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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Review

Why did we have to wait just over two years for this? Objection!

Back in 2006 when Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (possibly the most unlikely success story we've ever seen) arrived on DS, it had something over and above what the original GBA version offered: a fifth case to solve - a bonus to celebrate the series moving onto Nintendo's new handheld and, more importantly, outside Japan.

Supposedly, this new case gave would-be defenders of justice a taste of what we could expect from the courtroom drama series in the future, offering as it did new features never seen in the game before. Fingerprint testing! Three-dimensional evidence examination! Full motion video! If that's what Capcom could add to a mere GBA port, imagine what the possibilities for a proper DS version!

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Stuck In A Rut

Over two years on then, Apollo Justice:

Ace Attorney (the first game in the series developed specifically for DS) has all these things... but the thing is, that's about it

on the new material front. Surprised? Disappointed? We know we were, even

if only a little.

Having waited ages and worked our way through the various GBA-to-DS remakes, the third of which still isn't even out in Europe yet, we'd have hoped for something more than just a few admittedly-great ideas pumped into the original formula. But, no; the judge is still bald and dumb, the courtroom still several tones of brown and everything from the court record graphics to the green font used for the on-screen text is exactly the same as it ever was. Damn it.

Is all this a tad too negative perhaps, considering the positive score below then? Most likely, yes, which makes this the perfect point to insert the phrase 'rant over' into the review. Yes, so we're a little sad that Apollo Justice barely tweaks the formula but for all its lack of progress, this is still undoubtedly the best example of what the Ace Attorney series has to offer.

Order In Court

The writing (of which there's absolutely loads) is just as tight and funny as it's ever been, the various cases (of which there are only four, sadly) offer more unexpected twists than riding a rollercoaster blindfolded and the characters are all nicely fleshed out with plenty of depth. There's also improvements on the technical front with some polished animations.

As you might expect, it's the new elements that increase the amount of thought needed to solve each case. Okay, so maybe they're not used to the extent we'd hoped for but combined with the

new method of picking up on when the witnesses are lying (detailed in the panel above), they make Apollo Justice more than just your average text-based adventure.

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Of course, there are still hurdles that would-be players will have to overcome, such as a few instances of awkward logic which can leave you slightly clueless as to what to try next and the linear plot advancement means there's only ever one answer to any one problem, regardless of whatever wild theories you come up with.

Regardless though, Apollo Justice is definitely one DS game for the cerebral crowd, perfect for those who enjoyed the likes of Another Code and Hotel Dusk. It may sound weird considering the negative tone of this review, but Apollo Justice is still well worth your time... providing you've got enough time to invest

Comments

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  1. sonicboom 60 Thursday 8th May 2008 at 13:16

    I havent ever tried an Ace Attorney game before but this game looks really good from as far as i can see and if you say its challenging then I'm up for it. :D :!:

  2. LuigiWare Thursday 8th May 2008 at 13:56

    I really loved this game, but I can see what you're talking about. For a game designed completely for DS the differences between the GBA ports and this were minuscule.

    Trials and Tribulations still remains the best attorney game.

  3. MailToad94 Thursday 8th May 2008 at 15:29

    I don't see what the problem is?

    This game is as fun as all the other Ace Attorney games (except maybe Trials and Tribulations which Capcom stupidly hasn't released in Europe yet :?).

    Even if you expected more from it there still isnt any reason to give it a significantly lower score than the others, since it's as fun if not even more fun than some of them.

  4. tomonm Thursday 8th May 2008 at 16:27

    I don't see what the problem is?

    This game is as fun as all the other Ace Attorney games (except maybe Trials and Tribulations which Capcom stupidly hasn't released in Europe yet :?).

    Even if you expected more from it there still isnt any reason to give it a significantly lower score than the others, since it's as fun if not even more fun than some of them.

    Actually we gave Phoenix Wright 81% so this hasn't got a significantly lower score at all...

    There is something to be said though for criticising a game for not moving forward.

  5. Bretteh Thursday 8th May 2008 at 16:57

    But doesn't this game finally put DS interactivity in properly something only the first game had (and it was only in one case that time).

    I mean if you want to talk about not going forward just look at the likes of Mario Kart.

    I have been waiting for a game to enjoy on my DS for a while and it seems I should have it soon. the Ace Attorney games always offer fantastic fun.

  6. master dingley Thursday 8th May 2008 at 21:15

    really want this game, but as I;ve said a number of time, I won't buy it till I get PW3 :/

    even if do love Ema Skye to an extreme :P

  7. Wengle Friday 9th May 2008 at 06:27

    This game is worth it for the 4th case alone!
    4 of the most epic cases in the series, full the most logical plot twists ever!
    I agree that there should be 5th one, but its a wonderful game.
    93% ;D

    Also, you can't criticize this for being "no different to the other ones" and not criticize/lower the pokemon games' scores.

