting of Khura’in with its over-spiritual believers starts to feel kind of annoying. Thankfully, there are still other cases outside of the foreign country. But even outside of Khura’in, gaining information on crime scenes has never been so frustrating. Apollo’s and Athena’s cases are way more interesting, yet finding evidence feels harder than ever – and by harder I mean illogical. At times, you get the feeling that the plot tries to confuse the player in more ways than before. I have to admit that I caught myself randomly clicking on everything, just to find the slightest clue – and that’s not what a game should do, right?
Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice might be the weakest part of all the Gyakuten Saiban series, but it still feels amazing to return to your beloved courtroom to defend innocents. Fans will definitely love the newest addition to the franchise, while players who are unfamiliar with the games should consider playing previous titles as the story-telling and introduction of the gameplay felt more sophisticated and not that random. Anyway, Spirit of Justice is an Ace Attorney game at heart, and finally claiming Objection in court again feels satisfying as hell.
What we liked:
- Graphical improvement
- Hilarious characters
- Completely new setting
What we didn’t like:
- Weak cases
- Illogical conclusions
This review was written using a Nintendo 3DS review code provided by Capcom. How do you like Spirit of Justice’s new setting? What is your favorite case so far? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!