Dramatic Finger-Pointing Returns!
Unlike the previous titles though, you won't be in court for most of the game. The focus of this one is to be more about the investigations. That seems like a wild change, but in practice it actually doesn't change much at all. You still question characters in the same fashion as you would in the courtrooms of the other Ace Attorney games. In fact you sometimes wonder why your suspects cooperate so much with their testimonies outside of a courtroom. There are no "Psyche-Locks" in this one, as there were in Phoenix Wright: Justice For All and Trials and Tribulations, and no "Perceiving" like in Apollo Justice. The last minor change is you do not have to Present character profiles to people as evidence, effectively lowering the difficulty of the Cross-Examinations as there is less evidence to deal with.
But that doesn't mean there isn't a new gameplay mechanic like the tradition has been in the series. The new mechanic here is "Logic". Sometimes instead of collecting an evidence piece, you take down a mental note of the crime scene which then gets filed in the "Logic" tab of your screen. When you have enough Logic pieces, you can connect them to form theories about how the murder actually went down. Once you do this, you may get one of your evidence pieces modified to reflect how you think the murder occurred. Or it might further the game onto the next investigation site. It compliment's Miles Edgeworth's character quite well as he is all about calculations before hand to perfect his prosecutions as opposed to the reckless style of Phoenix Wright, and is fun to use as well.
As with most Ace Attorney games, the dialogue is what you're going to spend the most time looking at. There is boatloads of text in this game, and you'll need to be paying attention to it almost constantly as there will be important clues and such in the dialogue. The writing holds up pretty well through the translation and even has renamed characters from the Japanese version. All of which are supposed to make the characters more relatable, and it does a pretty good job of doing that. The returning characters and handful of new characters are all well designed and enjoyable. My favorite being Agent Lang who likes to quote proverbs from a fictional "Lang Zi" relating to "the pack" and make sounds like a wolf.
It has a potentially frustrating factor though, that limits it from being a 5 out of 5. And that is the way some of the the testimonies play out. For example, you might know how a murder went down from looking at all the evidence you collected, but the game requires you to present it in a very specific way that may not seem obvious to you right away. Which can be frustrating when you know what is going on, but can't explain it the way you want to. But it doesn't ever seem totally unreasonable. It just isn't going to be as clear to some players as to what evidence you're supposed to present when. And you can "fail" in this game. You have a life bar that depletes if you choose to present the wrong evidence, although you can save the game at anytime as long as you "Save and Quit" assuming you want to boot the game back up.
All in all it's a fun experience for those craving that CSI style adventure game with tons of anime-style dialogue. The characters are a lot of fun and play their roles well. And the gameplay, while not being really any different from the previous games, is still fun even if you never set foot in a courtroom. If you are a fan of Ace Attorney, you can't go wrong with this one. But new players might be turned away by its slow pace and occasionally awkward logic with the evidence.