If you're reading this review and you haven't played all three Phoenix Wright games(discounting Apollo Justice), stop right there. For although Investigations eases you in to a completely separate story and gives you insight on reappearing characters from those previous games in here, you just won't get a full appreciation for this game. My advice is to get those three, which should be cheap now since they're quite a few years old, and play them through from number one up. Trust me, it's an investment worth spending on.
If you still plan on getting this game, it's a puzzle/graphic novel game starring Miles Edgeworth, the perfect prosecutor from the Phoenix Wright series, who goes through a series of crime scene investigations to find out the truth behind various murders and uncover the dark secret behind an international smuggling ring. And it's positively dripping with fan service, featuring tons and tons of cameos from virtually every memorable character in the Wright games.
Internet memes have never been so glorified.
The game is wrapped around five huge cases with multiple investigations into crime scenes and the areas around them. Unlike the Phoenix Wright games, you no longer play attorney and protect innocent people from being convicted of murder, but rather you take on the opposite role, to prove people guilty as a prosecutor. And to do so you gather evidence, link up pieces of logic and cross-examine testimonies of people. All this is done outside of the courtroom.
You might be fooled into thinking this game is a completely new experience, but dig deeper and it's still the same familiar gameplay fans have come to know and love. The character close-ups are almost identical to how they appeared in Phoenix Wright, and the sound effects are all the exact same ones. And get this: even as a prosecutor, you still have to go through the procedures of having someone accused, and then using your evidence to indict someone else of being the true criminal, which is exactly what Phoenix Wright has been doing in court all this time. So it's still the same game underneath the fluff, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing when all the games are so good, isn't it?
The main selling point of all the Phoenix Wright games, and its biggest strength, is its engaging, tense storyline, and Investigations doesn't disappoint. From the beginning you're thrown into unknown after unknown, and as you progress slowly through each case you unravel the mysteries, and finding out the truth at the very end is what sucks you in and keeps you playing. And there's sure to be a lot of tiring moments when you think a case has just reached its conclusion, but just then another plot twist or three pops out of nowhere.
Only Phoenix Wright players know the significance behind arguing about a step-ladder
If there's one gripe I have about Investigations, is that it's a little bit easier than the other Phoenix Wright games. Cases become long and complex, but when it comes right down to it, most of the time you know exactly which piece of evidence to present to a contradicting statement in a witness testimony(alright, those were some big words, but these should be cake if you know the series well enough). Simply put, things are way more obvious that they were, although you're bound to get stumped at some point(I know I did). And the penalty bar is longer. They really shouldn't have been this forgiving, no really, they shouldn't.
Make no mistake, Investigations is a great game to those in the know, and it's an acquired taste. You need to play the series in its entirety to fully appreciate it, but you won't regret getting into it, as this game, and the series as a whole, is one of the greatest graphic novel games to ever hit the DS. And no one can shout 'Objection!' to that.