It took a lot of convincing for me to give Ace Attorney a chance and discover what a clever take on the adventure genre it is. Sadly, I’m also pretty cheap when it comes to playing games on touchscreens and have thus only tried the saga’s free chapters. I was therefore more than glad to discover the lovable freebie that is Regeria Hope – episode 1. Regeria Hope is, as you correctly guessed, a fresh take on the Ace Attorney formula, that manages to successfully replicate its mood and gameplay and add enough new ideas to keep things interesting.
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Expect the same goofy humour and outrageously wrong interpretation of how a contemporary trial works, all wrapped up around a new silly murder story that has you examining witnesses, presenting evidence and engaging in detective work. Oh, and shouting “Objection!” a lot too as you try to make sense of what really happened in the game’s weird parody world.
The manga inspired characters will lie, over-react and occasionally make you smile at their soap opera lines, and the case at its core is a complex, well-designed and smart puzzle.
Playing as Regeria Hope, you’ll have to make sure to properly coach your client and prepare his statement, read the case files, examine the evidence, make wild accusations and engage in surreal dialogues with, among others, a judge who simply wants to have his lunch break, an irritating sheriff and your apparently wise boss. Just keep in mind that you’ll be facing a tight time limit and that your failure to fully understand the case’s finer points will result in further time reductions.
Add in a client who’d rather confess to a crime he never committed and you’ve got a fantastic Ace Attorney homage that’s both a great introduction in this adventure gaming sub-genre and something existing fans will deeply appreciate.
Even if the first episode of Regeria Hope comes with a single case to crack, the devs are aiming to expand the series and include quite a few intriguing mechanics such as a jury system and a morality meter.