Despite many, many attempts, it's taken me six and a half years to finally finish Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All, the second Phoenix Wright game (on DS). Although I appreciate games that have more of a narrative and I'd enjoyed the colorful characters and wackiness of the first game, I just find the pace of the games to be soooooo sloooooow. If there were options to speed up the pace of the text display that would help a lot (you can fast forward through text, but only after you've endured its glacial place once). The game mechanics are still effective, but as is par for the course for games of this genre, the game's skewed logic can be maddening; there were quite a few times when I was left just blindly guessing which item I was supposed to present next. The triggers to get the next thing to happen, whether it be while investigating or in the courtroom, also oftentimes seem completely arbitrary, e.g. you'll have to revisit an area you've already been to in order to get a character to appear.

For the most part the frustrations weren't much worse than the first game, but I did wish there were a little more in the way of innovation in this sequel. The game adds a new element to the investigation portions called "Psyche Locks" which are basically the same as the courtroom mechanics in that you scrutinize a characters' claims and present contradicting evidence. These make investigations a bit more active, but otherwise there wasn't much that kept me engaged, other than some new endearing characters and some reveals of Phoenix's frenemy Miles Edgeworth's backstory and a development of the relationships between Phoenix and characters introduced in the first game.

I don't have high hopes for the third entry in the series as it seems like it will be more of the same, but I'm not dreading it either. The series may not be among my favorites, but the games I've played so far are enjoyable overall. I ended up feeling like I would enjoy Phoenix Wright more as a manga or anime series, but for now I'll stick with the games and hope that the third entry has at least some surprises in store.

Still-relevant links can be found in my post about the first game in the series.

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