foxxfireart's Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (Nintendo DS) review

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Verdict: Guilty of Loving this Game!!

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

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ESRB Rating: Teen
Case No.: 4
The next stage in the crime solving court series has taken the ever-lovin' Phoenix Wright out of the defender's podium and thrust a new hero into the court room by the name of Apollo Justice. Something drastic has taken place in the Ace Attorney world, and it's up to you to solve this mystery one case at a time.
By Apollo's side will be a new assistant in Trucy Wright, Phoenix's daughter; and the police's latest forensic expert, Ema Skye.
First off for this review, I would like to apologize for the lack of variety in the images. I normally like to add more pictures in the reviews I write, but I was restricted by what Giant Bomb had available for this game. I really don't know how people get video or screenshots off their DS.

The Good

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I can certainly say that as a mystery lover, and Ace Attorney series fan, 'I loved this game!'. It felt so odd to play as a new hero in the series, and the name of the series changed so drastically. Phoenix Wright goes from being out of the loop on most things to in on everything big in this installment of the series. You do get to play as Phoenix in one case, but that's more of a flashback to events.

The story is extremely engaging. The cast is quirky and, as with all the previous games, you can get quite a few laughs. Without spoiling anything, the story is quite deep. Every case you work on will often lead back to the greater mystery surrounding Apollo. One of the best twists most probably wont even see coming until the very end. It's very engaging.
The final case seems to rip out of the entire formula for the game and throws you into something different, but it all pays off in the end. I'm not going to lie. The ending does leave you thinking that some things were needlessly left open, but there is hope that these could get tied up in a future release.
Stands to reason with a new lead we would get a new power. To replace the Psyche-Lock system is a new ability called Perceive. The Perceive system works pretty well. You will be able to see when the option is available during testimonies in court. You touch the bracelet on the screen, then it's up to you to figure out which part of the testimony the witness it lying about. Often times these changes in characters can be very subtle. I would never spoil, but just think about all the things a person would normally do when they are nervous. Sort of akin seeing a person's tell in poker. Once you find that person's tell everything will go into a trance. It will come to you to confront this person and use your evidence to expose their lie. This ability, sadly, never makes it's way outside of the court testimonies the way the Psyche-Locks did in the past.

One of the biggest additions to the series is the added ability to use forensic equipment. From dusting prints, to spraying luminol. This doesn't really come into play until the second case, and it's oddly restricted. In each case you never use the same tools twice.

The Bad

Game play wise, something I didn't like was how restrictive the forensic tools were to use. You only really get around to using one or two in a case and you will not see them again. You are restricted to whatever tools your friendly neighborhood forensic scientist, Ema Skye, permits you to use. That is when she's not chucking snack food at you.  
It never makes a lot of sense later on why you can't use them. When you find a gun or switch in your evidence. You may want to dust for prints, but that was only used in a past case. They don't even try to explain why. When you do get to dust for prints it's always painfully obvious who's they are, and it's never surprising. Even if you dust for prints and nothing comes out of it. It would of bee fun just to do it.
One of the biggest story negatives I can attribute to this game has to be in a lack of explaining some backstory. At least if you are a long time fan. You might not care so much if this is your first Ace Attorney game. I have played all the Phoenix Wright games that preceded this one, and it was filled with important characters to Phoenix that pretty much disappeared with no explanation. No mention at all of what became of ever loyal Maya Fey of her diminutive cousin Pearl. In their place we are introduced to Phoenix Wright's 'daughter', Trucy. You will have to play the game to figure out what she's all about.
I also wouldn't suggest dropping these games for any prolonged period of time if you are in the middle of a case. That can be a little demanding to have that much free time.

Verdict 4.5/5

If you aren't adverse to LOTs of text reading, and really enjoy a good murder mystery. I can highly recommend this game. It was disappointing that the tools of the game are never really explored more, but perhaps they can work out more to do in future games. I'm hoping to see more of Ema Skye in the future. For this game I have no Objection!!
I'd rate this an easy 4.5 out of 5.

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