Nov 7, 2013Right off the bat I have to put this simply: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies is a pretty great game.
We're back at the Agency that got established by Phoenix and his new friends in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, almost a year after the events of said game to take on a few more trials. This time, Phoenix is back in the biz as a fully-fledged Attorney in his classic old blueRight off the bat I have to put this simply: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies is a pretty great game.
We're back at the Agency that got established by Phoenix and his new friends in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, almost a year after the events of said game to take on a few more trials. This time, Phoenix is back in the biz as a fully-fledged Attorney in his classic old blue suit, although he's a bit older now and looks not only bulkier but he got a tiny bit of makeover in this process as well. Fear not though, because he's as witty and comical as ever but aside from being back as a lawyer he's also the head of the Wright Anything Agency now, and has to watch over Apollo Justice and the newcomer of the firm, Athena Cykes who is also a defense attorney.
The game revolves around a story split into 5 episodes. During the course of the game you'll have to play as each of the three attorneys as they uncover a new mystery. Unfortunately though, playing as the other characters does make the story seem turbulent at times and in the end I found myself not feeling attached to either of the three characters as I previously would in either Apollo Justice or Phoenix Wright 1-3, heck even in the Edgeworth Investigations game.
Neither does it help that the story itself while initially interesting turns out to be a bit of a cop-out, and in the process it snatches ideas from previous cases from previous games, specifically the final cases of the first game and several from the others and uses those ideas to form mysteries or story bits in the story of Dual Destinies. At first this seemed like a homage to previous games, but in the end it was apparent so often that I found it to be cheap and predictable.
The writing however, is sharp, witty and most importantly often funny, a remarkable step upwards after the shallow Ace Attorney Investigations, but it's still not quite on par with some of the excellent writing found in just about any game written by series creator Shu Takumi. The tone in this game is not quite there, the themes doesn't delve as deep as they could and worst of all, the emotional moments of this game end up feeling more sappy than poignant. It's not that Dual Destinies doesn't make you feel something, but for me personally, I just didn't feel very immersed because there are moments when things get hilariously melodramatic (series staple) and there when it got outright disturbing, but there wasn't that point where it was just in between. This is something the new writing team just doesn't do as well as Shu Takumi can. The tone is inconsistent and the dialogue sometimes tries too hard to the point where it becomes pretentious, trying to "be" like the other games but comes off as a pale imitation.
The gameplay is your usual one. Episodes are usually split up into two days of investigation where you explore crimes scenes and talk to witnesses, and two days of Trial where you stand in court against a range of prosecutors, most notably the new rival staple of Dual Destinies, Simon Blackquill, who's yet another intimidating and manipulating "killer" of a prosecutor. He's actually one of the most memorable characters in the game. But things are mostly as you expect them to be. You go through a witness' testimony and present evidence to point out contradictions. A new feature added in however is the "Mood Matrix" which is captained by Athena Cykes, and is a means to explore the witnesses's emotions and find missing parts of their testimony. As a gameplay mechanic this falters as there is no way to lose when you use it, but it serves very well as a story-mechanic. So many of the game's twists and revelations are found through this mechanic and it truly makes for some of those "a-ha!" moments that we know and love about Ace Attorney. It's a fresh new thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if it got the kick in the next game since it's overall too simple.
Last but not least is the presentation. It's just excellent. Take out your 3DS (if you have one) and get the demo immediately or buy the game if you're going to anyway, and just observe the visual qualities for 10 seconds. You will be sold guaranteed. It's probably the most significant transition from classic 2D to 3D sprites I have seen in any franchise, and I could never go back. This time around, there's also anime cutscenes with fully voiced characters. Unfortunately these often feel tacked on and the English voice-acting is cringe-worthy if occasionally smirk-inducing in the good way. The music is also excellent, but to be honest it mostly sat in the background for me, and there's a noticeable misuse of some tracks that just play far too often than others, making it monotone at worst.
But overall, if you've played an Ace Attorney game before you SHOULD play Dual Destinies, even if you just "know" the franchise but haven't tried it yet. For the playability the game is the best of the bunch, and it's enjoyable, even when the story feels template-cut.… Expand
Sep 28, 2014If there is a games, that I do not wanted ever to be released, it is Apollo justice and dual destinies. Why? Because the story is perfectly ended in the Trials and Tribulations, and Instead to finish it, developers decided to make a new once with new characters and features.
