Game Review

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Spencer McIlvaine


Renowned primarily for its storytelling and unique style, it’s hard to say for sure whether the Phoenix Wright series are games at all or rather interactive short stories, but the medium in which they exist lumps them into the game category, and so as a game we must review it. There’s nothing we can say about the Phoenix Wright series on the DS that will change the minds of its legion of rabid fans - not that we would want to, as one look at our earlier review will show that we’re among them. But if you enjoyed reading about Phoenix Wright on the DS, you’re not going to like what you’re about to read now.

Though known for its DS releases, the Phoenix Wright series actually began its life on the GameBoy Advance. Although later ported to the DS with touchscreen controls that would presumably work well with the Wii Remote, that is not the version we have here. What we have instead is apparently a port of the original GBA release. While the story is the same as found in the DS release, the game lacks any motion controls or any other upgrade for Wii users with one exception: instead of a using the IR pointer in the Wii Remote, the game menus are instead navigated entirely with the D-Pad. This is no small issue due to the fact that the playable part of the game consists of nothing more than selecting options from a menu.

The only motion control comes into play when Phoenix raises an objection in court. As is depicted in the artwork, players can elect to swing the Wii Remote as if pointing their finger in the air to object. It’s the only motion control in the game and they got it wrong: if you elect to use this feature prepare to wave your arm around ridiculously until the motion is finally recognised.

Of course, motion controls are not absolutely necessary for this sort of game and scrolling around works just fine with the D-Pad. And to play devil’s advocate we could point out that there is so little for the player to do in this game besides read a line of text, click the A button and repeat that it doesn’t really matter how the controls work. But come on, Capcom - what are you doing with our 1000 Nintendo Points if you’re offering nothing but a virtually unaltered port of a last-gen handheld game?

The game play revolves around playing the role of an attorney. You uncover evidence and then present it while questioning witnesses on the stand during trial. Sounds exciting, but unfortunately the game mostly plays itself and there are very few moments where the player actually gets to make any choices. And when that moment comes, the choice is usually far too obvious. Even the real meat of the game, interrogating a witness and submitting evidence that contradicts that witness’s testimony, is not terribly difficult to figure out.

Worse, because this is a simplistic menu-driven handheld game and not the complex courtroom simulator it deserves to be, the act of entering evidence must be done at the correct moment to trigger the next event in the story. If you figure out the solution too early, there is no way to explain this to the simple-minded judge. Instead, you can only enter your evidence in response to a specific sentence spoken by the witness. This means that even if you have already figured out the solution to the mystery and know the evidence that needs to be presented, you must still figure out which sentence the witness says that you are supposed to respond to. Failure to do so means you must replay the interrogation ad nauseum until you enter your evidence in response to the correct sentence.

Perhaps some fans of Phoenix Wright games feel that they are doing something educational and learning how the court system works. Let us dispel that notion right away: this game is nothing more than a time-filling diversion that plays well on a handheld, but in no way works as an educational tool for the justice system. Watching reruns of Matlock would be more useful for that purpose, and would include fewer examples of a defence attorney defending his client by finding the ‘real’ killer.

If you learn about the legal system from Phoenix Wright, you will learn that it is okay to lead a witness because Phoenix will certainly not object to any improper procedure on the part of the prosecution. On the other hand, a simple, straightforward answer to a question such as “what time was it?” will draw a successful objection from Phoenix because apparently, in the world of the anime justice system, objections are used for interjecting the attorney’s own testimony over that of the witness. Between these two lawyers interjecting their own opinions everywhere, what’s the point of even having witnesses at all?

But, like Phoenix, we may be exaggerating for effect here. Of course Phoenix Wright is not a very good educational tool, but that wouldn’t be a problem if it were at least a fun game. As we said, gameplay consists almost entirely of mashing the A button while reading line after line of text. Although the stories are catchy and fun to read, as an e-book the game is decidedly not user friendly and requires far too much button pressing. On the plus side the four stories included are short and manageable, and you can save your progress along the way.

Episode 5 is intended for release in May for a mere 100 Points. This extra content for a fraction of the price of the core game will significantly add to the value provided, however it’s worth pointing out that this additional 25% more content will only require 1 block of space. The core game requires 301 blocks. Doing some quick math, it seems to us that this extra episode is more likely unlockable content rather than downloadable and is already included within the game.

This block size is truly staggering considering that it is, once again, just a port of a GBA game. The size of the average SNES game on the Virtual Console should have been larger considering the visuals here are essentially all still images and text, presented in their original aspect ratio. As you can imagine, low-resolution handheld graphics blown up on the Wii look like a crime against humanity that even Phoenix couldn’t argue his way out of.


As a low-resolution port of a last-gen game with barely any Wii Remote functionality tacked on, were this any other game we would be all too happy to drop the score further. But it barely escapes contempt of our court on the strength of its enjoyable storytelling which is, after all, some of the most entertaining dialogue available on any console.

From the web

User Comments (129)



Big_A2 said:

I suppose it's good to get another veiw on the game. The stuff you said is why some people don't like it.

But I mean, sure it may be a port of the GBA version only, but it is pretty cheap considering the price of the DS version, or even the price of importing a second hand GBA version. I prefer the DS version anyway just for the conveniance of having it portable.

Wow, hang on, didn't the last paragraph say something about using the "s word" before?




Hmm, I agree with Big A2 points

Personally, the revw doesn't really dispel me from getting it at all.

Cheers for the revw.



