16| Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations

Released: October 23rd, 2007

Definitive Version: Nintendo DS; Also On: 3DS, iOS, Wii

The Ace Attorney franchise has gone from obscure to cult classic to a household name in portable gaming. Much like Etrian Odyssey and at one time Castlevania, if you are a "portable gamer" it is mandatory that you play the Ace Attorney games. And for good reason, they provide a whimsical and fun storyline and atmosphere that few other games can offer. The gameplay and plots are designed around small bites of playthrough, but are intriguing enough to hold one's attention if they are looking to play for hours on end in a single sitting. The title is very text heavy that it feels more like an interactive book than a video game, and the charming characters make even the most anti-bookworm in us want to dabble through the game's text even more. There are currently six mainline games in the series, and nine if you count the spin-offs.

With so many entries in the series, it obviously has newcomers constantly asking what is the best game in the franchise? Typically when there are so many high quality games a series, fans are divided over which entry reigns supreme. The Souls fanbase constantly seems split between which of the four entries is the best one. Street Fighter fans have no consensus over what is the best the Street Fighter game. The list goes on. However, this isn't really the case for the Ace Attorney series. A vast majority of fans agree that the best game in the series, is the third entry.

It is very common in gaming for the third entry in a "trilogy" to be the best one. This is mostly due to the fact that they are often planned as the last games in the series. It definitely seems that's the way it was for the third entry in the Ace Attorney series. In terms of story and characters, the developers went all out. Trials and Tribulations is bar none the most intense and "epic" title in the franchise. I don't want to give too much away in terms of plot, I'll just say that it heavily involves the past of protagonists and addresses some glaring loose ends in the game's series.

There isn't really much to say about Trials and Tribulations other than that it is an Ace Attorney game. It uses the same visual novel, detective, and contradiction finding gameplay as all the other titles in the series. What makes it stand out is just how well written and paced it is. I realize this may not be the most satisfying answer, but it is the truth. The characters shine in this game like they don't in any other title, the plot is gripping, and the writing is top notch. If you are going to play only one game in the series, don't make it this one, as it can't fully be appreciated unless the first two entries are played. Being honest, all titles are in the series are great and are deserving of being on this list. But being forced to choose the creme de le creme, I'll have to put Trials and Tribulations at the top of the list.

I realize that this is a very short entry, especially for such a high quality game. It certainly deserves a much longer write-up. But in reality all there is to say about it is that it is the best Ace Attorney game. Simple as that.

Posted by Punk Rebel Ecks Sun, 27 Nov 2016 19:54:30 (comments: 4)
Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:35:49

Trials and Tribulations completely outshines the other games in the series, but it is also completely dependent on the first two games to set it up.  I think at some point we have to just agree to count the Phoenix Wright Trilogy as one game (and to be fair it is available that way on the 3DS).

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:03:00
Where's Apollo Justice in your top 100?
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:13:29
gamingeek said:
Where's Apollo Justice in your top 100?

Didn't make it. Mostly because I don't remember it much as I haven't played it in almost a decade. If I would be forced to add it, it likely would have been the third best game in the series, about a dozen to two dozen spots behind Dual Destinies.

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:25:23

I was just being glib.

I really liked the Ace Prosecutor game too. The one that was released here.

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