Hap’piraki!

That’s the way they greet people in the Kingdom of Khura’in and it’s where I ended up on this lazy Sunday, courtesy of the gaming world’s most popular (read: practically only) defence attorney Phoenix Wright. To put it another way, the winner of my “What to Play Next” draw is Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice. Wright might have been looking forward to a laid-back trip abroad simply to visit his former assistant, the spirit medium Maya Fey, but after his local tour guide, a young monk in training, is suddenly accused of treason and murder, our spiky-haired, blue-jacketed hero has no choice but to practice law in a foreign country.

So far, I have only completed the first of the game’s five cases but that alone has been enough to convince me that Capcom’s script writers and murder mystery masterminds are still in top-notch condition. The story flows effortlessly while the player laughs heartily at outrageous characters and a constant barrage of quality humour. In the courtroom, things get a little more serious, and the deviously elaborate plans of the cowardly culprits are torn apart piece by piece by cross-examining witnesses, pressing them for additional details, and exposing the lies with contradicting evidence – the weapon most powerful in all of gaming. Every game in the series seems to introduce its own tiny original element, which in this case seems to be Khura’in priestesses’ ability to summon forth the last few seconds of someone who has died. No biggie; if that’s what it takes to spot a crucial contradiction then so be it.

I’m quite certain to be entertained by this one for the next week or two, so expect more random posts about it as I go along. Already, I’d dare say it’s guaranteed thinking and laughing therapy. Then again, all the previous games have been that, too, so it’s a safe bet.