Each subsequent game has added a new gimmick, most notably the Psyche-Locks in Justice For All, but the gameplay and structure remains largely the same across the whole series. In fact, playing so many of them, one after the other, the formula of the trials is more obvious than ever. But that’s still barely a criticism given the real appeal is the dialogue and characters.
What is a problem though is an issue that still hasn’t been resolved in any of the games: it’s often fairly obvious where the inconsistency in a testimony lies, but knowing exactly how and when the game expects you to prove it can be frustratingly obscure.
Often, you’re able to work out the case on your own, but you have to follow the linear progression of the story to get to the point where Phoenix can catch up with you. Or worse the game wants you to use different evidence to prove a point than seems logical. These early game also have you pixel-hunting locations for clues, which thankfully the latter ones stopped doing.
This can lead to frustration and unnecessary repetition, but to be honest it’s nothing a quick trip to YouTube can’t solve. In the end, the biggest problems are simply the price and the charmless, sometimes amateurish-looking, visuals.
It would’ve been a much better idea to remaster the second trilogy of games, which began to use 3D models for characters, but considering there are several spin-offs that have still not even been released in the West it’s clear that Ace Attorney does not have a big enough audience to justify that kind of outlay.
It deserves to though. And it would’ve been welcome evidence that Phoenix and his friends will continue their fight against injustice and boring video game characters for many years to come.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
In Short: The sheer age of the games are beginning to count against them but Ace Attorney still remains exhibit A in how to make even the silliest story-based games fun and engaging.
Pros: One of gaming’s most entertaining cast of characters, with sharply written dialogue and effective melodrama. Some clever puzzles and Psych-Lock conundrums. Plenty of content.
Cons: All the old problems with inconsistent, and occasionally illogical, solutions. The higher res visuals don’t have the charm of the originals. Unfairly expensive.
Formats: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Release Date: 9th April 2019
Age Rating: 12
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