Review: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney–with BONUS!

APOLLO BOXVideo games allow us to try out all sorts of occupations.  A brave explorer, a criminal, master surgeon, or princess-saving plumber.  But only one game series lets you be a…lawyer?  The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series has delighted Nintendo DS gamers with three great titles.  Now for the fourth game, there’s a new attorney in town.  Can Apollo Justice prove that he’s got the Wright stuff?

Set seven years after the events in the first three Ace Attorney games, Apollo Justice is a fresh, up and coming lawyer who must prove his clients innocent of murder.  To do this, players go through two phases in each case.  In the Investigation phase, collect clues and evidence by talking to people and examining the crime scene.  Then in the Court Trial phases, use those clues and evidence to prove that the murder witnesses are lying and/or mistaken (don’t worry, the game won’t let you skip any important clues that you will use later).

Apollo Justice has some new tricks up his sleeve to help him aid his clients.  The first three Phoenix Wright games were originally for the Game Boy Advance in Japan, but this fourth game was made specifically for the DS, so you use more of the system’s capabilities.  Use the touch screen and blow into the microphone to dust for fingerprints and other types of forensic science.  Apollo also has a special power that lets him perceive when someone is lying.  When this happens, players must find the nervous tick or habit that shows the witness isn’t telling the truth.

Fans who have played the first three Ace Attorney games will be able to jump right into this one, as the controls are exactly the same.  Think of it as a point and click adventure game using the DS stylus and touch screen.  Even if you haven’t played an Ace Attorney game before, leaning is very easy.  Though knowledge of the past games is recommended, as characters from the past series show up now and then, including Phoenix Wright himself.

Apollo Justice is very cartoony and presented in an anime comic book style.  Because of this, there is quite a bit of humor and things that would NEVER happen in a real court of law.  But that’s okay, because the game is still pretty darn fun!


Kid Factor:

This game gets a T for Teen rating, and rightfully so.  While there are no acts of violence, players do see cartoon blood and dead bodies at the murder scenes.  Mild suggestive themes involving a panty thief show up, too.  Strong reading comprehension skills are a must, in fact, pretty much the whole game is nothing but reading text.  Also, just like the other games, there is only one save file, which makes it difficult for families who want to share the game.  Even so, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is great for older gamers.

And now, a bonus top five list!


Cary’s Top Five Favorite Phoenix Wright Characters
Right now I’m knee deep in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney for the DS, and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s pretty much just more of the same from the first three games, and it’s also more or less just an interactive story book, but it’s still pretty darn fun! Since all the games are pretty much the same, the main draw of the experience has to be all the likeable and charming cast of characters. So here are my top five favorite characters from the Phoenix Wright games:

1. The Blue Badger
Well, the Blue Badger is really more of an inanimate object rather than a character, and he’s not even a badger at all, but I like him anyway. He’s the police mascot who gains popularity over the series of games. He’s a little more creepy than cute, but that’s what I like about him. The Blue Badger even plays a crazy, yet important role in the 5th bonus case in the first Phoenix Wright game, and it’s hilarious!

2. Detective Gumshoe
Gumshoe is my favorite actual REAL character. He’s the detective in the Criminal Affairs Dept. and he always messes things up, makes mistakes, and is always down on his luck. But he never gives up! And his theme song is awesome. I’m glad they gave him a lady friend in the third game (though I saw it coming in the second). I miss Gumshoe not being in Apollo Justice. Detective Ema Skye just isn’t as cool at all.

3. Phoenix Wright
Normally I don’t like the main characters in games. I enjoy Mario games, but I’m not a very big fan of Mario himself. I much prefer the side characters like Toad, Luigi, Wario, or Peach. And while I can’t stand Sonic, I like the side characters such as Tails and Big the Cat. So it’s a little unusual for me to like Phoenix Wright, the title character. I like how Phoenix is always clueless and bemused and aloof about everything. He kind of has to be like that for a reason. Since you play AS him, he can’t know what to do because it’s up to you to do that. But I like how the writers kind of played up on Phoenix’s carefree nature in the text. Plus it’s kind of neat how Capcom made a hero out of a profession that is usually the butt of many a joke. And in Apollo Justice, I like that Phoenix has an adopted daughter. He’s a Gamer Dad, too!

4. Mia Fey
She’s Phoenix’s boss and mentor until after the very first case. But even though she goes away in the second case, she’s always with Phoenix in ‘spirit.’ Though sometimes, the ways she makes herself known is a little DISTURBING! At any rate, she was such a strong character in the first case, it was a big surprise to me that they got rid of her like that in the second case. I like how in the third game, there are some cases where you play as a young Mia. I think it would be neat to have a whole Ace Attorney game where you can play as Mia and join in on her early lawyer adventures.

5. Maya Fey
She’s Mia’s younger sister who forever joins Phoenix as a sidekick after the second case of the first game. She’s a little over-enthusiastic about everything, so I gave her the nickname “Scrappy Doo.” Maya’s a central part of the story, and while she may be annoying at times, any part of the games where Maya’s not around, something seems amiss.

Runners Up:
The prosecuting attorneys provide some good rivalry for our lawyer heroes, and while most people perfer Miles Edgeworth, he’s a little too whiny and emo for me. And aside from his coffee obsession, Godot wasn’t that interesting either. My favorite of the prosecutors was actually Franziska von Karma (I just call her Fran). She was as mean and calculating as her father, but she also had a whip! Yeah I know you can’t have a whip in a real courtroom, but you have to maintain a sense of disbelief in the Phoenix Wright world. It’s the only way you’ll enjoy the games. Plus I liked Fran’s ice blue hair. Jeff’s favorite Phoenix character is the Steel Samurai, a fictional TV kids show character. He has an awesome theme song. I WANT A STEEL SAMURAI RING TONE LIKE PHOENIX HAS FOR HIS CELL PHONE! Other minor characters I like are Maya’s little cousin Pearl and Gumshoe’s lady friend Maggey.

No Responses to “Review: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney–with BONUS!”

  1. i really like apollo but i thought it was lame when he turned out to be trucy’s brother.
    and it made me really sad that phoenix lost his job. but i havent finished the game yet though, but im just finishing the last testimony.

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