Considering just the gameplay alone, it's incredibly fulfilling - and at times, quite tricky. Collecting evidence is a simple case of visiting every pertinent location and interacting with various parts of the environment to find items or pieces of information that might be useful in court. You may also have to investigate particular objects closer, dusting them for prints. It's in the courtroom that things really heat up. Your only goal is to prove the accused's innocence - so you need to use the various pieces of evidence you've collected in order to present a clear case to the judge and opposing lawyer. Often, the correct course of action is rather obvious or straightforward, but you do need to keep your wits about you; pay close attention to every item in your case file and use some lateral thinking to be sure you're representing your client the best you can. Get too many things wrong (by presenting inconclusive pieces of evidence to the court), and you'll lose the case.
Characters are everything in Spirit of Justice. The game is filled to the brim with over the top, larger-than-life characters; the supporting characters and NPCs often completely usurping main protagonist Phoenix Wright and his trusty sidekicks. Whilst the bold and brash personalities that you meet along the way are initially a delight, and will be sure to illicit a stifled chuckle and a grin, they soon begin to wear. Overacted lines and hammy gestures quickly become repetitive, and I found myself growing tired of the reams of dialogue as a result. Let's not forget that Phoenix Wright games are visual novels at their core, so the storytelling plays a key role in the overall experience. Unfortunately, it's the weakest part of the game for me. Chapters are dragged out unnecessarily by lengthy and tiresome dialogue exchanges; what feels like it should only take an hour ends up taking about four. I found myself wanting to shout into my 3DS, "Just get on with it already!" KIM SNAITH 23 SEPTEMBER 2016