First things first, this is a very well written review however, I have to be honest with you, I thought the game was terrible. I would describe this game as boring, verbose and ill conceived. The thing I liked least about it was the way in which you presented your "evidence"; meaning if you didn't show it at the right moment the game would not recognize it and the misery would drag on and on. Also, this game resembles very little as to how court procedures actually occur. Of course, this would be fine if the game was entertaining but it's not; it's boring! I also love how you have to prove your innocence in the game as opposed to being "innocent till proven guilty". It makes for some terrific court room drama when the judge is siding with the prosecution as he "reminds" them of certain facts througout the case. I think the most glaring flaw is when the witnesses blatantly lie on the stand and the judge let's it slide. This game is idiotic. I am sorry, I know people love this game, but God is it awful. Like I said, your review is well written but I think your objectivity is questionable as you ommitted certain key elements of the game. Is this an "A" game? Hardly? I would give it a D+ at the very least. I would love to see the VGC review this game in order to get his opinion on the matter. Finally, I would recomend to anyone who wants to play a text adventure to pick up an old copy of Zork or Planetfall for the PC; those games got it right!
Hi Shawn, you make some good points so I will cover them as best I can.
When I review games, I don't really like them to be a "blow by blow" account of the game's functionality. I like to touch on larger issues that they bring up. That said, I do realize that I need to point out why a game is worth buying, so I do make an attempt to balance that with points about gameplay specifically. To summarize: I felt the storylines were compelling (not deep, but certainly well thought out and entertaining) and the funny, well written prose was, for me, more than enough to make the game entertaining. That was the overall point of the review: The game played so well on the merits of its written words that it became much more than the sum of its parts.
I think the critic does a great job in doing what I don't: writing concise, short summaries that hit the important aspects of gameplay. But that isn't my style, unfortunately .
As to the "legal" aspects: Point one, as you said, is that it doesn't matter a great deal if it reflects a legal system or not. Point two, this game is most certainly based on the Japanese legal system, and this game shows it. They operate much more on a "guilty until proven innocent" system, so trials like presented in PW aren't so far off the mark. I've mentioned this in other posts but my wife lived in Japan for three years (though she was never arrested of course!) so this is coming from her experiences and understanding of how they do things (I should mention now that we both love Japan and it is an awesome place to visit).
Anyway, none of that matters to how one rates the game. Like in any review, I gave it an A based on how much fun I had. I had a blast playing through this game, and that ultimately is what determines a grade for me. Yeah, the game is hardly "game like" in the way we would define it... it has very fixed parameters and it is crazy linear. It's just like playing a "choose your own adventure" novel on your DS, although I would say that Phoenix does do a decent job at "tricking" you into thinking it is more interactive than it is.
Though none of this will likely change your mind, hopefully it clarifies my position a bit more.
Well Rob I appreciate your response and that helps to clarify things for me. If in fact what you say is true about the legal systems (Japan vs. US) then that explains a lot actually.
Does the game do a lot to "trick" you into thinking you are doing more then you actually are? I would agree with that point. However, like you said, the game is crazy linear.
The biggest problem is that I didn't find the game all that fun. There were times during a few of the trials that I knew exactly what point I needed to make but b/c I didn't present the evidence at the correct moment I would get stuck. It was very frustrating and a lot of those linear moments defied common sense.
Anyway, I really liked your review and like I said, I thought it was well written and succinct. Keep up the good work! Maybe you should open your own site!
[QUOTE=Adamant]It may also interest you guys to hear that the remake of the sequel (these games were originally GBA games), Gyakuten Saiban 2, is out in Japan now. And yes, it DOES let you play the game in english. Pick it up from your local importer today.[/QUOTE]
It's been released in the States in December of 2006. I have it on preorder already.
Ah, the "grey importing" issue rears its ugly head once again. If I'm not mistaken, I think PW 1 has an extra episode the Japanese version doesn't have. I appreciate the desire to support Capcom USA (I see no reason to import myself, since PW 2 comes out soon anyway), but I do think the onus is on the publisher to make sure that there are good reasons to not buy an import, since that can and should be perfectly legal and fair to do so.
@ Shawn: I do have a website, though it isn't a game review site (the PW review will be posted on it, however). It's basically me ranting about video games and sports. I update it once a week with new articles. Sadly, I haven't the time to proofread the thing as much as I'd like so I'm sure errors sneak into most things (-: It's www.therobzone.com.