BlueBandanaJake said:

I'm personally happy this came out, having only played Apollo Justice (and that was borrowed) I fell in love with the game and wanted to play the original(s) so this turns out to be an easy solution to that. I dont see a problem in rereleasing a game from last generation so people who missed it can give it a go (New Play Control series?) and the price point is rather nice for getting the full original game.

Also, I had NO PROBLEM swinging the remote to object. I got it to work every single time with a nice natural swing, from the first try.



SwerdMurd said:

Wow, and here I was excited to finally play the first game in the series. Baffling decision here--you know the original art that inspired the game is still somewhere...they could've done minimal work (keeping the audio cause it's awesome) and scanned higher res versions of the same exact art....truly a shame all around.



jangonov said:

I bought it and while enjoyable, it does not look good at all on an HDTV. If it was 500 points I would not complain, but for $10 a download, I think they could have put more effort than making a simple GBA emulator



pinta_vodki said:

Strange review. What I didn't get, was if I haven't played an Ace Attorney game before and if I don't have a DS or GBA, would I enjoy the game?



Guybrush_Threepwood said:

Thank you, lazy Capcom! A great game like this (at least on DS) should really deserve a better port and not such a dissappointing garbage. Unfortunately the WiiWare version is only an ugly rip-off. No improved graphics although images with higher resolution were already used in the Japanese port for PCs. No controls with Wii-Remote's pointer funtion! Capcom must be kidding!

I am a big fan of the whole Ace Attorney series and would rate the DS version 9 out of 10. But even 5/10 points are way too many for the WiiWare version in my opinion.



Sean_Aaron said:

Well, I was going to consider this, but it frankly doesn't sound like much of a visual novel even. I'll stick with my Law & Order episodes on DVD thanks.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Sean Aaron: It's an AWESOME game...on DS. But it seems they totally flubbed the WiiWare port. Oh, well...good thing I still have my DS copies of the whole series! Next up: Capcom needs to rerelease those. THAT would actually be worth people's money!

Also, regarding the unfortunate outcome of this release, I must agree with the Judge.



Chunky_Droid said:

Hmm, sad to hear all those things Spence.

I'm sure to get it though, I only used the D-Pad in the original DS versions anyhow. I'd be interested to see how the 5th episode pans out as there were some DS specific elements to it



Bass_X0 said:

Its basically a Virtual Console release of a handheld game on a system that doesn't support handhelds. This is no more flubbed than any VC release. The only difference is that its from a handheld. Which, up until now, we've all been wanting to see added to the Virtual Console.



Aviator said:

@Chunky the screens ive seen, you get a top screen, and a bottom screen, in the middle of your tv, with empty space on either side of it



Sabrewing said:

That's not how the visuals works. You only seen the bottom screen either when you're selecting a save file and case from the main menu, or when you're presenting evidence where you need to indicate a particular spot upon a map or photograph. Other than that, the top screen where all the action is, is all you see; things that would normally be on the bottom screen in the DS version, are overlayed on the action and can be hidden by holding the 1 button.



HexNash said:

I have to disagree with most of the comments and the review score here. This game is basically for anyone who never played through the DS version. Giving it a 5/10 just because it is a port is absurd, as the game is just as entertaining as the 8/10-rated DS one. What you people are doing here is turning newcomers to the series off from a great experience, just because you've already played it on another system and expected to be spoiled. Give me a break.



Capnking said:

It's basically a (slightly) interactive novel. A fantastic story, and my favourite game on the DS bar-none, but a story nonetheless. They shouldn't have mixed things up with too much gameplay. D-pad only would have worked fine.



outrun2sp said:

Totally disagree with this review. Pheonix Wright is a great series of games very similar in play style to Snatcher. Has a real Kojima feel to it. Pretty much almost the best series of games on DS.

While it is arguably a lazy port the game content and experience will be just as good as the DS. From the videos Ive seen on youtube it looks fine to me and as someone else has said a good opportunity to get people into the series.

I will definately be getting it and I dont think your opinion will stop others getting it.

I hope that they release all of the trilogy on WII.

Also hope that they release snatcher but I doubt it would come as the sega cd version wasnt released in Japan and Konami europe are not enterprising enough to take a risk and release it. PC Engine CD version seems more likely without localisation.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Well...maybe this version is good if it's your only option, I dunno. I'd still be somewhat concerned about low-res GBA graphics displaying on an HDTV. Even N64 games on VC get cleaned up before release, y'know!

Like I said, I plan to stick with my DS copies either way. And given the rarity of those, I suppose I should recommend giving the WiiWare version a shot if you really want to try the games. They ARE excellent titles, after all.



Roo said:

What's with the argument about block size? Doesn't everyone who's interested in WiiWare have the SD Card Channel by now? It might have been a big deal in 2007 - but not today.

Also, no one has ever thought these games are educational. No one is ever going to think these games are educational. Pheonix Wright will never become the preeminent case study of the judicial system works, and as everyone almost certainly knows that, why did you waste time typing about the educational merit of the game?



Porky said:

Its funny seeing games with high expectations get a lower score fans imagined and complan about them, wah. 5/10 is average for a Gba game for 1000pts. I totally agree with the score. Also 301 blocks for a Gba game!? No way! Ill pass.
@ Roo: I try to save as much blocks on my Sd card, its almost full and no Im not getting another Sd card this game should not be 301 blocks.




@Ezekiel .... How come you're complaining about the price of this and not Pokemon Rumble? You said one should download a ware game no matter what the price if they liked it?

No-one is "wah-ing" either.

BTW, you were right about Pokemon Rumble, though I still (like the reviewer) thought it was too high in price

Its on the DS at a relatively high price so you could argue its never going to come onto VC anyway.



