Full disclaimer: I consider the incredibly niche Ace Attorney series to be the finest video game series to date. While I have already enjoyed the series' wacky characters and unpredictable narrative from its debut on the GameBoy Advance so many years ago to its continued excellence on the Nintendo DS, I am still eagerly awaiting the series' iOS HD adaptation. However, while I wait, 1337 Game Design AB's Devil's Attorney might hope to scratch that particular itch.
Whereas the Ace Attorney games put you in control of affable protagonists whose goals were to weed out the truth, protect the innocent, and put the guilty behind bars, Devil's Attorney's star, Max McMann, is only interested in winning.
No bullets, no blood, and no high-octane cinematic thrill-rides in Devil's Attorney. Interestingly, in spite of that, both hit points and action points are still used in this legal system. Whittle down the HP of a character or piece of key evidence, and it is removed from the case.
Doing well naturally earns you money, which you can then spend on items to upgrade Max's residence. Nice, simple customization is always welcome, of course, but buying new furniture for Max's digs also buffs up his lawyer skill set with branching options making for some fine strategizing depth.
Where diversity comes into play is through the prosecutors you will face off against. Each one possesses unique abilities that will require you to change the way you approach a case. This is a good thing because, while each case is as colorfully different as can be in subject, the narrative rarely matters to the gameplay. These unique prosecutors keep the proceedings from becoming mundane.
Long-winded, but quick-witted dialogue helps give personality to the characters you meet just as well as the surprisingly adept voice acting does. It really is a pleasure to listen to the lawyers jabber as a prelude to the upcoming case. If there is one thing Devil's Attorney will provide, it is some decently developed characters inhabiting a series of ridiculously based cases that progress at a very deliberate pace.
It is natural to make connections between this game and the venerable Ace Attorney series – and you would be forgiven for doing so, since how many games actually star a law-practicing protagonist? – but doing so is a bit of a disservice to Devil's Attorney and it would be best to avoid judging it by such lofty standards. It may not reach the same narrative heights or employ comparably clever gameplay mechanics, but Devil's Attorney is a wonderfully strange game in its own right.
GameDynamo's Score for Devil's Attorney (Mobile)
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