First of all, I was very disappointed seeing a new technology in this game. It is not a type that needed a newIf there is a games, that I do not wanted ever to be released, it is Apollo justice and dual destinies. Why? Because the story is perfectly ended in the Trials and Tribulations, and Instead to finish it, developers decided to make a new once with new characters and features.
First of all, I was very disappointed seeing a new technology in this game. It is not a type that needed a new graphics and anime cutscenes. But the most disappointing thing is a new characters. No matter how developers will try to shoehorn them, they are no match for the old ones. May be I am sceptical, but it is hurts to see that Phoenix treats his apprentices like Fey sisters.
As you may guess, the gameplay has not changed a bit. It is still the same, with a little new features.
Overall, I wish I could not ever know about this two series ever existed, because after the ending of the original trilogy, the turn of events in these games had disappointed me very much.… Expand
Dec 10, 2013Great story with surprising plot twists, catchy and memorable soundtrack, however, cut-scenes had poor voice acting and there is WAY too much dialogue. Compared to previous games in the series, this one has the most dialogue to read. Yes, there is a lot of humour in the game but most of the dialogue is irrelevant and slows down the pace of the game e.g. "Haaaaaaaaaaaagh". It took aboutGreat story with surprising plot twists, catchy and memorable soundtrack, however, cut-scenes had poor voice acting and there is WAY too much dialogue. Compared to previous games in the series, this one has the most dialogue to read. Yes, there is a lot of humour in the game but most of the dialogue is irrelevant and slows down the pace of the game e.g. "Haaaaaaaaaaaagh". It took about 15minutes until the first cross examination began, even though we are now given the ability to fast forward dialogue (in previous games, text could be skipped only after seeing it at least once) it still takes a while until the player can do something. It would be nice to have the option to skip dialogue completely, it wouldn't matter as I skimmed through more than half of the text, yet still understood the plot. Overall I felt that the experience made it a fine Ace Attorney game, but certainly not worth the $40 it cost to download it.… Expand
Mar 18, 2014By far the worst game in the series. While the story is good, the gameplay had been butchered, and it's pathetically easy. There is no fun in pointing out problems in testimonies when it's **** obvious what the contradiction is. Plus they're pretty much scared to hand out penalties, even though it doesn't matter considering that 90% of the time a 3 year old could figure out what the answerBy far the worst game in the series. While the story is good, the gameplay had been butchered, and it's pathetically easy. There is no fun in pointing out problems in testimonies when it's **** obvious what the contradiction is. Plus they're pretty much scared to hand out penalties, even though it doesn't matter considering that 90% of the time a 3 year old could figure out what the answer was. Also the psyche lock and bracelet mechanics are so scripted that it makes Call of Duty jealous. I still enjoyed DD for the story, but unless you're a hardcore fan DD is not worth it.… Expand
Jun 25, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While I think very few people play the Ace Attorney series for the gameplay itself, it's undeniable that everything past Trials and Tribulations was very much loaded with handholding and fanservice, and Dual Destinies was no exception. That said, in those two regards it was WAY better than the two Edgeworth spinoffs, and it also made some daring choices that I guess many people would find just "a mess", such as getting Phoenix back in court after AJ happened and made it temporarily an enlightened, untouchable character of which we would have only had to remember the heroic feats. Overall, though, it tried to please the fans with Phoenix and Edgeworth back in court briefly but without eclipsing the "new" things, and they even managed to make Apollo, disliked by many, have some sort of character development and overall make him more likeable. That said, the messy nature remains: the scheme Phoenix-Apollo-Athena-Apollo-Phoenix made at least sense for the cases attorneys, but overall it resulted in using magatama once or twice, bracelet once or twice, the psycho analysis a bit more because it had to be pushed as the "new cool thing", assistants to the characters switched constantly (with a completely random and fanservice-y Pearl in the end becase Trucy wasn't there anymore... the only thing I'm gonna say it's "better" in the Edgeworth spinoff is that, at least in that case, they would have at least bothered showing the interactions between two assistants for the heck of it instead of one goes out one comes in) and while I didn't mind I can tell that generally these weren't good decisions and can make it difficult for people to care about characters and find consistency in the game.