Porky said:

Because this is a Gba game port, Pokemon Rumble is not a Gba, plus 120 blocks shorter. And btw I heard "wah-ing" in there comments when I read them.
Yes you should download this no matter the price if you like it but I have 0 interest in this game unless it was 0 points I may consider this IMO. 5/10 is average I said the scores not bad.




Wah-ing was argueably in your comments too (ironically as you're complaining about the game and people's assertion that it will be a good ware game anyway)

Pokemon rumble is still yet another of those dime a dozen spin offs that you see. Though IT IS a good one as we now agree.

There aren't many GBA ports out there at the moment, and like I said its on the DS anyway. So its unlikely to be on the VC (one could argue)

Still, I agree that this has been a sloppy effort from capcom. I'll be downloading it though.



XCWarrior said:

I find it interesting people are more willing to look overlook this review more than hours because of the series.

Wasn't getting it, but read the review anyway. A bit shocked by the result, but sounds like it was done in a rush.



Jeroen1 said:

Sounds like a fair review with some solid points to me. I wouldn't want to see some of my favorite series to receive such a sloppy treatment.



RoyOfTheRovers said:

I have been considering getting a DSi for a while because I wanted to play the Phoenix Wright games, Professor Layton, Advance Wars and some of the other DS-only titles, however I am now hoping they will bring them all to WiiWare in the form of dodgy ports and I can save myself a few quid!!

Despite the bad review I am still going to pick this up when it drops in the EU as I have never played any of the series and for only 1,000 Wii Points I am prepared to put up with some ropey graphics and lack of IR.



outrun2sp said:

I think its a good idea porting this game to wii basically dont buy it if you dont like it fair enough. Fans these days are just terrible. New generation of gamers.



ReZon said:

The presentation is the only downside of the WiiWare version - you can tell Capcom was a bit lazy in the porting process.

HOWEVER, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is still an epic game, and if you haven't played the DS version (or you no longer own it), you still should Definitely check it out.



Wiiman94 said:

Got it, Love it, Played the DS, Love it more.

Sure the visulas are nothing compared to majority of wiiware games. But, it dosnet look terrible, sure its basically a GBA Emulater that only plays 1 game, but its still a great game, and is a possible nudge that Gameboy Advance games, can be ported to Wiiware very easily.

NOt the worst thing capcom has ever done, though a widescreen option would look terible it would be nice to have the option instead of a blue logo background. What are we VCA?



Sean_Aaron said:

I knew this one would be controversial. In defense of Spencer from reading his review I think the score is largely down to two things:

1. Spencer doesn't care for the gameplay.

2. This is very much a lazy port being passed off as a new WiiWare title, not a VC GBA title, so no it's not going to get treated like an SNES game on the VC or given any slack.



ReZon said:

@Sean - You guys shouldn't have to bend the rules just to appease fans of a series. I don't think anyone should expect that either.



Supermegaman said:

Wow... I thought this was going to be really good! Ah well... guess Il have to find some other way to get in to this series



Objection said:

Lower than I expected but I'm not here to fight that. Rather, I was wondering if the general opinion WAS that its a port of the GBA over the DS,as it seems odd to me that the RFA DLC is basically already included, which it wasn't for the GBA version. I would think they would be seperate files, etc. if Cases 1-4 were a GBA emulation and Case 5 was a DS emulation. As for why it's 300 blocks, well, some things you can't condense. PWAA is made up of lots and lots of text, lots of large sprites, and a full (awesome ) soundtrack. Although given CAPCOM's apparently "lazy" (not calling others' words into judgement, just pointing out that they are their words) port here, perhaps more could have been done, but WW file size doen't really matter anymore.

To those interested in AA, I would thus recommend the DS version. Don't let this review (of which 5/10 is "average," remember!) completely turn you off because it didn't award an 11.



blackknight77 said:

Capcom is lazy and you don't care. I can't believe they did not enhance the visuals for a 1,000 point game. Perhaps Capcom should be on the witness stand for a crime against gaming. Objection!!!




All things considered 5/10 or 6/10 sounds about right and ISN'T an out and out "bad score" anyway. Good review in terms of content as well.

(Just wanted to register my support for the reviewer even though I'll still be downloading it)



outrun2sp said:

1. Spencer doesn't care for the gameplay.

Ha, so a fair person to review the game.



Guybrush_Threepwood said:

@outrun2sp: Nobody wrote it was a bad idea porting the game to Wii. There are only complains about how the game was ported. It's a great game on DS but that Capcom didn't put any visible effort into the WiiWare port is absolutely disappointing.

PS: Being fan of a series doesn't mean you have no right to complain. Especially when publishers deliver substandard versions only because of laziness.



Bass_X0 said:

It's a great game on DS but that Capcom didn't put any visible effort into the WiiWare port is absolutely disappointing.

So most VC games are disappointing then, eh? Really, this is just what it is. A VC game. They never intended to remake Phoenix Wright, just port it to the Wii in the same way they do for VC games.



A-SWE said:

If I cant get my hands on the DS game again I guess this ones going to my Wii



ejamer said:

Fan reaction sure is interesting.

People say the game deserves better, but why? This "new" WiiWare game has poor graphics, mediocre controls, virtual no improvements over the previous version, very limited replay value, and even charges you an extra dollar to unlock the last 20% of the game (which isn't even new content, and has obviously already been downloaded since the "expansion" takes up a single block).

Yes, the Phoenix Wright games are still good. Yes, if you can't get it any other way this might be a fun game to try. But people who can get the DS version are better off doing so, and people who have a limited amount of points should really consider some of the better, more original, and more polished titles available.

