Having been suffering from Flashcart Blues™ for quite awhile. Too many games available at my fingertips but none fulfilling my standards or I got bored of quickly as nothing caught my attention for long enough. I soon grew tired of the Nintendo DS but for some unforeseen reason I put the first Phoenix Wright game onto my cart not knowing really what it was or about. BAM! Like your first crush, your heart melts, eyes water and a shift of mass in the pants occurs resulting in you to double over or carefully position your hands on your lap so it isn’t noticeable. I was in love, the answer to my blues. So I put down my harmonica and passed the bar. Imagine the Phoenix Wright legacy as that ideal relationship with a girl which is only in your dreams, getting sexier and more interesting with age. So I decided to further my relationship with the series and pick up the third instalment, Trials and Tribulations. Like every relationship there are a few rocky points and some nasty surprises from the past but you only remember the good points which had you begging for more. The gameplay is a less serious courtroom simulation/Lawyer/ point and click adventure game and as boring as it sounds it works brilliantly. It is an enjoyable experience investigating a case, getting to know the crazy inventive characters and their personalities, inquiring about objects and evidence you find and the epic court battles which conclude your efforts in the search of truth and justice! I like to think of it as a good book than a game, which may deter some people as it’s heavily text based. It has its vast amounts of twists and contains a humorous dialogue with many pop culture references which are a laugh if you understand where they come from. You have 4 main actions in the game, Talk, Examine, Present and Move when outside of court to help you draw conclusions from characters dialogues and evidence from places which is stored in your ‘Court Record’ and is an effective system. I had some irks with this in some of the later cases if you forgot to search one little spot at a scene or didn’t present an item/profile to a certain character/Judge you could not progress, which resulted me to be stumped for hours as I resisted the temptation to look online. Sometimes it was so obscure or obvious it left you thinking “Why didn’t I do that early?”. The touch controls were a bit tacked on, just controlling menu but I used it more than the buttons as it was easier and made gameplay seamless and was a good idea from Capcom to include it. OBJECTION! That was my big highlight of the game. If no-one was around I would hold down the button and yell it at the top of my voice, my guilty pleasure. This feature is a bit cheesy and mic picks up any garbage but it’s a joy to here the triumphant sound of Objection being yelled out by Nick. The court scenes were melodramatic and one of the most enjoyable parts of the game especially when you really find out what happen and prove your defendant innocent. A great feeling of relief ensures. The story in Trials and Tribulations develops on the previous games and finally brings resolution to some the unsolved mysteries referenced in the first two games. We also get to find out more about Phoenix’s mentor and I thoroughly loved playing through in the past as the mentor and finding out how it ties in with Phoenix’s current case. The plot lines for each case are pretty ludicrous but it’s what makes the series so fun. We have massive variety of characters, from the feministic chef’s, kooky detectives, hopeless thieves to your usual immature spirit medium and their traits and dialogue are just outstanding, especially as its the translated from Japanese so well and is brilliantly crafted, better than the later Harry Potter books. The final case is amazing, how it ties up the whole series, the tragedy, the trials, the action, the tribulations and the twists and turns (see wat I did thar?). The graphics in the game aren’t amazing graphic wise but artistically and how they encompass the soul and charm of the characters, reflecting their dialogue and nonsensical traits is just as good as the writing. In each case we see a different array of characters with different attitudes. Who you start to love and hate and start thinking who dunnit? The characters are coloured vivid bright colours in a cartoonish/ Japanese comic style which really suits the game and as mentioned many times in this article is just plain brilliant. But wait there’s more if you call in the next 10 minutes and pay by credit card we’ll also throw in…..No but seriously just if you thought this game couldn’t get any better this beauty gets more freaky in the bed especially orally. The music is not your beautiful mp3 quality soundtrack…its better, a brilliant midi array of tunes which perfectly reflect those dramatic moments, charming French restaurants and the battle of the courtroom. The music just really makes you feel like you’re there and help emote the feelings of what’s happening in the game be it the heartbreaks as a tragedy occurs or those cheerful moments as Phoenix jubilantly gets the defendant a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict. I don’t think Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations can be captured in a numerical score or some kind of scoring system. Like I said I like to think of it as a good series of book. Sure there’s the not so good sequel but then there’s the brilliant book which concludes the trilogy. You must look at it on a whole and the whole experience and joy of the whole series. So if you enjoy a good riveting book I highly recommend to top off the series with this. Zvarri!