As I stated in my review of Case 1-5, Ace Attorney as a series is a game of archetypes; this entry is the main reason. There’s a Maya character, an Edgeworth character, and…there’s Ema. She transcends and brings her forensic experti….mini-games back for another few rounds. Even if the other main characters seem familiar it isn’t done in an insulting way and they are pleasantly enjoyable for what they are. I.e., comfortable, yet admittedly inferior imitations. The aesthetics are slightly different as well, but it is a bit strange to acknowledge this as I never got burnt out on the consistent art style of the main trilogy. Again, an ultimately welcome change. What isn’t inferior or comfortable, however, are the events comprising this new collection of trials. This outing gleams as it presents not only legal and social commentary but genuinely shocking and riveting happenings, one of which is most likely the biggest ‘whoa’ moment I’ve ever experienced in gaming.
While we’re given the chance to discuss this as a game, it’s worth noting that, on the whole, it plays like T&T, if Ema were around instead of Maya. For his part, Apollo brings a perception system whereby he’s able to notice the ticks and twitches of witnesses as they’re lying or being unforthcoming on the stand. As with most things here, it’s perfectly welcome if not something that necessarily puts me over the moon. Psyche-Locks are better.
In the end, this entry brought about in me two beliefs I have never wavered on: 1.) Hobo Phoenix is a magnetic and enigmatic evolution of the character and 2.) Apollo is a different enough protagonist at the center of his own strongly compelling maelstrom. These work together, in my mind, to justify my insistence that Apollo should have received the two sequels he was owed.
Based on some symbolism in the first trial, however, it now seems to me that at least some of the creative staff actually intended this to be an ending for the series, even if there are some infinitely tantalizing loose-ends and they did continue on with both Nick and Apollo. Think the ending credits to Iron Man 3. This, combined with my feelings about a decision made for Dual Destinies, makes me feel completely comfortable in saying that, for me, Ace Attorney concludes with this game.
Buyer's Guide: It's a DS Exclusive. Sadly, it hasn't gotten a Wii Ware release and isn't part of the Trilogy collection.
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