Title: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Audience: PEGI 12
Release Date: 09.04.19
Price: £26.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title. Currently on offer for £18.99
“The classic courtroom adventure series that has sold over 6.7 million copies worldwide is finally here. Become Phoenix Wright and experience the thrill of battle as you fight to save your innocent clients in a court of law. Play all 14 episodes, spanning the first three games, in one gorgeous collection. Solve the intriguing mysteries behind each case and witness the final truth for yourself!”
TAKE THIS! Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the classic courtroom visual novel, all about a rookie defence attorney, has managed to make its way onto the current generation of consoles. The important question to ask: Does this game guilty of being an overpriced cash grab or does it prove that there is still enjoyment in this port of the original trilogy? Let’s find out.
I must make an admission before I start with the review. I am a massive fan of the series and have played and completed the original trilogy of games on numerous occasions, spanning multiple different handheld generations, including the DS and iPhone ports. When Capcom released the announcement trailer that they were remastering the trilogy for the current generation of consoles, I was beyond excited to get the chance to play these again, with an updated graphics style.
Capcom has been on a bit of a resurgence recently, with titles such as Monster Hunter World and Resident Evil 2 Remake gaining good favour with gamers. Has Capcom managed to retain these forward momentum with Ace Attorney Trilogy? The short answer to this question is yes, but with a caveat.
Due to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy being a visual novel, gameplay can be minimal and simplistic. During investigations, you are tasked with walking around crime scenes, asking witnesses’ questions and examining the area for clues and generally trying to uncover the mystery. During these moments, it feels like you are essentially taking on the role of a detective, much like Sherlock Holmes.
However, these sections are bolstered with the courtroom sections, where you have to use all your knowledge and evidence you have gathered during your investigation to find the contradictions in witness testimony. While the investigation sections are enjoyable in their own right, the courtroom sections are the standout of this series, and where Phoenix Wright’s now iconic ‘Objection’ is used.
Usually, formatted that you have a witness that the Prosecution has put forward to prove their case of the defendant’s guilt, the statements will be filled with a contradictory statement. You are then tasked with either using the evidence you have gathered to prove the mistake or gap in the testimony or press them for more information to force them to contradict themselves.
However, this can come at a price. If you use the wrong evidence on the false statement, you will take a penalty. Five penalties against you will result in an automatic Guilty verdict, meaning a game over. The gameplay itself is incredibly engaging, high rewarding and simplistic. However, it’s the sort of game that requires you to continuously keep playing and not leave too long between play sessions, especially if you save in the middle of a case, as you can often forget where you may have left off.
The art style used has always been something that I have admired, with Capcom creating a very interesting art style. Most backgrounds are static, but the characters themselves animate very well, and are incredibly expressive, especially during the courtroom sections. Phoenix Wright, in particular, is incredibly expressive, with desk thumps in said courtroom sections, becoming a huge staple of the series.
Despite it being nearly 20 years old, it is still a beautiful looking game, with this HD remaster giving the visuals the HD upgrade. It’s slightly disappointing though, as it is starting to show its age in the audio. Despite using the updated soundtrack that appeared on the Nintendo DS versions, to have, what is essentially a 32-bit soundtrack on a modern console is unusual to hear. And with Capcom selling this game at a premium price of £26.99, you would have thought that they would have updated the soundtrack, possibly offering new remixes of these iconic tracks.
It’s not to the games determent, and it is just something that would have shown that Capcom was committed to making the best package possible with these re-releases. But I guess that’s the purpose of this Trilogy, it’s to make these games accessible to a new generation of players.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a challenging game to say you can very quickly go back and play again and again. This is mainly due in part to the fact that it is very much focused on its narrative to drive the game, and once you uncover the mystery, it loses its appeal. But this is difficult for me to say, as this is the 3rd time that I have played these games over the years. I find the gameplay itself utterly compelling enough to come back to every couple of years to replay them. While that might not be the case for everyone, the characters and gameplay still hold up very well and gives me more of an excuse to keep coming back to them.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is still an utter joy to play, helped by the fact that the gameplay itself hasn’t changed at all since 2001’s initial release on the Gameboy Advance in Japan. However, for the price you pay for this HD remaster, you would expect a little bit more to be done with this, except for just adding a slightly upgraded visual style and the ability to speed up the text boxes.
It helps that the story throughout the trilogy, while a bit silly at times, is utterly compelling and the characters involved in these stories, main and side characters, are incredibly memorable and deserve a place in gaming history. If you have never played these games, it is worth picking up this remastered package. However, if you have played these before and want to see what has changed with this version, it may be best to wait until a price drop.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy from the PlayStation Store using the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP0102-CUSA11512_00-AAT123FULLGAME00
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.