Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, is a text adventure game released by Capcom in October of 2005 for the Nintendo DS (released a month earlier in Japan under the name "Gyakuten Saiban ~ Yomigaeru Gyakuten").  It is a remake and adaptation of the GBA game Gyakuten Saiban (often translated as "Tournabout Court" or "Comeback Court"), which was released only in Japan in 2001.  Gyakuten Saiban 2 and 3, also released on the GBA (and again only in Japan), came out in 2002 and 2004 respectively.  The series was received with moderate success and has spawned a modest amount of merchandise, including soundtracks, collectable figures, art and fan books, and a short, promotional manga.

The series has grown by a considerable margin since its release to the DS.  Even Capcom employees on their official site have remarked on the unusual amount of word-of-mouth advertising that has spurred Ace Attorney to sell out in the USA again and again.  What started as a small adventure series is turning into a cult hit with a small, but steadily growing and very passionate fan base.

PW:AA is an adventure game where you play the part of Phoenix Wright, a novice defense attorney on his first case.  It consists of investigation and courtroom sections, in which you gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and then take your findings to court where you "battle" opposing council to get an acquittal for your client.  The fifth case takes advantage of the DS features by allowing you to view evidence and character profiles on the bottom screen, along with 3D evidence manipulation and voice recognition. 

Gameplay is focused almost entirely on investigation and reasoning, and it's lack of traditional "action" and huge amount of text is off-putting to some gamers.  It is often described and marketed as an "interactive novel".  The game's strengths are almost entirely in its story and characters, which are brilliantly done with in depth cases and colorful, stylized animations.   Those that have compared it to the Sega CD cult hit "Snatcher" are not far off.  Phoenix Wright is a charming and unique gaming experience and a must have for any fan of the genre.

The order of the games is as follows:

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice For All
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations

AA also has a spin off series where you play as a prosecutor from the first game, Miles Edgeworth, called Ace Attorney Investigations.  Known as "Turnabout Prosecutor" in Japan (Gyakuten Kenji) it does not follow the same gameplay as the main Ace Attorney games, and is instead a point and click style adventure where you assist Detective Gumshoe in investigating crime scenes.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Gyakuten Sabian / Ace Attorney games are there?
-There are 4 different games, 3 of which were ported from GBA to various systems and languages, 1 DS only, for a total of 17 different carts.

How many Gyakuten Kenji / Ace Attorney Investigations games are there?
-There are 2 different games, one which was released in Japan and America, one that is currently in development.

Japanese Language:

-Gyakuten Saiban 1, 2, and 3, each released for the GBA, only in Japan.

-Gyakuten Saiban 1, 2, and 3, released for Japanese PCs (straight port).

-Gyakuten Saiban 1, 2, and 3, released for Japanese cell phones (straight port).

-Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten (aka "Turnabout Revival"), a remake of GS1 for the NDS, released in Japan with dual language support (Japanese and English).

-Gyakuten Saiban 2 remake, released for the NDS in Japan, with dual language support (Japanese and English).

-Gyakuten Saiban 3 remake, released for the NDS in Japan, with dual language support (Japanese and English).

-Gyakuten Saiban 4, released for the NDS in Japan, Japanese language only, April 12th, 2007.

-Gyakuten Kenji.  Released May 28, 2009, Japanese language only.

-Gyakuten Kenji 2.  Release date pending.  Japanese language only.

-Gyakuten Saiban Wii, ports of the original 3 games released on WiiWare..

English Language:

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the translation of Yomigaeru Gyakuten which was released for the NDS in the USA.  It only contains English.

-Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice For All, the English translation of Gyakuten Saiban 2 for the NDS released in the USA.

-Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, the English translation of Gyakuten Saiban 3 for the NDS, released in the USA October 23rd 2007.

-Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the English translation of Gyakuten Saiban 4, released February 19th, 2008.

-Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney for Cell Phones, which you can play if you have Verizon.  Details at Capcom Mobile.

-Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations, the English translation of Gyakuten Kenji for the NDS, February 16th, 2010.

-Ace Attorney Wii, ports of the original three AA games.

European:

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (European), released for the NDS with English and French language.

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (European 2), released for the NDS with German, Italian, and Spanish language.

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All (European), released for the NDS with English, French, and German language.

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All (European 2), released for the NDS with Italian and Spanish language.

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations (European), released October 2008.

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations (European2), released October 2008.

-Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations (European3), released October 2008.

-Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (European), released May, 2008.

--Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations (Euorpean) released February 19th, 2010.

 

Is there any difference between the Japanese and American  NDS games?
-Not that I know of.  The English games are faithful translations of their Japanese counterparts, with no added features or content.  The first three Japanese versions, however, contain a dual language function that lets you play the games in Japanese or English.  This does NOT apply for GS4 or any games after it.

What was remade from the GBA versions to the NDS ones?
-Phoenix Wright retells the first four cases of the original game, changing nothing of the story.  The only addition to the first four cases were the NDS features such as second screen evidence management, using the stylus to investigate rooms, and using the voice recognition command when calling objections.

-The fifth case of PW:AA is a new case added specifically for the remake, and did not exist in the original.  Though integrated (mostly) into the GS timeline, none of the new characters from case 5 appear anywhere else in the original trilogy.

Does Justice For All have any NDS exclusive content, such as an extra case or evidence manipulation?
-No, it does not.  Nor does T&T

Do GS4 or GK have dual language?
-No, ever since GS4 all the games released in Japan are in Japanese only.

Are the PC and Wii versions upgrades from the original?
-No, the Wii version is a port of the DS version.  The graphics are not improved, but you can wave the Wii remote to object.

Where does the game take place?
-In the Japanese version, the game takes place in a city in Japan (possibly Tokyo?).  In the English version, the game takes place in Los Angeles, according to producer Matsukawa.

How can I join the GS IRC channel?
-The official CR IRC room is at:

Server: DynastyNet (irc.dynastynet.net)
Channel: #courtrecords

To get in you can either use mIRC, a free program for windows, trillian, or even this handy java chat:

http://www.croik.com/PW/applet/SimpleApplet.html

Phoenix Wright Reviews
Hear what other gamers had to say:

Gamespot's PW Review (8.8/10)
IGN's PW Review (7.8/10)
Gamespy's PW Review (4/5)
Chris Layton's review at Total Games
John Walker's review at Eurogamer (8/10)
Dan Dormer's review at Modojo (4/5)
La Adventura's review (Spanish) 91%

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on Metacritic (81)

Gamespot's JFA Review (7.7/10)
IGN's JFA Review (7.8)
Gamespy's JFA Review (3.5/5)
Justice For All on Metacritic (78)

Gamespot's T&T Review (7.5/10)
IGN's T&T Review (7.7/10)
Gamespy's T&T Review (4/5)
Trials and Tribulations on Metacritic (81)

Gamespot's AJ Review (7.0/10)
IGN's AJ Review (8.3/10)
Gamespy's AJ Review (4/5)
Apollo Justice on Metacritic (78)

Ace Attorney Investigations on Metacritic (78)

If you have any questions or additional information concerning PW:AA or GS, contact the web master, Croik, at courtrecord @ gmail.com.