Fans can argue the score all they want, but it really looks like Capcom was lazy with this game and I am not keen on supporting that when there are many other strong WiiWare titles I don't already have.



Gizmo said:

For such a lazy port I absolutely understand the review and the score.



Ryuuga said:

To tell the truth, the review is fair enough. If the DS version had the touchscreen support to select menus, then why WiiWare version didn't support the WiiRemote pointing ability? It really blows my mind because it would make it so much user-friendly for casual players. Also, the presentation are enough to lower the score 4 points, because Capcom were really really lazy here. Some better quality artwork, like the japanese PC version, would be nice indeed.

In fact, I wish the WiiWare version will fail both in critics and sales, because with this Capcom will learn a lesson or two and might create a decent port of the originals next time.



Sean_Aaron said:

@outrun2sp: Be serious. Just because he didn't enjoy the game when he played it doesn't mean he had some kind of bias against the entire game genre before he reviewed it.



Egg_miester said:

i disagree with this review and it saddens me to read it no wonder i been lately not coming onto this site as much as i use to



"it’s hard to say for sure whether the Phoenix Wright series are games at all or rather interactive short stories"

Is a graphic novel and they have existed way before the interactive movie seudo games like MGS.

"because this is a simplistic menu-driven handheld game and not the complex courtroom simulator it deserves to be"

Again is a GRAPHIC NOVEL not a simulator it was never intended to be that way. GN are fun, simulators are boring.

"This block size is truly staggering considering that it is, once again, just a port of a GBA game"

The DS game's size is 60 MB. So I guess that porting is not as simple as copypasting like in Word right?

and 10 dls for this game is just perfect? did you want it FREE or what?



shinkukage09 said:

Well. We already knew Capcom was just going to port it. They're milking the franchise. Oh well.



MrPinguy said:

It was a lazy port, it was a fair score considering that.
But it uses some amateur arguments like bashing for not being an "tool to learn about the juridical system". Ace Attorney never tried to be that. It's futuristic flawed one, made to speed up processes, an fictional system, where an suspect is "Guilty until proved inocent", one that doesn't even have an jury for the same reasons (this in the english version). It's like stating Street Fighter sucks for not being an realistic martian arts tornament.
An stating that the gameplay is like an confusing e-book... it's just plain sad... just because don't play as an regular adventure game? This just shows how much the conclusion was forced with all that "praise"... With all my respect to the reviewer, while the score itself and some points of the review are "fair" at most, others are just plain sad, almost comparable with basied fanboy or picky gamer, not the kind i use to read on this site.

I agree with you just one thing...
Behold your PC version artwork! Link: http://blog.capcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/saiban04.jpg
THE JP PC VERSION NEVER... let me say again... >>NEVER<<< HAD BETTER ART!
It's was other lazy port just like this one, that was just your usual gaming news tricking you again.



Guybrush_Threepwood said:

@Bass X0: I didn't expect a remake but at least some adjustments (controls and graphic resolution) to the new platform.

Most Virtual Console games don't need any adjustments because they play perfectly on Wii (except poor 50 Hz conversions in PAL-territories and no emulation of N64-paks). There is almost no difference to the original experience. The N64 games look even much better on Wii.

Unfortunately this port here is a worse experience than the DS version because of lame controls and the low graphic resolution. And why did Capcom choose the GBA-version? I don't understand at all. They only would have to replace DS stylus-control with Wii's pointer function (can't be such an extra effort) and use graphics in a higher resolution, which should really be no big deal for a 2D game without complex animations (did that for the Japanese PC port already).

But Capcom instead made the choice to release a lazy port and so I see no reason why I should praise Capcom only for releasing this game on Wii. Of course it's great for all people who don't own a DS. But I think those also would have a better gaming experience if the game was adjusted right to the new system.



Daxdiv said:

I actually do agree with the review for this. Even one of my complaints for it was how pixelated the graphics looked, and this is coming from someone that plays his Wii console on an SD TV. That and the lack of Wii Controls as well. I was also disappointed with that as well, but when I did the finger wave, it worked fine with me with the two cases I have played. As for the educational bit, it kind of is in the regards that Ace Attorney Series is a satire on the Japanese court system.



IlikeVideoGames said:

I am not to upset with the games controls and the graphics do look like a GBA game was popped into a Gameboy player. But I am still happy with it since I do not own a DS. I am still enjoying myself for what it is worth (mainly the humor in game )



Noire said:

It's pretty much perfect for me, as I never see any of the Ace Attorney games where I live despite always wanting to play them. I'm enjoying it immensely, even if it is kind of odd to move a cursor with a Control Pad when you have a perfectly functioning Wii Remote in hand.

take that



Popyman said:

I never played this on the DS and I LOVE it. Capcom made this game so new people could get into the series without having to hunt down a copy and spend $30+. So I really think you should have got someone new to the series to review this game because, as it is, this review clashes with what Capcom tried to do with this game: Bring in new people.

Maybe next game?



naut said:

Basically you're saying the game's like an interactive book. That's the point. If it's an exact port of the game, I'm sold.



Crunc said:

Bizarre port. I didn't get why they didn't produce a new Ace Attorney game instead of just rehashing an old one. Now I know why - they wanted to put as little effort and money into it as possible.



JayArr said:

They didn't use the IR Pointer!? WTF!?
You juxtaposed the game with real life court!? WTF!?
This is just one big mess......



Pikamander2 said:

DS version: ~25 dollars for a used copy
WiiWare version: 11 dollars

So basically, the WiiWare version lost 3 points for costing 14 dollars less than the original.

