Devil's Attorney Review
- Vibrant and stylish art style. Witty banter before cases.
- A fresh take on turn based RPG combat.
- Battles and furnishing are the only two types of gameplay.
- More variety would be nice.
Taking turn based RPG combat away from fantasy and sci-fi, and playing things in a courtroom is enough of a spin to make Devil's Attorney worth a play (and the stylish character that the game is infused with doesn't hurt either).
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When we think of turn based RPG combat, our minds turn to the genres of fantasy and science-fiction. I mean every now and then, you get something like Earthbound, but for the most part, the RPG genre is locked into preconceived notions of what to expect. Then along comes Devil's Attorney, which takes turn based combat, and puts it into a courtroom, where you control the scumbag lawyer Max McMann, using every dirty trick in his arsenal to free your clients from the prosecution, and all their annoying witnesses and evidence.
The game is broken up into two sections, cases, and furnishing your home. The money you earn by freeing clients can be used to upgrade your pad, which in turn levels up either your materialism, decadence, or vanity. When you hit certain levels in each of these skills, you gain new abilities to help you in the courtroom. Upon choosing a case, you are treated to a bit of jokey banter between Max and the prosecutor, and then the fighting begins. Your task is to remove all credibility from the prosecution, their witnesses, and their evidence (credibility stands in for hit points, and you also have to prevent yours from reaching zero). The rest plays out like any other turn based RPG battle. Your array of skills (that can also boost attack and defense, as well as target certain enemies), is used to destroy the opposition before they destroy you. If you fulfill the requirements of the bonus in each case (usually defeating it in a certain number of turns), you gain extra money, to help you upgrade and go through the whole thing again.
While the whole experience is fun enough, boiling the RPG genre down to battles and an upgrade screen removes the opportunity for exploration and fleshing out the world. The before case banter does a good job in introducing us to Max's personality along with that of the prosecutors he goes up against, but perhaps the ability to talk to a lot of these people out of the courtroom would have rounded things out. As it is, the voice acting is great, and the game oozes an 80s vibe (especially through the intro), with its great cartoon aesthetic.
Devil's Attorney is certainly different. It brings a lot of personality and a neat spin on an old game mechanic, but after a few cases, the sheen kind of wears off, and you begin to wish this was a full fledged RPG instead of just a battle and upgrade simulator. Still, it's easy to play, and provides laughs and amusement which should be more than enough to justify the purchase if you like what you've seen.
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Devil's Attorney is a turn-based strategy game set in the 80's where you play as Max McMann, a defense attorney that's high on charm but low on moral fiber.
Your objective is to free all of your clients and use the money you earn to buy accessories and new furniture for your apartment; boosting your ego and unlocking new courtroom skills in the process.