Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (PS4) Review: Rise From The Ashes

For followers of Capcom’s long-running Ace Attorney collection, the previous couple of years have been moderately hit and miss. On the one hand, a group of the primary three video games within the collection was lastly ported to fashionable platforms (releasing them from the shackles of cellular and handheld units), and the 2 Nice Ace Attorney video games (which have been beforehand Japan-exclusive) have been localized and launched for western audiences. However, it’s been near a decade since we’ve seen a brand-new launch within the mainline collection, with Capcom going radio silent about the opportunity of a seventh sport.

In what we will solely hope is a peace providing to tide us over, the fourth, fifth, and sixth entries have been given a contemporary coat of paint and bundled collectively within the oddly-named Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (extra on the bizarre selection of title in a minute). For anybody who performed the primary Ace Attorney Trilogy, you’ll kind of know what to anticipate right here: higher-res graphics, modernized UI, and a slew of quality-of-life options.

Except for with the ability to bounce into any sport, episode, or chapter (meant play order be damned), gamers who solely need to expertise the story can activate Story Mode, which helps you to take it simple whereas the sport performs itself for you by fixing puzzles, interrogating witnesses, and accumulating proof. For many who don’t have a penchant for jamming on the X button for hours on finish, you may as well select to have the sport advance the dialogue for you, with a dialog log accessible do you have to need to re-read strains that you just glossed over initially. Granted, these inclusions are removed from revolutionary, however they’re actually leaps and bounds forward of what was accessible on the unique DS and 3DS variations.

(Picture Credit score: Capcom)

Whereas Apollo Justice seems entrance and middle on this trilogy’s field artwork and title, solely one of many three included titles options him as the principle protagonist. Having initially launched again in 2008 for the Nintendo DS, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has extra in widespread with the unique trilogy in comparison with the 2 video games that got here after it. Granted, each mainline entry is break up up between investigative phases and courtroom trials, however Apollo Justice’s debut was, and nonetheless is, a 2D affair, save for just a few sections the place you look at proof in 3D.

As you’d anticipate, the unique art work and sprites have been remastered for high-definition shows, and whereas I’ll all the time miss the pixelated look of the unique, it’s exhausting to disclaim how slick this one seems to be when blown up on a giant display with correct help for 16:9 facet ratios. It goes with out saying; even fifteen years after its unique debut, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney nonetheless impresses. Not like its predecessors, this one throws you proper into the deep finish with its tutorial case, weaving collectively a number of unanswered questions which might be slowly unraveled all through the next three episodes. Apollo’s means to “perceive” when witnesses are mendacity makes for fascinating moments, with a suspect’s nervous twitch or tick typically tying instantly into their testimony. And naturally, this sport launched us to the enduring Papa Phoenix. What’s to not love?

(Picture Credit score: Capcom)

The different two video games on this trilogy — Twin Destinies and Spirit of Justice — result in a few of the greatest modifications the collection has seen. For starters, the pair are the primary video games to function fully-rendered 3D environments and characters, eschewing the tried-and-true sprites and glued digital camera angles for a extra dynamic, fashionable look. Having initially launched on the 3DS, this shift in visible model was met with combined reception. The most diehard purists will doubtless not be swayed by these remasters, however the transfer to extra highly effective {hardware} lets Capcom’s art work and animations actually shine. In the event you have been ever delay by Twin Destinies and Spirit of Justice’s low-res presentation on the 3DS, the Apollo Justice trilogy may simply sway your opinion with the bump in decision.

Talking of Apollo Justice, whereas he actually performs a key position throughout all three of those video games, he takes a bit extra of a backseat in Twin Destinies and Spirit of Justice. Not solely does Phoenix Wright return as a playable character, however newcomer Athena Cykes has joined the authorized workforce. The place Phoenix and Apollo used their mystical magatama and bracelet to infer when somebody is being lower than truthful, Athena makes use of an AI companion and a program dubbed the “Mood Matrix,” letting her decide up on refined emotional cues and discovering discrepancies between what a witness’ testimony and their emotional state. It’s a welcome addition (and fortunately, one which isn’t overused) that provides a brand new layer to the franchise’s tried-and-true trial and interrogation mechanics.

Spirit of Justice additionally makes use of every of the protagonist’s particular talents, whereas additionally throwing one other wrinkle into the combo — Divination Séances. The unique trio of Ace Attorney video games had a number of plotlines centered round spirit mediums and speaking with the lifeless, however Spirit of Justice totally embraces this concept with Divination Séances, which helps you to see the ultimate moments by means of the eyes of the homicide sufferer. If all of this sounds a bit off the wall, that’s as a result of it’s, although the devs do attempt to make all of it sound believable. Whereas earlier video games within the franchise featured an fascinating hodgepodge of Japanese tradition thrown into an American setting, Spirit of Justice takes place overseas within the Kingdom of Khura’in, which itself is closely impressed by the Jap Himalayas. It took nicely over a decade, however Spirit of Justice does exit of its technique to no less than justify the collection’ (generally) weird mixture of legal justice and spirit channeling.

(Picture Credit score: Capcom)

Although I’ve performed each sport within the Ace Attorney collection (lots of them greater than as soon as), it’s exhausting to not be enamored with what the Apollo Justice trilogy affords. Having the ability to relive the trials and tribulations (pun meant)of Phoenix and firm with out the friction of getting to dig out growing old handheld programs or emulate on PC is a godsend, and the quite a few quality-of-life additions and bonus pack-ins are icing on high of the cake — together with a bevy of artwork property and soundtracks to look over and pay attention too, the entire DLC costumes and episodes from the 3DS video games are included, alongside an animation studio the place you’ll be able to throw collectively your personal vignettes utilizing character fashions, animations, in-game music, and voice strains.

If there’s one criticism I feel might be levied towards this new assortment of video games, it’s that, on the finish of the day, it’s merely extra of the identical. Sequence diehards and extra informal followers will undoubtedly discover quite a bit to love right here, and I actually hope it’s an indication that we’ll be seeing way more of the Ace Attorney franchise within the coming years. For many who weren’t bought on the unique trio of Phoenix Wright video games, this second assortment gained’t do a lot to sway your opinion.

  • Extra of what you liked in regards to the first three Ace Attorney video games

  • A superb showcase of writing, music, and distinctive characters

  • New high quality of life options and bonus content material

  • All three video games are decidedly linear, making it simple to get caught on a single puzzle

  • Some property and cutscenes do not look as sharp when blown as much as 4K

Disclosure: Review copy was offered by Capcom.

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