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Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney: Official Casebook, Volume 2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Phoenix Wright's back, and better than ever.

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a rather popular series of games for the Nintendo DS. This book and its first volume are manga tie-ins to the games.

    Volume 1 centered mainly around the game protagonist Phoenix. Volume 2, on the other hand, centers on fan-favorite character Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.

    Neither this volume nor its predecessor attempt to paint a continuous narrative -- both books are simply collections of small, self-contained manga vignettes -- but the books maintain much of the same feel as the games (a small caveat, though: don't expect the same dramatic courtroom action -- these stories aren't trials, they're mostly just little stories using the characters). The characters are portrayed very faithfully, and (just like the games) the translation/localization is the standard by which all other translations are measured. The stories are generally more enjoyable than those of the first volume (if only because Edgeworth is just that cool.)

    The bulk of the volume consists of comedic stories, but there's something in it for most Ace Attorney fans (dramatic stories are present, if uncommon, and tend to have nice messages). The manga is rated for teens, but it's largely friendly for all ages (though there is the occasional lightly-racy joke, and some of the jokes/concepts require a certain level of sophistication [expected from a courtroom drama series]) though some may be concerned over the occasional depictions of alcohol and/or tobacco (all manga in the volume is translated from Japanese, and Japan is more lax than the U.S. about depictions of alcohol, tobacco, and/or firearms).

    The only real liability when giving this book as a gift is that it requires foreknowledge of the characters and some of the events; there is no real introductory section, so people who haven't played the games before will likely be lost or confused at times.

    Ratings breakdown:
    Characters: 5 out of 5. Every character is portrayed quite faithfully to the original (well, Phoenix himself is sometimes portrayed as rather slow, but it works in context).
    Plot: 3 out of 5. The stories are well-conceived -- even the four-panel gag strips -- but I don't think I can really give more than a 3 in plot to a series of disconnected stories.
    Writing Style: 5 out of 5. The stories and dialogue are wonderfully evocative of the actual games, and the localization team hid a number of excellent jokes that wouldn't have worked in the original Japanese (watch for the Princess Bride reference in one of the stories), aside from translating beautifully (the manga is even free of the typos that occasionally marred the games, though some of those typos are noted for making the games even better ["The miracle never happen."])
    Originality: 5 out of 5. The stories are fresh and new, and the localization team made them even more ingenious in some instances.
    Book Cover: 4 out of 5. The book cover is an image re-used from the box art of the Gyakuten Saiban 2 (the Japanese version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All). Points for using a classic image, but slightly docked for re-using an image, rather than developing a new one (at least it isn't the cover of the first volume [used the U.S. cover of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations, which is rather minimalistic]).
    Overall: 5 out of 5. A must-have for Phoenix Wright fans, fun for light reading, but just make sure you're familiar with the series ahead of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

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    Posted April 16, 2009

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    Posted April 1, 2009

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    Posted December 12, 2009

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    Posted April 21, 2009

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