That makes perfect sense.



Yasume said:

Heh, terrible review. The game is an exact copy of the NDS version (therefore called a port) and that game is a masterpiece. Sure, you can't deny that Capcom didn't do a strawberry to please the fans, but it's an excellent game nevertheless.



RevolverLink said:

It's really disappointing to hear how poor a job Capcom seems to have done with this port. But if anyone still hasn't played Phoenix Wright, they owe it to themselves to try it, even if the only version they can get their hands on is the one on WiiWare.



Adamant said:

Yea, the problem isn't the score itself, but the fact that Nintendolife ALREADY gave this game an 8/10. This review does in no way explain why the Wiiware version is supposedly so much worse than the DS version, it's just two different people giving two different opinions on the same game. Representing that as "this version is good and this version is not" isn't particularly professional - near-identical version of the same game should be reviewed by the same person.

I respect Spencer's opinion on the game (though I don't think people who don't like certain genres should be assigned to review games in that genre, as these end up being more a review of the genre as a whole than the particular game), but the message you're sending here isn't "Tommy thinks this game is good, and Spencer doesn't like the genre in the first place, and this game didn't convince him to start doing so", but rather "the DS version is very good, and the Wiiware version is just average".



Adam said:

This was my first Phoenix Wright, and as a game, it's terrible. As a story it's hilarious, but you'd be doing your wallet a favor if you just watched a playthrough on Youtube instead.

I can't imagine how this would be better on DS, either. The graphics don't bother me one bit, and the D-pad works perfectly fine, so I don't see why you'd even want motion controls unless D-pads are somehow too confusing.

As a port, it could have been better, but it is still the same experience. As a game, it's really lackluster and I wish I'd waited to read the review, myself. I didn't think it'd arrive so soon. I just bought it last night, how sad.



Gabbo said:

Wow. Looks like I could use a good defense attorney. Anybody know one?

Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Just remember that that's all this review is is an opinion. If you love the DS version no one will take that away from you. But this review is of the wiiware game.

Now. Who's the one who started this rumor that I volunteer to review games in genres I don't like?



BobberyFan98 said:

Sorry, but this review seems like a bunch of Hatred and BS to me.

This game atleast deserves a 7/10 at the LOWEST, i really don't understand why he gave it that low of a score.

But alas, everybody has their opinions, any person is allowed to speak freely, i think though, that this should be given a second look and re-reviewed




StriderAxel said:

It apparently is the DS version. I ran into one occasion during the second case where the screen zooms out and now you see a top and bottom screen, and have to use the bottom screen as if it were the DS's "touch screen" in order to point out something. The scene functioned the same as it did in my DS copy.

Not that that really excuses anything, it looks terrible when it goes into "DS mode" because it compresses the top and bottom screen to fit onto a TV screen and it's really hard to tell what you're doing.. Fortunately this has only happened once so far, I'm still on case 3 and haven't seen it repeated yet.



MrPinguy said:

The game may not be your thing, but i hardly see how this review could influence your opinion, that says almost nothing of the game itself, just says "buawww bad port, buawww it's not like a real trial."

Like i say to EarthBound don't like picky people, Just play the game until the end and then i can understand your opinion, since by then you can evaluate the overall product.
First you say that Sega never did good games...now...so much dissapoitment in you, so little time



Starwolf_UK said:

And why did Capcom choose the GBA-version?
The whole GBA port thing is totally wrong. It is only the GBA version in the sense it is cases 1-4 (and the DS version is an enhance port of the GBA version). The music sounds exactly like the DS release (the GBA release has more muffled and in places bleepy music).

and use graphics in a higher resolution, which should really be no big deal for a 2D game without complex animations (did that for the Japanese PC port already).
The whole "PC version has better graphics" thing is sadly false. The one bit with good graphics Phoenix Wright is talking about computer specs. Basically, the installation screen. So yes PC also got a cheap port (though at least this time round it wasn't literally wasn't an emulator and ROM)

A lot of people are going to be mislead by the review into thinking the music and graphics are inferior to other which simply isn't true.

The review seemed to be a bit of a rambling rant the quality of which is more akin to those trolling reviews someone puts on Gamefaqs for a laugh and honestly, I'm left wondering what happened to the Nintendolife editorial team.

I remember back in the Platchen review it being said the entire staff agree on the score given and the text of the review before posting it to the site.



Dazza said:

@Starwolf_UK - This review was proofed by James this morning. Myself and Damien looked at it before it was published too. We're happy with what Spencer wrote and think that the low score is justified. The review speaks clearly for itself. We didn't feel that it read like a rambling rant when we read it.

If you don't agree with Spencer, that's fine. Like he said it's just his opinion. IGN seem to agree!



MrPinguy said:

Something seemed fishy about the whole "GBA Port" i was going to poiting out it, but i was gonna wait to play it myself. So it is really the DS game...
The review is even worse that i thought, it induces people to falsities...
Sorry Spencer, opinion is something i respect, your faulty points i can ignore, but false information is something that i can't really ignore. This port may deserve an 5, but this review fails at almost every level to suport the score... i hope this doesn't become an Nintendo Life standart.



CH405K1N6 said:

Some guy on VC-forums told me to get the WiiWare version, glad I haven't done it yet



Gabbo said:

of course it's the ds version. I never said it wasn't. So far as I know the gba version was never released in the west. What it lacks is the upgrades found in the ds version, which was a gba port all along.

Of course now that it's here it's a wiiware game. And that's how we score it. Again, your ds game is safe. Nothing can hurt its cherished memory except shoddy rereleases.



