I always think trials made by other people are amazing. They have mysteries, and oftentimes they work around established canon. The retrial cases look really hard to make.
I can't solve half the puzzles on my own (even if puzzles aren't the reason I play these games).
This is all a bit darker than I'm used to, and a lot of characters were acting all evil and stuff. It fits this case, but I don't like seeing them like that. Sometimes. Sometimes I do like seeing characters such a Trucy or Phoenix act like masterminds.
Edgeworth... I see Edgeworth as a man who would not cooperate in hiding the truth. Along with Apollo, perhaps the only two lawyers I see as being incorruptible (I don't remember if Edgeworth actually committed any crimes in canon, despite the implications). This isn't the role he played in this case so much, but that's fine.
I know that the most controversial decision here is how Edgeworth helps Phoenix in covering up the ace, but... I really see it as the only way he would behave.
Let's analyze what is canonical. During the entire time between 4-1 and 4-4, Edgeworth did absolutely nothing about the ace. It doesn't seem like anything happened between AJ and DD. In DD Edgeworth works with Phoenix on Blackquill's case, and nothing suggests that the card was ever a problem.
I don't believe that Edgeworh would never get interested about 4-1. His absence then can be explained with another foreign business, but, by DD, he for sure would at least read the transcript of that trial. Then, why would Edgeworth do nothing?
The only cases that I've played and touched the subject of ace and had Edgeworth in it (both were DWaM's), had Edgeworth being completely oblivious about the forged evidence. And, for me, that's far more OOC for Edgeworth than realizing the truth and helping in covering it up. The ace was blatantly fishy, only Udgy and Payne could be fooled about it (Klavier could be conflicted about Kristoph, at that point). Neither there was anything stopping Miles from learning what the bailiffs saw.
He had to know it. He knew that, after seven years of nothing being done about Gavin, that concluded with Trucy's father being murdered, Phoenix became desperate enough to break the law. The man that was his friend, that Miles himself tried to get sentenced to death, despite being clearly aware of White's guilt and corruption. The friend, that even in such a way couldn't be made to abandon his quest of saving him.
Miles had no other choice than to stick with Phoenix, just like he did stick with White. After all, his Demon Prosecutor ways weren't about breaking any law, just to legally making sure that nothing inconvenient could be discovered. The only time when Edgeworth actually broke a law here, was when he asked Key to illegally investigate Gavins, which was about finding the truth.
I too see both Apollo and Edgeworth as Lawful Good characters, but here Edgeworh is conflicted between what is lawful and what is good. Edgeworth chooses the good, while Apollo seemingly chooses the lawful. But Apollo, since the start, had a solution for this dilemma - the law has loopholes that can be used to defend a Chaotic Good criminal. And this is 100% lawful, making the entire dilemma non-existing.
The judge is really good. It was only recently I found I have a much easier and more enjoyable time writing judges when I don't use the default one. I'm just not good at his brand of comedy besides the occasional hearing, eyesight, or irresponsibility joke. But this judge has a great character.
I don't have a problem with writing Udgy, since I do keep him fairly competent, but he always can have convenient moments of incompetence. When I was writing the first scene that I wrote here, I actually had Udgy back then. But I realized that appeal court required a judge that outranked him. Plus, with both the defense and the prosecution actually avoiding straightforward pursuit of the truth (for this or other reason), this trial needed a seriously competent judge. For a moment I was thinking of using Courtney, but I didn't find any good sprite set for her. So, I recycled Themis, from my abandoned Overseen, and made her Courtney's disciple.
Kristoph was a criminal version of himself, though those moments at the end where you tried to tie up the plotpoints were great as well. What a dream. Every time he laughed was also hilarious, though.
That scene was necessary to establish why Phoenix and Trucy ultimately abandoned their AJ ways, and why in DD Phoenix starts his career by doing the absolutely idealist thing he does in the DLC.
Also, I really didn't like how Kristoph was one-dimensionally evil. For me he is the worst main villain. His motive is as petty as von Karma's, but von Karma established himself as an insane genius, so his pettiness felt like anger of a madman. He doesn't have the complexity of Godot, Simon Keys, or even Gant. He is as evil as Dahlia and Matt, but he doesn't have their hate factor. He also has a lackluster boss fight, comparing to the rest of the villains.
I couldn't buy that Phoenix and Edgeworth wouldn't deal with him in seven days, instead of years. So, there was only one explanation - Kristoph Gavin committed only the crimes he was declared guilty of. And not any other. Also, both his plots involving the forged page were genuinely brilliant, and they failed only because of Zak doing unpredictably stupid things.