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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy review- No objections here

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy review- No objections here

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a delightful visual novel collection, filled to the brim with mystery, comedy and drama

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a delightful visual novel collection containing three games; Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice.

Anyone who’s played any of Capcom’s Phoenix Wright games will know the score as to what the games are about. For those who don’t: allow me to fill you in.

Check out the trailer for Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy below

Players will take control of three legendary lawyers: Phoenix Wright, a man who needs no introduction as his reputation precedes him, and two new characters: Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes. You’ll be part of the Wright Anything Agency, a firm dedicated to finding justice for anyone who needs it, achieved by defending them in court trials and gathering the necessary evidence to see them walk free at the end.

The adventure starts with Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, which follows Apollo at the start of his career. He’s green but with a keen eye for detail and a passion to deliver justice wherever it’s needed. As his first case, he’s charged with defending Phoenix Wright himself who hasn’t been a lawyer for seven years after losing his licence in the previous game.

After a hectic trial with several twists and turns, Apollo starts to work for the Wright Anything Agency, where he studies under Phoenix and tackles a variety of interesting and surprising cases.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Collection-

Comedy and mystery work hand-in-hand when it comes to the story, and while playing it did a good job of getting a laugh out of me every now and then, and some of the surprises genuinely took me off guard, especially when I thought I’d had it all figured out. This is consistent throughout the whole game, and while I had the most fun with Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, mainly because I love the character, I was thoroughly invested in the other two games as well.

As players make their way through the trilogy, they’ll encounter a large array of colourful characters in need of legal help, whether it be defence against accusations of theft, property damage, or even murder. This splits the gameplay into two segments, investigations and trials.

Starting off with investigations, players will need to play detective. Travelling to the scenes of the crimes you’ll need to chat with potential witnesses, look for clues, and link the various pieces of information together to form a case. After that, you’ll take things to the courtroom and begin a trial, which was the part I had the most fun with.

Court cases are where you put everything together and present all of your evidence and knowledge to the judge. It’s never that easy though as the prosecution will be throwing their own findings at you to incriminate your client. Apollo and the others are a clever bunch though, and they’ve got more than enough tricks up their sleeves to ensure justice is served. Players will call witnesses to the stand and listen to their testimonies before picking their story apart from inaccuracies or straight-up lies. Some lies can be identified by body language or habits using a sort of sixth sense the game’s lawyers share. If you spot an inaccuracy you can put forward the necessary evidence to catch them in a lie, but if your thinking is wrong you’ll be penalised for wasting court time.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Collection-

By the end of each trial, you should have successfully proven your client innocent, as well as pointing the finger of justice onto the true criminal, ensuring they get their just desserts.

This is the bread and butter of the game and it’s great fun across all three games in the collection. Stories are never cut and dry, keeping you on your toes throughout the game as even the most insignificant sentence or object could be the thing that cracks the case wide open. That being said, players shouldn’t worry too much about getting things wrong., as Wwhile you’re are penalised for mistakes, you can always try again once you’ve run out of chances, and there’s never any fear of having to start over from scratch.

It’s also worth adding that the games look absolutely gorgeous. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice are all Nintendo DS/3DS games but they’ve been lovingly touched up for Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation and PC platforms. What were once pixelated graphics are now beautiful HD, and the transition from a dual-screen display to just the one hasn’t diminished the way information and evidence are organised. The sound also benefits too, as it’s a great feeling when you hear that crisp and assertive “OBJECTION” or “TAKE THAT” ring through the virtual courtroom.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Collection-

The folks at Capcom have done yet another great job sprucing up the visuals, even more so when the series makes the jump to 3D with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice. The presentation is on point throughout the entire trilogy, which is exactly what you’re looking for with a visual novel.

Of course, that’s the only real negative you can take away from the Ace Attorney series, they are visual novels. The trilogy collection even gives you the option to switch off all the interactive elements and have the entire story play out automatically if you want to. It’s a nice option but I’m not sure why you’d want to when investigating and presenting evidence is most of the fun.

If you find visual novels boring this is definitely not going to be a game for you. While the gameplay can be engaging if you enjoy puzzle games or solving mysteries it does boil down to clicking on static images and listening to what’s said about them. This applies to the investigation side of the game and the courtroom side as well. It’s also incredibly dialogue-heavy, though luckily you can tamper with the text speed to ensure the text moves as slowly or quickly as you’d like it to.

Again these aren’t really bad things, it just depends on the type of game you like to play. Ace Attorney games do appeal to a very niche audience and if this is your first one then it’s important to know what you’ll be in for to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

The other thing is there obviously isn’t much in the way of replay value. Once you’ve played through the games you’ll know exactly who’s done what and why they’ve done it. There are obviously plenty of hoops to jump through before you find this information out, but once you’ve beaten the games there isn’t much to bring you back for a second playthrough, other than just really enjoying the story and the characters. That being said the length of each game provides more than enough content before you roll the credits so getting from start to finish should keep you occupied for a while, unless you’re already a master detective/lawyer.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Collection-

Overall, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy delivers exactly what it’s supposed to, updated versions of some brilliant narrative-adventure/puzzle games. For longtime fans of the series, or those who’ve only just collected their Attorney's badge, it’ll bring you hours and hours of court case fun and introduce you to a wonderful world of characters and stories. The only objection is there isn’t more of it, but we’re bound to get another Phoenix Wright adventure starring all of his associates later down the line.

Pros: Comedic and intriguing stories/characters, interesting puzzle/detective gameplay, gorgeous visuals

Cons: Appeals to a niche audience, not much in terms of replay value

For Fans Of: Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Professor Layton, visual novel games

7/10: Very Good

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy will release on 25 January 2024 for PC, PlayStation 5 (version tested) PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Review code was provided by Capcom. Read a guide to our review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Capcom

Topics: Capcom, Xbox, PlayStation, PC, Nintendo