I’ve been playing Phoenix Wright on DS recently. It’s a lawyer/adventure game where you’re a defense attorney defending the wrongly accused in some sort of court that’s inspired by actual court proceedings. It’s been highly rated, and so I feel obliged to try it out; plus, I couldn’t really understand how they would make a lawyer game.

The answer is that it’s a lot of reading! Basically you have to talk to a lot of people and listen to them talk (for clues you see). It’s actually more like a private-investigator game since you have to walk around the scripted menus and look for clues. That, in itself, is the main drawback of the game. Basically you’re playing in a world that’s the anti-thesis of the GTA games. You have to go along a specific path and uncover all the necessary information before you can satisfy the condition for the next event to occur. Combined with the slow pace of the character’s speech (I mean type on screen), it gets very frustrating.

The courtroom drama is not much better. Witnesses testify and you are given an opportunity to cross-examine them. The point is that you have to find inconsistencies between their stories and the truth, either by pressuring them or by showing specific pieces of evidence. Again, you have to follow a linear pattern and find the faults in sections of text that is about the length of a sentence, even if you’ve figured out what really happened. This basically ruins the game and cannot be overcome by the cool feeling you get when the facts fall into place and Wright pwns the prosecution by logic.