Game Guys review - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

9:07 PM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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  • Nintendo 3DS game 'Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies' from Capcom.
  • Nintendo 3DS game 'Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies' from Capcom.

Ace Attorney fans should have little objection with Capcom's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies for the Nintendo 3DS.

Making its series debut on the 3DS, PWAADD literally takes the franchise into a new dimension.  The fifth installment in the courtroom video game series that dates back to 2001 on the Game Boy Advance, Phoenix Wright once again takes the spotlight along with his eccentric team of legal experts.  One such expert, in fact, is new and brings with her her own gameplay-altering ability in the form of the "mood matrix".

Overall, gameplay is exactly as one would expect for an Ace Attorney game.  Witnesses, plaintiffs, and the like take the stand to give their accounts in regards to the case at hand.  It's up to Wright then to examine the testimonies and the case's supporting evidence to discover the truth.  This time around, however, there's more to it than just a well timed "Objection" shouted towards the judge - And that's where the mood matrix comes into play.

The mood matrix is a gameplay mechanic new to the Ace Attorney series.  It highlights the key aspects of a person's mood (ie: happiness, fear) and works alongside testimonies to add an extra layer to what those on the stand are saying.  For example, the player might raise an eyebrow if a person is showing hints of happiness while giving testimony in regards to witnessing somebody getting injured.  It's almost as if the game is giving players the ability to read not just what the game's characters are saying but the characters themselves.

One weakness that the Ace Attorney franchise has always suffered from is its lineality.  There is ultimately only one way to solve a case and ultimately only one ending to achieve.  Because of that, there is not a huge replay value for those with a halfway-decent memory.  Thankfully, cases can take upwards of a few hours to complete meaning that the content that is there is quite robust.  Players should enjoy combing over the evidence and dissecting testimonies as they work to uncover the truth of the matter so that justice may prevail.  PWAADD is one of those titles in which players will find a good amount of satisfaction at the end of each segment of a job well done.

Presentation-wise, the game made a fine leap into the 3D arena.  The transition from 2D manga-style artwork to 3D anime-like sprites proved to be a successful one.  Furthermore, the addition of 3D gives the courtroom a much more immersive presentation and allows for some nifty new tricks when examining evidence and crime scenes.  Furthermore, the soundtrack is pleasant and helps to carry things along.

All-in-all, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is a fine addition to the 12-year-old video game franchise.  Those worrying that it making the leap from 2D to 3D would change things for the worse have nothing to fret about.  The game is just as enjoyable as the previous ones in the series.  In short, if you've liked any of the previous four Ace Attorney games then you should like PWAADD just fine.  If you haven't played any of them, this is as good an edition as any to give it a try.

22/25 22/25 20/25 14/25 24/25 88/100

Version tested: 3DS

(Capcom supplied a copy of this game for review.)

See how what our review scores mean and how the math adds up.


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