Ace Attorney Trilogy – As We Play

Capcom found a really unique niche with Phoenix Wright and his band of merry attorneys. Starting life as a Nintendo exclusive, the original games recently saw life on mobile appstores for the first time to much critical acclaim. But while we love the fact that more people are finally getting to play these great games, us loyal fans have been wanting something else from Capcom (apart from more instalments from Phoenix, Ace, Edgeworth and the gang) and that’s updates of the original games on newer platforms.

Guess what? We got our wish. Over the Christmas period, Ace Attorney Trilogy popped up for download on the eShop and everything was suddenly right again with the world. For the budget price of £25, you’ll get the three original Phoenix Wright games, including Ace Attorney, Justice for All and Trials and Tribulations with newer, spiffier graphics, sexier soundbytes and full stereoscopic 3D. Yum!

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You play a defense lawyer whose job it is to get prime suspects off the hook, proving their innocence by collecting clues and using evidence in court to counter the prosecution’s claims. Back in 2004, there was nothing like that on consoles. Phoenix really set off a trend that is still being replicated today, but unlike everything that has come along since, AA still has its own special brand of utterly outrageous and hilarious. Wright is full of infectious charm, wit, style and substance, with stories that go to some seriously crazy, unorthodox places that will stick in your memory for years to come. Therefore it’s perhaps unsurprising that, more than ten years on, these games still hold up as well as they did when they first launched.

I’ve played the first case through countless times and I still smile at the same lines. I still find myself completely hooked to my 3DS screen. I still refuse to skip over a single paragraph.

Over the last few years, if there’s one thing all these remakes and re-imaginings have proven to us, it’s that some games just aren’t as good as we remember them, or they may have been good at the time, but they aren’t a good fit for today’s market. Ace Attorney Trilogy definitely does not fall into that category. In fact, I have more respect for its stability and lasting power now than I did when I first experienced it.

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So why should existing owners invest? For one thing, the 3D feature works wonderfully, especially with cut-scenes. The court-room sections don’t have the full 3D effect that Dual Destinies launched with a few years back, and, as expected, the character models are very 2D and essentially identical to the ones seen on the DS version, but when the comic-book narration unfurls, the case really does come to life and especially on a larger 3DS screen, the Ace Attorney cases are an absolute pleasure to watch.

It’s a game that anyone can play. I gave the original to my mother as a Christmas present this year as she’d long been into the Professor Layton titles, but wanted a new challenge. She’s been hooked ever since and gradually making her way through the cases, already looking ahead to the other games. It’s a great sense of pride that leads me to recommending these games to other people and it’s absolutely yet another reason to put money down and buy this essential handheld platform.

Finally, at that budget price, you’re getting so much compelling content. With roughly 6 major cases in each game, there’s a lot to get through, but very rarely does any of it feel filler’ish or padded out. And every character is a charm, whether you’re going head to head with Detective Gumshoe as he doesn’t want you interfering with a crime scene or you’re listening to the cryptic musings of Mia Fey, people are always engaging and cases are always interesting, be it because they’re bat-shit crazy or full-on entertaining.

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The Good Stuff

  • Super graphics
  • Compelling stories
  • Great characters
  • Excellent value for money

The Bad Stuff

  • Doesn’t take full advantage of 3DS capabilities and perhaps isn’t the huge upgrade some might have wanted.

Final Analysis

I have zero OBJECTION recommending these incredible games to any one. So if you’ve been seeing these games mentioned and chosen to HOLD IT when it comes to buying them, then I’d strongly urge you to take the plunge as this 3DS version is unquestionably the best way to experience these exemplary releases.

Technical Competency – 10/10

Graphical Quality – 8/10

Entertainment value – 9/10

Sound quality – 9/10

Overall Quality Grade – 9/10

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is the founder and editor of Expansive. He is also the Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the last six years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,

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