Also, the final plot twist was so arbitrary it hurt.… Expand
Jun 3, 2016I've loved this series since the first game, and the original trilogy is on the top of my favorite games list. However, this gamd just doesn't feel the same. It didn't grip me the same way previous installments did.
Let's start with the graphics. They're nice, but it is kind of odd that they went with the 3D models instead of the traditional pixel art. Now that the characters look moreI've loved this series since the first game, and the original trilogy is on the top of my favorite games list. However, this gamd just doesn't feel the same. It didn't grip me the same way previous installments did.
Let's start with the graphics. They're nice, but it is kind of odd that they went with the 3D models instead of the traditional pixel art. Now that the characters look more realistic, witness breakdowns and character expressions look really out of place. In previous titles the characters already looked cartoonish so the over-the-top reactions fit well with the atmosphere. Now there is a strange disconnect between neutral expressions and the breakdowns we love so much. I would have preferred pixel art to be honest.
As for the story, honestly, I didn't finish it. I'm on the third case, so I don't know if the finale is fitting or not, but so far it's just kind of bland. The humor is uninspired, the characters seem too one-dimensional, and there isn't a lot of charm in the writing.
The thing that made the original trilogy so good was that we saw gradual character development over the course of three games. Nick, Maya, and Edgeworth all changed dramatically through those games, and that was only accomplished because the writers kept a consistent bond between the characters throughout the trilogy. Apollo Justice and Trucy could have developed a similar bond if the writers gave them a chance. But now we have an over-saturation of characters that ensures any character development will be very hard to notice. We have 3 protagonists, a new prosecutor, a new detective, and new side characters. Now that we know the main setting of AA 6 is somewhere else, we probably won't get the same level of character development we got in the original trilogy, and that really disturbs me. It's very hard to write that many characters with development in mind without that development becoming trite and unoriginal. I'd love the cast to either be condensed back down to the original characters or throw all of them out in order to create a brand new cast. Until then, we'll be stuck in this limbo where players come back to interact with their favorite characters but don't get any substance from the experience.… Expand
Feb 18, 2016This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first and foremost problem with this game is that the main story relied on WAY too many characters.
Apollo was barely established as a character and had not space to grow. At the end of the game he still felt like a carbon copy of Phoenix.
Athena is the overly cheerful but clumsy power of friendship girl. That's the most accurate description I can give. Felt like a collection of generic cliches to me. [spoiler] What made me mad the most was the 2D emotional depth of "black locks cause permanent damage if not treated carefully" "yo athena you didn't kill your mother" "ur right lol now i remember"
Blackquill was ok... I guess?
Fullbright's character is being able to yell IN JUSTICE WE TRUST at all times (barring the last case as it's not the same character that you see the whole game)
Trucy and Pearl were put in just because. Their usefulness approaches negative levels.
Then you get characters that apparently the main trio cares about but you're not physically able to give a **** because they didn't even present them (Clay) or are absolutely unlikable (Starbuck)
The second problem is that it's TOO. DAMN. EASY. And I don't mean just because the main culprit is obvious from the start of the trial (which the first THREE cases are guilty of), but because you have your hand held the whole time. Like, seriously, I don't remember the other games having Phoenix being so damn descriptive of his suspicions on a testimony. Sometimes you're basically told what to present and when. Also, penalties are useless because there's no game over.
Overall an enjoyable game, although not as good as the first trilogy, but still made me annoyed enough to spend time writing this review.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Apr 13, 2014Capcom has put together yet another fun and witty game, that makes us use the gray matter and will please children and adults. However, it should also be said that, several years from the first game and with only few changes added from time to time, the series may need something new very soon.
Pelit (Finland)Feb 13, 2014Dual Destinies' main plot falters a little and the simplified puzzles are a shame. DD might not rise to the brilliance of the earlier Ace Attorney games, but it's still a worthy and welcome addition to the series. [Jan 2014]