Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -
Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo
“These are dark times where the law has been reduced to rubble, and it’s up to us to restore it to its former glory.”
The Ace Attorney games are, on paper, a strange concept to explain: you play as a
lawyer to prove that your client is not guilty of a murder, conduct investigations,
and all of your clients are presumed guilty because the evidence is stacked against
you. In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney-
Welcome to Fallout: New Phoenix.
Just like with the recent releases of Pokemon X and Y, the Ace Attorney series had to make its jump from 2D sprites to 3D eventually, and the jump was on solid ground. The visuals of Dual Destinies is simply stunning, with a feeling of familiarity with how the courtroom and other environments are set up while adding new depth to game that wasn’t possible before due to the limitations of sprite animation. In a rare effect for 3DS games I’ve played, the characters have some actions that make use of the 3D; this mostly involves throwing or shooting objects towards the screen. It’s mostly a throwaway gag or character tic for many of the actions done, but it is nice to see Capcom of all companies doing this. The backgrounds and environments also make use of the 3D as well, since there is now a real feeling of space as you examine areas. And, with its motley collection of eclectic and colorful characters, the game’s vibrant colors match the insanity. A new addition to the series are the animated cut scenes that appear at specific points during a case, primarily before and after, and while they are amazing bits of animation, they don’t really serve for much of anything beyond showing off voice acting or as bookends for a case.
Bloody avian footprints, feathers strewn everywhere, and dead mafiosos
staked to their chairs. The Goodfeathers are back!
The audio has also upgraded along with the graphics. While the earlier games in Ace
Attorney series were definitely bit-
For what is essentially an adventure game in the guise of a murder mystery visual
novel, Dual Destinies has a lot for you to use. You’ve got the return of Phoenix’s
While you’d be better off watching an episode of Law & Order or CSI to get a better
understanding of how the legal system works, the Ace Attorney series has never portrayed
or marketed itself as a realistic game of how trials are conducted, and anyone who
takes the games too seriously are typically the sort who would get angry at the inconsistencies
while watching Law & Order or CSI or even question video game logic to begin with.
However, for what it presents itself as and how it is played out, Dual Destinies
is an engrossing game, because each case is a puzzle or a riddle to solve. The only
normal looking person is the Judge, who will allow robots and animals to take the
stand, and the only sane man is someone who wears a purple suit with a cravat. But
when you have witnesses who believe they are possessed by Japanese monsters, a professor
who wears a toga, a detective who spouts the word “justice” like a campy Power Ranger
parody, and even a man who believes himself to be the very center of the universe
while the prosecution has a pet hawk, looks like he’s an edgier version of Osamu
Tezuka’s character Black Jack, uses old-
Really, where else is this normal?
The game is fun, no doubt about it. Despite that M rating it has, there are only very few moments where I felt it was actually justified, and most of them are in the tail end of the game, but even then you needn’t really worry about the delicate sensibilities of teenagers that have grown up with the Internet. If you’ve loved the previous entries in the Ace Attorney series, then chances are you’ve already bought it from the eShop since it is a digital download only, and have beaten it (holy crap, that ending!) before this has been posted and silently waiting for some DLC cases since this is a Capcom game we’re talking about. If anything I’ve described sounds like it’s worth buying, I certainly recommend it. If you’re a bit unsure or want to work your way through the prior games just to feel like you’re up to speed, I would recommend that as well, but rest assured that references to prior games aren’t too hard to grasp. But if you’re a stickler for the legal system and how it works, I’m sure you can find some old episodes of Night Court or Boston Legal somewhere so you can come back with a sense of humor.
Controls & Mechanics: 7
Atmosphere & Experience: 9
Entertainment Value: 8
David Caruso, is that you?
Consoles: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date (U.S.): Oct 24, 2013
Release Date (U.K.): Oct 24, 2013
Release Date (JP): Jul 25, 2013
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