Gaming, Venue

Revisiting: Ace Attorney ­– Spirit of Justice

The Ace Attorney series has always been known for its incredibly wacky plotlines, and similarly wacky casts, with series leads Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice being some of the most hilarious I’ve known in my entire gaming life. 

A bit of context: in the Ace Attorney series, you (usually) play as a defence attorney in a caricature of Japan’s legal system. In the first three games you play as Phoenix Wright, in the fourth as a new protagonist, Apollo Justice, and in the fifth and sixth games you play as multiple characters throughout, including Phoenix and Apollo but also a new attorney named Athena Cykes.

In Spirit of Justice, the usual setting of Japanifornia (called as such by the fanbase due to the English localization changing the setting from Japan to US in the script whilst changing absolutely nothing visually) is replaced with the fictional kingdom of Khura’in, as Phoenix visits it to see his former assistant Maya Fey. It’s a nation of spirit mediums with a strange legal system that forces defence attorneys to share the sentences their clients receive should they lose a case– in other words, a defence attorney must win their case if they don’t want to die or be imprisoned.

Whilst Spirit of Justice is a solid entry to the series, it retreads old ground. The game in the series just before it, Dual Destinies, featured the supposed ‘Dark Age of the Law,’ including false charges and forged evidence, with the ‘Dark Age’ coming to an end in the game’s last case. Spirit of Justice has the twisted legal system of Khura’in, which Phoenix and Apollo eventually try to fix– essentially the same plot as Dual Destinies. Also, despite being titled a ‘Phoenix Wright’ game, you play most of the game as Apollo. Probably a marketing decision, but oh well.

24/11/2020

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Jack Oxford


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