PHOENIX WRIGHT 3 / Capcom / Nintendo DS



JUDGE'S NOTES

THE PEOPLE V.S. PHOENIX WRIGHT 3

In this case, Phoenix Wright 3 stands accused on the charges of being an uninspired rehash, and essentially one game broken up into three parts in a devious plot to extract $120 out of the wallets of fans instead of a more nominal $40.

The most damning of the evidence against the game is that not only did it have two games preceding it, but they were released on the Gameboy Advance three years prior, making this the sixth release of a Phoenix Wright game in the space of five years, and the second release of this particular game. In spite of multiple sequels and re-releases, however, the version of the game that sits in the court before us today has done absolutely nothing to address it's shortcomings or improve upon it's formula in any way. In fact, it brazenly parades itself in front of us recycling the same sprites, the same backgrounds, the same characters, the same jokes about Gumshoe being poor, the same menu-based interface that requires you to re-read nearly an hour's worth of text if you make a mistake at certain points and even much of the same music and sound effects.



The Court Record shows that "Rise From The Ashes", the fifth case from the DS version of the first Phoenix game, proved that Capcom was capable of adding both original content and tweaking the gameplay engine to enhance interactivity and play value. They were capable, but they chose not to - settling for a quick repackaging that was concerned more with easy profits than with delivering a quality experience to the end user.

Documents submitted to the court likewise show that this pattern fits the M.O. of Capcom, a developer who has previously stood before the court many times on the charges of driving an intellectual property to it's grave by releasing far too many uninspired sequels in too short of a window of time.



The court acknowledges that this is a primarily story-driven game, and there are many precedents that have ruled in favor of similar adventure games that use recycled gameplay elements and sometimes clunky interfaces, so long as they deliver a well-crafted storyline and characters that make the experience worthwhile in it's own right (see also the cases of Snatcher and many 90s-era PC adventure games). While Phoenix Wright has skated by on this technicality since it's inception, at this point it is beginning to feel like it has gone to the well one too many times. This game offers the most content out of any game of the series yet, and the story is at least as good as that of the other offerings in the series. However, the investigations and courtroom sequences are demonstrating a marked predictable pattern and relying on too many of the same old tired gimmicks at this point involving unbelievably stupid criminals and damning evidence left casually lying around in plain sight.

Additionally, the plot points of this game are the most transparent yet, meaning that the game instead derives it's challenge mostly from making it difficult for the player to figure out how to communicate with it. There are many situations where the player will know exactly what to do next, yet be befuddled as to how to correctly express to the game how to go about doing it. In some cases it comes down to a matter of random trial-and-error, and when you fail too many times you have potentially a good twenty minutes to a full hour of text to read over again to get back to the point at which you were driven out of the game.

Multiple affidavits have been submitted by fanboys testifying to the fact that the addition of a coffee-swilling badass prosecutor makes up for all of the game's aforementioned shortcomings, but it is not the court's opinion that this is a credible argument.



It is the court's belief that Capcom is not looking to challenge itself or deliver the best product it possibly can, but to simply exploit the interest and investment that fans of the game have already made with the previous entries, in order that it may run off to the bank with a tidy sack of lucre as it always does. The game has numerous flaws pointed out by many critics, and yet nearly nothing has been done to address them in the space of two sequels and three ports. Particularly noxious is the use of one of the most overused and lazy plot devices ever in the conclusion of the game's multiple dangling story arcs.

It is thus the verdict of this court that Phoenix Wright 3 is ruled :

MEDIOCRE

Now get outta my chambers, you hosers.



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