Noire said:

Lemme just say I find it funny that a review of a game about courtroom drama has a fair share of it's own drama right in the comments section. :3

And I also want to say that really, if you've ever been interested in this series but passed them up before like I did, Capcom gave you a perfect shot to get into 'em, so don't miss it!



IlikeVideoGames said:

I like the game but I knew what I was buying and was fine with that. The reviewer has a right to his opinion and if someone does not like the review, why not just leave at that ? Too many kids on this site complaining. Yawn, I am getting way to old. Oh well, time for a NAP !



Skrubber said:

The port may ba cheap, but at core it's the same exact game. Anyone that potentially would like the DS version, would moste likely like the Wii version aswell.

Wouldn't second opinions and user review's/scores be a good idea?



Corbs said:

There's no excuse for not fixing up the visuals on this type of game. None. This game looks like something that was just quickly thrown together and very little time and effort were put into making it appealing for the WiiWare service. And it doesn't excuse it because they're only charging $10 for it.



Gabbo said:

Far too many people assume that an average score means that the reviewer has a bias or didn't actually play the game. When all it really means is that the game had problems that buyers should be aware of before purchasing it.

This isn't the first game I've enjoyed that scored a 5. And I promise it won't be the last.



BobberyFan98 said:

Sorry for saying that earlier

Plus, i really shouldn't say anything, since I HAVEN'T EVEN PLAYED THE GAME OR ANY OTHERS BEFORE!

So truly, i think IGN was right, not much work went into the conversion from DS to Wii




Digiki said:

This is one of those reviews where a score is nearly useless.

The game is great, but the production values are terrible. Making something for a small conundrum.



ReifuTD said:

well, I would have giving ir a 5 too,that most because it feels like they didn't care porting then game. if they tryed better I would have giving it a 6 or 7

Did anyone else notic that if you point you wiimote stight up when you are in the item menu you can skip whole sections at a time? They put that in the game but they can't make better use of the pointer WTF?



RadioShadow said:

The WW port uses the graphics from the DS version, not the GBA version.

So this review fails HARD!



Digiki said:

The WW port uses the graphics from the DS version, not the GBA version.

So this review fails HARD!

Your review, reviewing criteria is quite poor.

So your post _______!

I assume you can fill in the blank, though I may get burned on such an assumption.



Gabbo said:

No. The criticism was that the graphics were poor by wiiware standards. And the ds version was a port of the gba version. But neither of those versions were reviewed in this review.

(I give up. No more repeating myself for tonight)



Bass_X0 said:

But as long as it plays well then graphics and wii remote functionality don't really matter. we aren't a bunch of graphics wh... er... enthusiasts here. Even for WiiWare. For what it would cost them to redo the entire game in new graphics, a few less sales for not doing so isn't going to harm its profits I should imagine. This game will sell well regardless simply because its Phoenix Wright. This is a port. Not a remake, not an enhanced version, just a regular port with a little wii functionality added. I'm sure if the exact same game had appeared as a GBA Virtual Console release (if such things were possible) it would score much higher.

As a WiiWare game, I'd call this a quickie release. I'd imagine not every game in development can be given the time and funding to make it best it can be. I don't call that laziness. Capcom will have bigger projects that they're working on such as Mega Man 10. Phoenix Wright would just be a quick easy way to make some extra money while they're working on (or possibly to help fund) their other games. They chose Phoenix Wright to port because they know it will sell quite well because of the series' reputation.



Bobpie said:

What a stir... over 90 comments...

Anyway, if I wanted this game after hearing the points I would just opt for the DS game, as it would probably be about the same price by now.



CanisWolfred said:

Actually, the DS games are easily twice as expensive, if not more. I'll get it just for the cheap price alone(never got the DS games, never was really interested in 'em. Would like to try one of them, though, just because it's a Capcom franchise)



Stuffgamer1 said:

Wow...I did NOT expect to find this much bickering when I returned to check up on this comment board. I suppose that was pretty stupid on my part, though.

Y'know what I think Capcom should do? Release the game on DSiWare. Split it up into multiple parts so it'll fit within downloadable game size restrictions, even! Just make sure the pricing matches that fact. The first case is so dang short and easy, it should be free (an intro to the series, making for a GREAT way to give people a chance to see what's up). Further cases can sell for 200 points each, or 500 for 2-packs if they find that convienient. Doesn't that make more sense than this WiiWare port in the first place? IMO, portability is a HUGE part of the appeal for this series; I like to play on the go and use the ability to save anywhere to fill in odd gaps of time. Can't do that on the Wii, now can we?

@Spencer: You still haven't really answered the question of whether you completed the entire game. I am curious to that point.



Jockolantern said:

The production values may be bare bones as a DS port goes (I really don't expect any more though considering I don't exactly expect graphics to be upscaled on even a VC game) but otherwise I don't have any problem with the visuals. The pixels don't look painful to the eye even blown up the way they are and the DS game required the same level of interactivity as this port does. I really see little difference between tapping the A button on a DS (or tapping your stylus on the screen) and tapping the A button on the Wiimote. You still have your D-Pad right above you for easy menu/dialogue selection and the plus and minus buttons are also used perfectly. All your functionality for the gameplay is right there in one spot for easy access; no better or worse than the DS counterpart. Not to mention the microphone gimmick of the DS game was about as poorly implemented as the waggle in this WiiWare version... but even that doesn't matter since there are alternate, superior, button-based methods of "objecting!". I find it quite fun to press the minus button whilst swinging my Wiimote at the screen, to be perfectly honest.

