November 2nd, 2006, 19:06 Posted By: wraggster
Anyway, while playing through the first two cases of the game, I realized that this is the old Capcom at work. The Capcom that would churn out sequel after sequel with little to nothing added. Nearly everything about Gyakuten Saiban 2 is the same compared to the first game. The graphics, the interface (for the most part), hell, even the packaging is nearly the same. Then again, that's exactly what I wanted. Save for the packaging, of course.
The latest remake for the DS is pretty much the same thing, as players assume the role of Phoenix Wright as he fights for truth and justice over the span of several cases, each containing several hours of play. The first case of the game is your simple introductory case, much like the first game had a tutorial case. Of course, it's done in a roundabout way; Phoenix is assaulted during a break and has to be held by the hand by everyone in court. Sure, it's totally corny and by god is it ever painful at times, but it gets the job in introducing newer players to how cases play out, but it would've been awesome if Capcom allowed those who had played the first game to skip it altogether. Fortunately things do get much better in the second and third cases.
A couple of new characters are introduced in the sequel. The first that you'll meet is Maya Fey's little cousin, Pearl, who will be vital in times of need, since she has the same channeling powers as her older cousin. The second new character is Franziska von Karma, who is the daughter of Manfred von Karma, the prosecutor during the Edgeworth trial in the first game. Due to her father's defeat, she's out to get revenge and desires to bury Phoenix Wright and tarnish his undefeated record while maintaining her own perfect score. New additions to the game actually make the investigating portion much more interesting. Psyche-locks are basically testimonies outside of the court, where Phoenix has to unlock whatever secrets a person may have. By using an item called the Magatama, he can see locks on topics that a person may not want to answer, so it's up to him to find evidence and clues to get what he wants. Your informants may have up to three or four Psyche-locks each, but it depends entirely on the secret they carry. Of course, if you make a mistake while grilling someone, you'll be penalized, which is why the "lifebar" has also been changed. In the first game, you had a set number of points but now you have an actual lifebar that depletes if you screw up. Of course, the worse you screw up, the larger penalty you'll receive. The lifebar is concurrent throughout the entire case, so if you have a really nasty fight in court, that will result in fewer chances while investigating. By unlocking Psyche-Locks, you can refill this meter, however. Finally, the last change is the ability to present profiles as evidence, which makes things a lot more interesting because you literally have double the amount of evidence to utilize, thus making cases more complex. The stories do get a little far-fetched, I admit, but if you're able to suspend your belief a little, they're quite entertaining.
Speaking of the cases, aside from the first one, they're a lot more difficult to figure out, and they actually require a level of intuition that wasn't present in the first title, even with the later cases. Starting with the second case, which is split up into five parts, the amount of twists and turns in the story is baffling, and it would've been boring as hell if the localization was trash. Thankfully, like the first title, the script has received a wonderful translation and contains a lot of humour and references that even some of the most hardcore might miss. The Zelda reference from the second case was especially awesome. The most disappointing thing about the port is the soundtrack, which isn't nearly as strong as it should be and at times it doesn't even fit the mood of the scene. During the tensest moments of a trial, the music should have a strong, dramatic tone to it, and overall the game fails to deliver.
Word on the street is that the U.S. version of the game is hitting stores sometime in January, so if you can stand the wait, do the right thing and support Capcom USA when the game is released in the US. Does it stand up to the original game? It certainly does, and the new features make things more entertaining. Just don't expect it to help you out with your law class anytime soon.
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