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Amanda and I are currently playing through this, though we are playing it on WiiWare thanks to Zero! We're really liking it a lot. I feel like it's a little too easy to get through, but then again, that's not really the point of games like this (or L.A. Noire or whatever).
I see that there are two other Ace Attorney games on WiiWare, but the fourth is not (not that I'm interested in Apollo Justice), and Miles Edgeworth is not on there as well. Does anyone know if Capcom plans on porting Miles Edgeworth elsewhere? Amanda and I would love to play it, but we can't play it on a handheld together. The only other way for us to play it on a TV would be for me to..ahem...get it another way....
Very interested in the upcoming 3DS releases, but man, I don't know if I'd like playing this game on a portable system. Part of the fun is sharing the story with another person for me.
There are some parts that you will probably get stuck on, but nothing is too tough. And even if you are worried that you are messing up too much at the trials, you can basically save anywhere so if you screw up for the "last" time, you can just load your last save. I think.
I severely doubt that Miles Edgeworth will release much of anywhere else. They made a sequel that didn't even come to NA.
Glad to hear you're enjoying it with Amanda! We actually did have a discussion thread for the WiiWare version when I was playing with May, if you want to check it out (and hey, you posted in that thread, though you were talking about Sherlock Holmes at the time?).
I have no idea if Capcom will port the other titles, that would be nice for sure!
I just finished this game today. I've already posted my early thoughts about the game in the Phoenix Wright vs Layton thread, so I'm mainly going to talk about the final 2 cases. There will probably be spoilers.
I thought that Episode 4, Turnabout Goodbyes was very well done. It did a great job of tying together the overarching plot threads and continuing with the characters' arcs. It was very interesting to work on a current and past case simultaneously, with both relating to the current issue.
Von Karma was an intimidating "final boss", but I personally feel that VS's Darklaw was even more imposing. However, that may be because I was less experienced with the series at the time and that case was more difficult. If I had played this game before VS, I think my feelings about the two prosecutors would probably be reverse, so I can't hold against this game. Regardless, Von Karma was very rewarding to face in court.
Episode 5, Rise From the Ashes was better than I ever imagined it would be. When I heard it was added for the DS port and didn't exist in the original game, I immediately thought, "Oh, so it's going to be a last minute addition with shoehorned gimmicks." I couldn't have been more wrong. Rise From the Ashes might be the best case in the game. It's plot feels very worthwhile, expanding on the world of Phoenix Wright while also establishing more of Edgeworth's backstory. Furthermore, the DS-centric mechanics feel very natural and intrinsic to the plot, rather than being forced into the story for their own sake.
Speaking of Edgeworth, his arc is continued in this case wonderfully. At first, he would do whatever was necessary to get a guilty verdict, but over the course of the game we see him begin to question his past methods and working with Wright in some instances. At this point, the two are almost a tag-team, building off of each other's statement in a joint pursuit of the truth. This change occurs very naturally and smoothly. It's easy to see how these cases would impact Edgeworth's view of the legal process and his role in it. I'm very curious where this leaves him for the sequel, considering that this case didn't exist when it was written.
Rise From the Ashes depicts a very grey area of the in-game legal system. It seems that the only characters who haven't gotten their hands dirty by the end of it are Wright and Ema, with Wright's innocence possibly hinging on a technicality (I don't get the sense that he was hiding that cloth at first because he was trying to adhere to evidence laws). Almost everybody has something to hide and has broken some sort of law. This isn't directly stated by the game, but it seems to me that the subtext is encouraging the player to decide for themselves what is right and wrong and where the legal system fails to enforce justice or doesn't align with the player's own idea of justice. After all, if Lana had refused to follow Gant's plan of altering the crimescene he secretly created, he probably would have killed her and pinned the whole thing on Ema and Darke. As far as she knew, not working with the plan would've allowed the definitely guilty Darke to go free while her sister Ema faced a lifetime in prison or execution. And Gant was able to abuse his power to cover up his crimes and disempower Marshall, Goodman, and Starr when they had legitimate concerns related to Darke's trial. Has Lana truly done wrong by trying to protect her sister and prove Darke's guilt at any cost when the only alternative is their joint downfall and possibly death? What does it say about the legal system when the only way those who are working to find the truth can do so is by stealing and going behind the backs of their colleagues? Rise From the Ashes doesn't answer these questions- it doesn't even overtly ask them. But it does create subtext that asks the player to consider things more deeply than any of the other cases.
That said, I do have a few complaints with Episode 5. It took me around 10 hours to complete at a decent pace, which means that players will most likely take a break at some point and become a bit rusty on details that may be important. Another problem is that the case is very thematically similar to Turnabout Goodbyes, with Phoenix Wright having to solve both a new case with a reluctant client and an old one that is in some way tied to that client. One of his companions mistakenly believes they've murded a victim in that previous crime, the true killer is an older man of prestige, and Edgeworth finds his past credibility being questioned. That said, these similarities aren't as apparent when you're working your way through the case. It's only when you take a step back and look at things in a larger scale that they are easily seen.
So, altogether I liked Phoenix Wright very much. It features a unique hook that becomes something truly special thanks to excellent writing. Any complaints I have are minor and don't interfere with the game too much.