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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review

Edited by: Jade Swann

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy was developed and published by Capcom. The visual-novel-like courtroom adventure isn’t a “new” game of course, but a packaged deal of three previous Phoenix Wright games that were originally released for the Game Boy Advance.

Much anticipated by fans, this port does its best in order to recreate the experience that gained the Phoenix Wright titles such a cult following in the first place: by providing a gripping and fast-paced courtroom experience with some added drama for good measure.

PORTING THE EXPERIENCE

As this is not a native PC game, some issues are to be expected, and indeed, they become apparent as soon as Ace Attorney Trilogy launches. The resolution is incredibly low, and for monitors with higher refresh rates, the game can appear sped up. The title also struggles to properly recognize additional GPUs if they come alongside an integrated graphics chip. For less-than-tech-savvy users, this means that these issues could severely impact the playthrough experience, though they are all fixable one way or another.

Something else that affects the overall experience is the incredibly lean options section. The lack of text speed options and similar things like text size feel a bit lacking compared to similarly text-heavy titles.

THE CASE OF THE ROOKIE ATTORNEY

Our protagonist, Phoenix Wright, has a somewhat unusual entrance to the legal world in that his first few cases are all very closely centered around people he knows. Still, he manages to win them of course, assuming you can correctly lead him through the investigation, cross-examination, and more. The beginning is a little slow-paced, but once the first case really gets going, things speed up well enough.

For fans already familiar with the series, there is nothing new here. This trilogy is quite literally a repackaging of three previously released titles. Don’t grab it expecting never-before-seen trials, if you are familiar with the original games. If you aren’t familiar, or if you don’t mind replaying them, the cases in the trilogy are fun, gripping, dramatic, and more than a little wild — exactly what we wish real court was like!

COURT IMITATES LIFE

Perhaps the most standout aspect of this title is the stellar writing. Both during the cases and during the investigative parts, the dialogue and scene-work is spectacular. Funny puns, interesting multiple-choice options during decisions, and all-out great characters and conversations make for one hell of a ride in the courtroom.

Even when things go wrong, they go great. Being a novice attorney, our protagonist has the occasional mishap along the way, and even when the judge has to set things straight, Ace Attorney Trilogy is good for a laugh.

Every once in a while, you are slow-walked to “epiphanies” and discoveries are spoon-fed to you. That said, the plot twists and story developments are as gripping as they are believable. While I'm not outright saying I agree with the decisions made, I can certainly understand a great deal of them — at least those of the less “unusual” characters… and there are plenty of those!

THE SOUND OF NOSTALGIA

In any game, the music, voice acting, sound effects, and more heavily contribute to the atmosphere and immersion of the experience, and while the Ace Attorney Trilogy isn’t about to get a Grammy for its dapper showtunes, the upbeat melodies from its Game Boy Advance days actually work surprisingly well to create a fun atmosphere for the courtroom. The lack of voice acting does feel a little stale during longer conversations, but the gripping writing usually makes up for it well enough. Considering Ace Attorney Trilogy’s humble origins, it’s no surprise that there is no voice acting here, but it would have really rounded off an otherwise great audio experience.

6

The Verdict: Good

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy and its very wordy title are a successful port to PC. There are some aspects in which it falls short of expectations — that is to say, the lack of text speed options for example, as well as the complete lack of voice acting — but the amazing storytelling, whacky murder plots, and overall hijinks all make it a must-play experience for fans. Just beware that if you’ve played the titles on any of the previous platforms, you already know who did it and why, as the plot is exactly the same as it was in the original games.

See About Us to learn how we score

Melanie Hawthorne
Written by
Tuesday, 07 May 2019 06:24
Published in Adventure

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Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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