  8. Canadian Saturday 10th May 2008 at 17:44

    I don't care if this game isn't as 'progressed' as everyone hoped it would be. The Phoenix Wright series rocked, and I don't expect anything less than the same amount of awesomeness from Apollo Justice. Even if the old crew won't be in it. :( But whatever!

    I don't see what the big deal is! I'm not really fussed about the technology. It's the characters, the humor and the story line that I love.

    I think people should quit being so harsh and just enjoy the good stuff. Especially as there isn't that much of it these days. Well... that is, if you ignore the fact that Nintendo actually exists.

    Basically, I reckon we should appreciate the entire series and the miracle that Nintendo is.

  9. DarkAce Monday 12th May 2008 at 16:37

    With Pokemon D/P, I remember it's only -Point was that it was too much like the others in the series. You said that was ok and you shouldn't change a winning formula.

    I don't see why you marked it down on being the same and if you expected it to move forward from a GBA port, those ports were brilliant, better than lots that comes out now.

    Meh, in my head it'll still be worth 96%...

  10. Kefka Monday 12th May 2008 at 17:59

    I still don't understand why this is seeing a European release before Trials & Tribulations. That game was released in the US ages ago, so they've had plenty of time to translate and release it here whilst still having enough breathing space between it and Apollo Justice. I mean, are we even getting it at all? :/

  11. princesspeachy Monday 12th May 2008 at 20:38

    I love this game, there's so many twists and turns you suspect everyone at one point. I love the way that you can use the DS touch screen for different stuff. I've not played any other games in the series so I can't really compare.

    Awesome game, only thing that annoys me is Trucy.

  12. ninjadibble Saturday 17th May 2008 at 12:22

    woot im getting it tomorrow for my b-day and i have been waiting for too long. I heard there was a wii version in te works is this true?

  13. superior elflord Tuesday 10th Jun 2008 at 19:37

    :lol: this is a well good game i rate it 93% it is quite hard though but definately worth a go

  14. Anonymous Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 11:42

    I got this last week, I completed it in 3 days.. It's too short man! Although, the score should be at least 90%!

  15. Rnald Sunday 17th Aug 2008 at 12:05

    Yeah, its a great game.

    I havent played any of the previous games in the series or any games similar to this at all but I quickly got into it and its fantastic.

    Great twists, Great Difficulty, Great 3D, I could go on.

    92% - Hardly a fault in it.

  16. Toman Friday 22nd Oct 2010 at 14:11

    This game is worth it for the 4th case alone!
    4 of the most epic cases in the series, full the most logical plot twists ever!
    I agree that there should be 5th one, but its a wonderful game.
    93% ;D

    Also, you can't criticize this for being "no different to the other ones" and not criticize/lower the pokemon games' scores.


    OBJECTION!
    Sorry to tel you,but...
    (Desk Slam)
    Pokemon IS criticized for being the same! Read or listen to any other reveiw (Like GAMESMASTER) outside Pokemon World and ONM and you'd find that pokemon is heavily criticized for being the same... even more so that Wright. But at least they introduce new regions, Pokemon and features every generation.

  17. Toman Friday 22nd Oct 2010 at 14:13

    I don't care if this game isn't as 'progressed' as everyone hoped it would be. The Phoenix Wright series rocked, and I don't expect anything less than the same amount of awesomeness from Apollo Justice. Even if the old crew won't be in it. :( But whatever!

    I don't see what the big deal is! I'm not really fussed about the technology. It's the characters, the humor and the story line that I love.

    I think people should quit being so harsh and just enjoy the good stuff. Especially as there isn't that much of it these days. Well... that is, if you ignore the fact that Nintendo actually exists.

    Basically, I reckon we should appreciate the entire series and the miracle that Nintendo is.

    Why does Pokemon not get this kind of support every time on is realeased!?!

  18. luke layton Friday 31st Dec 2010 at 16:57

    This game is worth it for the 4th case alone!
    4 of the most epic cases in the series, full the most logical plot twists ever!
    I agree that there should be 5th one, but its a wonderful game.
    93% ;D

    Also, you can't criticize this for being "no different to the other ones" and not criticize/lower the pokemon games' scores.


    agreed

  19. zapper01 Monday 29th Aug 2011 at 14:15

    This is my first ace attorney game (other than Miles Edgeworth) and I love it. It's a lot longer than I expected. I like Apollo a lot more than Phoenix. I don't really like the detective bits though, It has a huge lack of direction and I'm often left wondering what to do next, checking out every possible place I can visit.

  20. Xenobladeperson Saturday 19th May 2012 at 19:51

    I don't care if you do think it's better, I stand by the original. (Even if I haven't played any others)

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