The Daily Five: Potent Portable Games
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
While originally released on the Game Boy Advance in Japan, Phoenix Wright became known in the west with his Nintendo DS escapades. Set in a world where clients are guilty until proven innocent and trials can only last three days, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney tells the story of a young defense lawyer as he struggles to make a name for himself in the Japanese court system.
Reading this makes the whole game seem silly, and it is. It’s also sweet, touching, charming, and completely endearing. Phoenix’s rise to greatness is full of strange characters, stranger situations, and a lot of heart. Many of the characters will become favorites and the story somehow becomes very memorable, almost epic in places.
What makes Phoenix Wright so perfect for portable play is how it is divided into sections of investigation and courtroom proceedings. It is really easy to go through an investigation while on the bus or in a cab, and then close the DS for a bit before going through the courtroom proceedings. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney manages to provide such funny, character-driven drama in delectable bite-sized bits.
Like Link’s Awakening, Killzone: Mercenary is one of those games that proves you should never say never. Gamers thought we would never see a great first person shooter on a portable system, but Killzone: Mercenary proved all doubters wrong.
Taking place around the events of the Killzone Trilogy, Mercenary puts the player in the role of an elite merc as he completes jobs for ISA and the Helghast. And it’s a lot of fun. All the single-player actions is split into not-too-long, not-too-short missions that are easy to digest in small bursts. Multiplayer matches are almost completely lag-free and last only about ten minutes at a time. Controls are very tight and sound effects are unbelievably crisp. In other words: it is the perfect shooter for on the go. A quick mission on the way to work, a quick round of multiplayer at lunch, and then back to your day.
Killzone: Mercenary is also absolutely gorgeous and shows how far handhelds have come in such a relatively short time. From the days of stacking blacks in shades of yellow and green, to this wonderful masterpiece that looks like it could almost be a PlayStation 3 release. Mercenary is a technological marvel and should be played to be appreciated.
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