Like the first Phoenix Write: Ace Attorney game, Justice For All is split into two gameplay modes, and is very easy to pick up. The first mode is during court and the second is investigation. During the Trial mode you will cross-examine witnesses, present evidence and make important decisions that will affect the outcome of the verdict. Before each Trial mode (apart from the first trial) you will have a chance to go out and gather evidence to present later in court.
The following is a list of the different actions you can use during Trial mode.
Cross-examination is an important part of the gameplay. During trials, witnesses will provide a testimony for the court. It is your job to find the contradictions in their testimonies and present evidence to support these contradictions. The witnesses will give their testimony to the court, then the cross-examination will begin. The touch screen will have forward and backward arrows in the middle and in the top corners you will see "Press" and "Present."
You can press any part of a testimony; doing so will generally provide a little more information. You will almost never be penalized for pressing, so get in the habit of pressing all statements. Sometimes you have to press certain parts of the testimony, however, pressing all statements will not cause any harm. Occasionally, pressing a statement will provide Phoenix with a multiple-choice decision. Generally, you need to choose the correct option in order to advance the plot. However, if you make the wrong choice, you can simply press the statement again. This will cause the multiple-choice screen to display again.
When you discover something that is contradicting a piece of evidence you have in the Court Record, you will present it to the court. Doing this makes the witness unreliable and ultimately helps your client. If you present the wrong piece of evidence, or happen to present it against the wrong statement, you will get penalized. If you do this five times in one day, your client will be found Guilty and the game will be over.
Every so often the judge will ask you to present evidence to back up your arguments. This works the same as during cross-examination; if you submit the wrong evidence you will receive a strike.
The Court Record
The Court Record holds all of the evidence for the trial. As the trial progresses, you will collect a lot of evidence. This can be found during the Investigation mode or may be presented by other people during the Courtroom mode. The Court Record can be accessed at any time during the game. Each page of the Court Record holds eight items, but you are able to toggle to the next page to view other items. If you click on an item, you will get a brief description of it. Some items will also have a "Check" option where you can have a closer look at photos or reports.
When you are in Investigation mode you will find yourself in a number of different locations. Usually you will start at the crime scene or in the Detention Centre. During Investigation mode, you cannot receive a "Game Over" screen, so you are not able to do anything damaging to the plot. In order to advance the plot, you will have to find certain evidence and talk to certain people. When you have completed everything you need to do during the investigation, the chapter will automatically end and you will begin the next day in court. You are able to access the Court Record during the Investigation mode, so you can keep on top of what evidence you have. The touch screen will display the four different options you can perform while in Investigation mode. Select "Back" to return to the main screen from any of them.
When you click on the "Move" option, another screen will display. It will have a list of different locations to which you can move. In some cases, you have to move to one location in order to access other locations. You may have to visit the same location more than once during the trial. When certain criteria are met, the plot will advance and there may be new people to speak to, or new evidence to be discovered at the location.
When you click on the "Examine" option, the screen will have a pointer. You can use this pointer to select different objects. When there is an object that you can examine closer, a tab called "Examine" will display in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking on this will trigger a discussion about the item. Sometimes the object will be added to the Court Record; sometimes you will just receive information about it. Examining can be tricky, but on a number of occasions it is required to advance the plot. Be sure to examine all you can at each location.
If you enter a new location, you will sometimes come across other people. You are able to talk to these people to help gather information about what happened. When you click on the "Talk" option, you will be presented with a list of topics to discuss. Sometimes when you discuss one topic it will unlock another topic. New topics can also be unlocked by presenting the person with items from the Court Record. You should always make sure that you have covered all available topics with each person. You will know if you have covered a topic because a red check mark will be displayed at the side of that topic. In this game however sometimes the mystical Psyche-Lock(s) will appear. A lock will appear next to the topic instead of a check. More explained below. Remember that the more information you can get during the Investigation mode, the better position you will be in for the next day in court.
Starting with Case 2, you will be given a Magatama, which lets you see a person's Psyche-Locks. What these locks mean is that a given person is lying or trying to hide something from you. To make an attempt at breaking through these locks, you must present the Magatama to them during an investigation. You will see the locks appear again, and Phoenix will attempt to deduce what is being hidden. Like a cross-examination, you will lose health for presenting the wrong evidence, and it's quite possible to not have enough evidence to break a Psyche-Lock. Make sure you've exhausted all possibilities before attempting to break a lock.
Upon successfully completing a Psyche-Lock sequence, you will regain 50% of your health. If you run out of health, the Psyche-Lock sequence will stop and you will return to the investigation with a minimal amount of health. Needless to say, it'd be bad if you were to go to court like this.
Presenting items in the Investigation mode is basically the same as in the Courtroom mode. However you will not receive any penalties for presenting items. This means you can present as many items as you like to as many people as you like. Sometimes you will need to present an item to a certain person in order to get more information and advance the plot.
There are two ways to save. You can either press the pause button or if you complete each part of a case (the game will say "To be continued.") It is important to do this often if you are stuck.
The Health Bar
Instead of having five "penalty marks" indicating his status, Phoenix's health is now indicated by a bar graph. Depending on the risk involved in your accusations, you will lose more health from the bar for each mistake you make. You can tell how much you'll lose by looking at the glowing section of the bar.
Health does not recharge between court sessions—it remains the same through the entire case. In order to recharge it, you must successfully break a Psyche-Lock.
While profiles in the first Phoenix Wright game were mostly for informational purposes, you can now present them as evidence during court sessions and investigations. (Hint: Presenting Gumshoe's profile to him during investigations usually creates an amusing response.)