Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'll see you in (3D) court

Having recently finished Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (mouthful much), I figured a post to share my thoughts and, more importantly, feels, was in order. Spoilers below if you've never played this game and its predecessors!

I got my hands on Dual Destinies a few months ago for my birthday, and man was I hooked when I first started. Unfortunately, I stopped playing just as I was on the final case (I think because I got sidetracked by other games cough DmC cough cough) so I only got to finish the game the other day. It had been a while since I had last played anything from the franchise; the last Ace Attorney game I played was the Apollo Justice one- not including the Edgeworth entry 'cause I only played that a couple of times and never really pursued it.

I was hoping that this game would address the epic bomb drop at the end of AA4- yeah, that one about Apollo and Trucy being siblings. Sadly, I was disappointed that this piece of information wasn't even mentioned at all in the entire game. I hope this gets explored in future titles.

Regarding difficulty, this game was much, much easier. There was lots of handholding here: unnecessary evidence was scrapped, and the game even tells you when an area has been investigated thoroughly, versus prodding every nook and cranny of a site in previous games. I'm pretty indifferent to how much easier the game has become; while investigating becomes a lot less time consuming, it was also challenging having a vast array of evidence to choose from in court. Duration of cases also seemed significantly shorter; none of the cases exceeded two days, whereas I remember cases in older games took much longer than that.

The complexity of the cases also seemed lighter; it was easy to figure out which evidence to present, or which part of a testimony to question. Despite that, some plot twists still inevitably caught me off guard, especially the one about Detective Fulbright (or rather, the phantom) being the culprit in the final case.

The build up to that plot twist was incredible. I was screaming when the phantom switched his face from Fulbright to Starbuck, thinking that the latter was the real culprit, but I caught on once the face changed to Means. However, after the build up to the plot twist, it all somehow fell flat. I was also a little disappointed that we never find out who the phantom really was (or who ordered his shooting), but I guess that was the whole point of being the phantom. For the final case of the game, it wasn't all that thrilling, especially when put up against the finale cases of Trials and Tribulations and the AA4 one.

I got my hands on the DLC case, which was interesting and fun and I really enjoyed it, though it did feel rather odd seeing Fulbright all peppy and energetic, all right after the fiasco of the final case. Also, a singing orca with a moustache.

I mean??? How can this not make you happy???

The return of Pearl (all grown up!!!!!!!) and Edgeworth (WITH GLASSES!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!) was a pleasant surprised that I embraced. (I heard this wasn't much of a surprise when the game came out because apparently Capcom or some other announced that these two characters would be making a cameo?) I was especially giddy when Klavier made a comeback because he was one of my favorite characters in AA4.

The anime cutscenes were really appreciated too! It made me wish that Capcom would just come out with an Ace Attorney anime already... although... some of the voice acting did seem a little... awkward...

The concept of switching between Phoenix, Apollo, and newcomer Athena was also very refreshing. I didn't really care much for the Mood Matrix, and I wish that the Psyche Locks were more challenging and that there were more opportunities to use Apollo's "perceive" ability. The 3D feature of the 3DS was also utilized well, and it was just so enjoyable seeing how the characters moved and how they were designed to fit the 3D platform.

As an Ace Attorney fan, I enjoyed this immensely, and I would definitely recommend this to other fellow defense attorney wannabes. I think more avid fans would appreciate this though, but still worth checking out regardless of your stance in the fandom!

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