This port is one helluva' steal at just $11 for all the content; the DS version will cost you easily twice that (more if you're looking for a complete copy). So, 5 / 10? No. The actual content and character of the gameplay is what still matters here and it is those strengths which easily make this particularly faithful port of Phoenix Wright's eccentric dialogue-laden joys an 8 / 10 and a definite buy for those of us, like me, who never got to play the DS version. It's a reading-intensive experience and certainly not for everybody but, honestly, did a little reading every hurt you once in a while? Even in a video game? ^_~ The problem-solving puzzle elements and goofy, anime-esque humor definitely make Wright's entire gameplay experience a treat.



TingLz said:

I didn't really pay much attention to the game's visuals myself. I just played it like it were the DS version.

Still, I wish Capcom had done a much better job porting the game



Guybrush_Threepwood said:

@Bass X0: So you're saying a customer can't expect any adjustments from games ported to an entirely different videogame system? My concern is if this port gets only favourable reviews and sells well why should Capcom (or other publishers) bother to make any adjustments for their future ports. There are some standards I just expect from videogame developers nowadays even from a port. You only have to look at the emulator scene to see what's possible. It's just an example since I strongly oppose videogame piracy. But lazy ports are certainly not the best way for publishers to fight videogame piracy.

Since I liked playing the game on DS (would rate it 9/10 points) I disagree with the reviewer's opinion about the game itself. But I couldn't agree more with his final score for this port and the statements about how the game was ported to WiiWare. Although I guess someone who played and liked the DS version could have been a better choice for writing the review.



SwerdMurd said:

5 is an average score, and given the fact that it's a very below-average port that's too expensive of an old game (that was above average), that seems right on par if not generous.

I'm reminded of that atrocious PS1 version of Chrono Trigger...



Bass_X0 said:

@ Guy.brush
I was saying how this wouldn't be in the same level of importance to Capcom that Megaman 10 would be. That they weren't prepared to do a proper remake. A port of a good game is still a good game. Its just not worth buying if you already own and completed the game before. People throw around the word "lazy" a lot but I don't think they understand quite what its like working as a developer and seem to give the impression that Capcom developed this game quickly then sat on their butts playing cards all day while still getting paid for developing the game. I say its the opposite. That they have too much to do already with other games they're developing.



Mayhem said:

Don't give them ideas StuffGamer, Capcom will probably do that now



Ryuuga said:

@MrPinguy: W...WHAAAAAT!?

Holy crap...indeed you are right, no way to raise an objection here. Indeed I got fooled by a gaming news. Oh well, whatever, that doesn't change my statement that much...Wii version (and PC as well) deserved better art. PW on bigger screen it doesn't look so nice as in hand held consoles, huh?



Sean_Aaron said:

@Bass XO: Then they needed have bothered. I don't understand why this even needs a Wii release if they cannot put in the effort.



JeanLuc_Vaycard said:

New to the series. I enjoy this and I'm not going to fork out a ton of money to track down the ones on DS just for upgraded visuals. I never can find these in used games stores. That said good review. Not going to get heated over someones opinion. All I can say is people fuming over this is quite silly. I swear people are acting like this is the demise of their beloved series. Some say it deserves such and such score at the very least. I don't agree no matter what the game is. People are entitled to their own opinions and shouldn't be influenced just because the masses think a certain way. And also those that base their decision to buy a game based solely off of one review? That is also ridiculous. Do your research, get other opinions on the game and watch some videos.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Mayhem: I meant it with that suggestion...I really, truely hope they DO make that release! It would be in the best interests of the customers AND Capcom, really.



Bass_X0 said:

Then they needed have bothered. I don't understand why this even needs a Wii release if they cannot put in the effort.

I'm expecting it will be in the charts for a while to come. To Capcom, that is why they bothered (sales).



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Bass X0: And there lies the disconnect between self-righteous gamers and game companies. There are few enough of us who refuse to buy shoddy releases that they can still make good money on them, resulting in a lack of change in the way these releases work. Of course, it's still slightly debatable whether this IS, in fact, a shoddy port. So it didn't get the golden treatment...is it or is it not actually a BAD way to experience the game? I'm not shelling out $10 to find out for myself when I already have a DS copy (and am flat broke to boot), but I AM still curious.

Another thing I'm curious about: How do you actually hold the Wiimote in this game? It sounds like you're actually supposed to hold it upright? Very awkward, IMO. I'd MUCH rather have a sideways option. Clarification on this matter would be much appreciated.



Peznaze said:

Yikes. People love them their Phoenix Wrights, it seems.

I'll still be getting it, as I've not played it before and it's the best way to get it, and it's a series that people should experience, if for no reason other than "cultural literacy".



WolfRamHeart said:

Ah well, too bad this port turned out to be such a disappointment. I still have my copy of this game on the DS so I'm good.



carson said:

pa-lease. This reivew is brutal. Pheonix Wright Ace Attorney is a great game. Only a true Nintendo Fan will buy this.



A-SWE said:

But saying only a true fan will buy it must mean its not that good for the rest of the people right?



Nintendude92 said:

@110: Nah, anyone who hasn't tried them should snag it. I personally won't get it cos its the same thing..

I wouldn't dock it for being a port though, or for clocking in at a large block size. If I was new to the series I woulda got it, not like PW is a prize in visuals, save $20.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Aviator: Thanks for the reply. Yeah...that sounds just plain dumb to me. I suppose it's to facilitate using the motion control for objection, but I definitely wouldn't want to play it that way.

