|Genre||Devilish defense attorney|
|Buy from Google Play|
I used to love the Ace Attorney series, but fans in the United States have to face it: it’s been almost three years since the last American release and over five years since we actually got to play as Phoenix Wright, so we have to move on, and if you’re looking for your defense attorney fix, Devil’s Attorney may be it.
Released in October for Android and iOS, Devil’s Attorney stars an egotistical attorney who makes his buck defending the dregs of society in their exceedingly hilarious and bizarre crimes. The cases come rapid-fire and are played out like a turn-based battle - pretty much the opposite of what fans of Phoenix Wright have come to learn, love, and in turn, lose. The humor is what sustains the game through nearly 60 cases, and there are some really clever bits of writing.
As the year draws to a close, this may be one of our last reviews of 2012, be sure to return on December 31st for our 2012 Game of the Year Awards. I may personally have a surprise pick for my favorite of the year if one of the final games I’m playing stays awesome. Thanks for reading.
The comparisons to Phoenix Wright are pretty limited, yes, both games take place in a courtroom, but where Ace Attorney featured cases that would run for hours, Devil’s Attorney only take minutes. There’s no investigation outside the courthouse, and preparation for the trial is limited to reading the little blurb regarding the defendant and the charge against them. But I really don’t mind this method at all, it’s perfect for the mobile platform, and whereas Ace Attorney felt like it could drag on forever at times, Devil moves along at a very brisk pace.
You play as Max McMann, a fast talking, used car salesman equivalent of the local defense attorney. He starts out small time in the county courts, but can level up a few different stats, learn new courtroom “powers”, and even pimp out his apartment to enhance his Objection! abilities.
The courtroom battle takes place in turn-based fashion, with witnesses and evidence having a certain amount of credibility you need to whittle down while protecting your client’s own case strength. You have a limited number of action points per turn that you can spend on cross examination (hurts witnesses 3-5 credibility points) or expert analysis (2-4 damage to evidence). There are also a variety of bonus additional moves that can temporarily reduce damage done to you or even restore case strength.
But the game really boils down to managing your action points in such a way that either tries to destroy all the witnesses’ credibility very quickly or simply minimize damage done to the case. It’s fast, fun, and there’s enough randonmess in most moves to keep you on your toes. Upgrading your Materialism, Decadence, and Vanity stats gives your Max some personalization, too.
What sets Devil’s Attorney apart from... other courtroom games, I guess, is the sheer amount of voice acting and comically funny writing behind it. There are about a half dozen prosecutors you’ll face off against throughout the game, and Max has about a 60 second chat with them before each case, so after 10 cases each, the game has actually managed to develop them and their relationship with you. Most of them are playfully antagonistic, but would you be surprised if I said Devil’s Attorney actually pulled off a courtroom romance in a mobile game? Yeah, they did.
At $3 on Google Play or iTunes, Senri AB has developed a nice little gem at a great price. Devil’s Attorney will cost you a few hours of your life, but you’ll undoubtedly laugh at its writing and scenarios, and be challenged in some thought-provoking cases. There’s even enough variety in Devil’s Attorney to try out hard mode, which I think I’ll go do right now.