Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:58 am
This is going to be long, I think. I'm taking into account only GS1, GS2, GS3 and GS4 - games I played at least twice. I've played GS5 and GS6 once, so my opinions about those games aren't very solid yet - but I can say for sure that I think GS3 and GS5 are the worst titles of the series.
To me, the Ace Attorney series in general is pretty much characterized by having some strong, impactful cases mixed up with "filler cases". For example, in GS1, the first case is introductory filler; the second is meaningful when it comes to its significance regarding the entire plot. The third is an annoying filler, and the last case is actually very good, and important to the series.
GS2 and GS4 are the strongest games of the series, in my opinion. They are far from being flawless, but I think they still have the strongest cases.
1. GS2 has both 2-2 and 2-4. I think 2-4 is by far the best case of the original trilogy; it is the only case that actually puts strong moral convictions into question and makes you reflect before making a difficult decision. This is a game about lawyers, and it always bothered me how AA games in general present the defendants as cueless victims, the prosecutors as tyrants and witnesses as liars. We all know it doesn't work like this in real life. In fact, we all know that a lot of defendants are actually guilty IRL, and some lawyers still work to protect the rights of the worst criminals you can think of. So 2-4 is the only case where you actually have to defend a scumbag; it is also a case full of emotional complexity (I think Adrian, for example, is a better secondary character than the average secondary character in AA games), and a moment where Phoenix has to wonder about what is the meaning of being a lawyer. The fact that Maya was kidnapped (the first time she was kidnapped) created an atmosphere of suspense surrounding the episode, and its investigation was very thrilling, too. I loved exploring the hotel, and Engarde's mansion. Sure, the cross-examination started to become repetitive in the end, but even this annoyance doesn't ruin the case for me.
2. GS2 has 2-2 which I also see as a very strong case compared to other ones in the series, and it deals with key characters/elements that would be used again in the main plot (in short, it is a case of crucial importance to the series); 2-3 is not that good, but it is an acceptable filler. 2-1 is dumb and incredibly weak, I can agree with that.
3. GS2 started to show sparks of development in Edgeworth and deals with his relationship with Phoenix; it also introduces Franziska, which is one of my favourite prosecutors.
4. About GS4: I like this game a lot, and I would put it as second favourite because its "filler cases", in contrast to the fillers in the main original trilogy, are actually strong. I quite like 4-2, for example; I think Tiala is a better villain than many others, not in terms of intelligence, but in terms of having believable traits and being similar to people we observe IRL. GS4 starts with a strong case, or at least a case that is more complex compared to other introductory cases. 4-3 and 4-4 are both good; not "excellent", but the game doesn't have a case that particularly annoys me (like GS1 with 1-3).
5. I think GS3 is the worst game of the series, maybe only competing with GS5. I could list several reasons here, but I will start with the main one: the secondary characters suck. Atmey is a terrible villain, unrelatable and one-dimensional; Tigre, again, just an exaggerated stereotype, a simplistic character. Armstrong is obnoxious and unlikeable, and I'm kind of neutral towards the DeLite couple (they are not "bad", but not particularly complex, either). The only secondary character in GS3 I like is Viola.
Now compare those one-dimensional stereotypes called "characters" from GS3 to characters from GS1 and GS2. Heck, von Karma is way more complex than any character from GS3, Adrian too. Even DeVasquez is a better character than Furio Tigre, Jean Armstrong and Luke Atmey. She is way more realistic and less of an obnoxious stereotype.
6. The second reason why I dislike GS3: it repeats something that already happened in the past (Maya being put in danger, Maya being the defendant). When Maya was kidnapped for the first time in 2-4, it was okay. When she was the defendant for the first time it was okay, too. But all the attention surrounding her in GS3 made the game boring and repetitive; I don't think 3-5 is strong at all. Godot is a character that COULD be good, but his development was poorly executed. Dahlia is a villain with a forced background (a background that should be complex, in my opinion) that isn't very well explained or explored. Iris is some kind of Mary Sue, or not a particularly deep character. In short, nothing about this case excited me. Maya in danger bored me. Godot's drama and bad-executed development bored me. Dahlia forced "bitchness" bored me.
In short, I would rank the games like this:GS1 - 3/5 stars
GS2 - 4/5 stars
GS3 - 1,5/5 stars
GS4 - 3,5/5 stars
My favourite characters:
When it comes to major characters, Edgeworth and Franziska. The "von Karma" siblings always make things exciting for me. I like how they are not perfect and not 100% pure like some characters are (let's say, Maya and Mia). I still think Klavier is one of the best prosecutors (he deserved more attention and development IMO) and Apollo is also growing on me.
When it comes to secondary characters, I quite like Wocky Kitaki and Alita Tiala. I like Viola and Adrian too.
Characters that particularly annoy me: Maya, Larry, Luke Atmey, Jean Armstrong and Mike Meekins.
One thing that ruins AA sometimes for me is the excessive "goofiness". It is not that I am a person without sense of humor; but characters like Maya and Larry are rarely, very rarely serious, and this gets on my nerves sometimes. They are always "goofy". Things they say don't come across as funny to me, at least not most of the times. It is just... silly. Repetitive. Boring.
Well, that's it for now. I may write more later.