Also, I don't think I've mentioned this yet: I actually HAVE heard at least one person on this site (I forget who) say he was planning to get these games for his lawyer-to-be brother for educational purposes, so I wouldn't say that chunk of disclaimer in the review was COMPLETELY worthless. Remember, folks: Never underestimate the human mind's capacity for ignorance in the face of what may APPEAR to be blatantly obvious fact. Not to insult anybody, just sayin'...it happens.



Yarox said:

Downloaded it a few hours ago, played the first case and i found myself laughing most of the time. The text and the expressions of the characters were so funny.
I had never played the PW games before and I'm happy I get to play it for just 1000 points.



A1234 said:

So, is this a port of the GBA version or the DS version? The review says GBA version, but I thought the DS version is a port of the GBA version? Confused? I'm confused. lol



Gabbo said:

Since I'm not privy to the source code I have no idea whether they downgraded the DS version or made a different port of the GBA version.

Bottom Line: It's the same game as released on the DS four years ago, but minus the upgrades that were added to the DS version. Hence the review's observation that you'll get a better version of this game on the DS than you will here.



Bass_X0 said:

Its number three out of the top fifteen on the charts here. Its doing well, just as I expected it to. Easy money for Capcom. This is one game I hope stays on the charts for a long while.



Marioman64 said:

this is why gba needs to be on vc, either for wii or dsi

and if nes games are 500, gba should be 700, they should not be 1000 like n64 games



Bass_X0 said:

Never played a Phoenix Wright game before but played the Miles Edgeworth demo on DS earlier and enjoyed it so decided to get the WiiWare game. I checked the prices of the DS game - all much more expensive than the WiiWare game so 1000 points is quite cheap considering; no DS exclusive features would make me pay three times as much as the WiiWare game. The graphics are probably more sharper on the DS but they're functional here. They're obviously taken from the handheld version but I don't think redoing the graphics would have made the game much better. I came to Phoenix Wright with the knowledge it was a port and I was not disappointed.

I still disagree with the review though. As a newcomer to the series, it may be a port but it still plays well and is still quite fun. I don't believe I'm missing out on anything with the WiiWare version. 1100 points for the whole thing? I'll be smiling when I hand over the final 100 points. Thats not the type of thing you'd expect from a 5/10 game.

The next game is out next week isn't it? Will I download that as well? Maybe not immediately but I'll be glad to know its there when I feel like more cases after I completed this one.



Gizmo said:

If you look at other reviews you see that Nintendolife is not the only one who gave the game a low score. Many are annoyed at the graphical realization.



JoseGAlvarado said:

I Don't get why so many people complain. I mean, I bought this game and I loved it. From begging to end. I just was shocked at how long the dlc would take. At the graphics, It reminisced me of when I was talking walks with the lemon scent, or something like that. What the guys keeps on saying. I Grew up with the nes and snes, so that might explain it. I really saw nothing bad with this game. So what if it is a lazy port? You should not review a game with its background, but instead, as if you never played the game. I would give it a 10/10.



Skrubber said:

This game is no different from SNES games. There is no reason for why this game gets a 5/10, when good SNES games recieve much higher scores. The review score CAN NOT vary depending on wether it is sold the Virtual Console section or the WiiWare section. It-makes-no-sense. A game should only be judged on its own merits.



Gabbo said:

It makes perfect sense. If we gave this crappy port a free pass, people would expect us to give high scores to every crappy adaptation of an earlier release we review. Should we give every lackluster chess game that gets shoveled onto Wiiware a high score just because it's chess?



AlbedoAtoned said:

Wow, a lot of people are getting butt hurt over the graphics. i played it and I saw nothing wrong, but then again I am not a graphic whore (don't really care about the graphics). Of course the graphics are worse when stretched. the only thing they might have done better is add super sai filtering. Ever played a gameboy player? How about emulated gba on the wii? It turns out that anytime you stretch a game to a bigger screen it becomes graphically inferior, but it doesn't matter as long as the graphics don't gauge your eyes out. Very unlikely unless your that new breed of graphic whores that trash gameplay and story in favor of graphics.

First focus on Capcom's goal. To introduce new players to Phoenix wright. Some may have a ds, but have overlooked PW in favor of more critically acclaimed titles. They may be more likely to buy it at $11 then $25. Others may not have a ds and I think this is a great way to become acquainted with the series. I actually am relieved that the wiiware version is faithful and doesn't just have a bunch of wiimote movements tacked on.
Unless the game was a complete remake I wouldn't want little subtle changes. Enhancing a game just to entice gamers to rebuy a game for pretty graphics on a tv to me would be dishonest. As a comment on the second game review said:

"This version is a very cheap reprint (both to Capcom and the consumer) and should be favoured over spending at least $20 on eBay etc. Sure Capcom could have spent 6 months re-doing everything but the budget that would take (as well as WiiWare space limitations to consider) isn't going to be worth a few thousand extra sales of fans salivating over Phoenix Wright in Standard Definition."

Also I was wondering. Why do you review so many bad games (in your opinion) Most of the game reviews by you I saw were 5/10 or less with TV Show King and Some bug game being 8/10.



Gabbo said:

Well, I mostly just review Wiiware games right now. I have a huge backlog of retro reviews I'll get to whenever I have time. But if, as you say, my recently reviewed games all scored 5/10 or higher then it sounds like there's not a bad one in the bunch.

By the way, Capcom's goal: to make as much money as possible while hiring as few game developers as possible. That's not unusual, especially in a downloadable title. But it's also no justification for giving this game an undeserved high score when so many other companies try so much harder and actually succeed.

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