Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice feels like it could be a major, final hurrah for the series. The game doesn’t hesitate to overwhelm players with nostalgia, bringing in all sorts of familiar faces and gameplay elements. This is only compounded by four courses of DLC that exponentially add on additional sentimentality. While this extra content does tug on the heartstrings, each addition feels like Capcom is lovingly doling out additional opportunities to spend time with our favorite digital lawyers.
This pandering began with a temporarily free costume pack. You know, because we know the “F” in fanservice absolutely stands for frivolous outfits. This gave Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice‘s Phoenix, Apollo and Athena outfits inspired by people, places and periods in their lives. In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations, we met Phoenix’s doppleganger. He was a loan shark named Furio “The Tiger” Tigre. He always wore a flamboyant tiger shirt and gold chain. This pack gives Phoenix that same top. That same game introduced us to the restaurant Trés Bien, the uniform for which Athena wears in her DLC costume. Meanwhile, Apollo can wear his middle school uniform, which we saw in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. Each one of these outfits reminds us of precious memories from a past game, offering a callback for ardent fans to admire.
This is only one example of clothes catering to the fans in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice. A second Sengoku Basara costume pack was released in Japan. This turned Phoenix into Masamune Date, Apollo into Yukimura Sanada and Athena into Ieyasu Tokugawa. Again, It was an opportunity for maximum silliness. There was no reason for any of these costumes, other than an opportunity to appeal to fans.
While the costume packs are frivolous, the narrative add-ons do a wonderful job of providing fan service while also offering worthwhile content that enhances the experience. Two short stories were created to allow us an opportunity to see other familiar faces from the series and better understand existing characters. “Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney” gives us more time with Pearl Fey, the youngest Fey sister, and Ahlbi Ur’gaid, Phoenix’s first client in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice. We get to see the admirable and brave young woman Pearl has grown up to be, as well as an additional example of the exemplary young man Ahlbi is.
As entertaining as “Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney” is, “Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney” may be more appreciated. This side-story brings back Klavier Gavin, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney‘s prosecutor, as well as Trucy Wright’s friend, Jinxie Tenma. But, it’s main purpose is to give us a chance to enjoy more interactions between Rayfa and characters like Apollo, Athena and Trucy. It fleshes out characters we know and love, giving us more opportunities to spend time with them.
It all closes out with a final episode, one that acts as the ultimate bookend. The very first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney episode was “The First Turnabout.” In it, we helped Phoenix defend Larry Butz, a childhood friend, in a murder trial where he’d been accused of killing his ex-girlfriend. On September 29, 2016, “Turnabout Time Traveler” will let us enjoy a similar experience. Larry’s possible fiancee, Ellen Wyatt, is on trial for an attack at her wedding. Miles Edgeworth is the case’s prosecutor. Phoenix is defending the beleaguered bride, with Maya Fey at his side. It’s just like old times, which is a wonderful way to wrap up an installment in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series.
The value of DLC will always vary from person to person. Debates will be had about its validity. With Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, at least it’s clear to see where Capcom was coming from during these add-ons’ creation. The company wanted to offer the sort of fanservice people dream about. Not only do we get outfits to dress up some of the series’ most iconic characters, we receive vignettes that call attention to people who couldn’t always be present in the game’s episodes and an additional case that harkens back to the series’ roots. This extra content all comes together as the ultimate callback.