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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the fourth game in the series and the first developed specifically for Nintendo DS and sees a change of direction for the story line with the introduction of new defense attorney Apollo Justice and a host of new characters. Players star as rookie defense attorney Apollo Justice as he visits crime scenes, questions key witnesses and collects vital evidence before stepping into the courtroom to prove his clients' innocence. Facing Apollo across the courtroom is the highly talented and flamboyant prosecutor Klavier Gavin who, in addition to being a legal genius, is also lead singer with Gavinners, a highly successful rock band with a string of hits to their name. He may be young and inexperienced but Apollo's confident manner and passion, coupled with his unique ability to uncover witnesses' lies by studying their body language, will prove invaluable assets in the courtroom as he pleads the case for the defense. Thankfully, Apollo is not alone and is aided both in and out of the courtroom by his assistant Trucy, a mysterious female magician. Apollo also receives invaluable advice from his mentor the ultra-cool Kristoph Gavin, elder brother of Klavier, whose perfect logic and natural instincts have won him numerous cases and the respect of his colleagues. [Capcom] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Despite fears that a new stable of characters would prove less interesting than the established cast, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney manages to hold up to its predecessors in nearly every way.
  2. Quotation forthcoming. [June 2008]
  3. 83
    Apollo Justice surprised us. This may just be yet another of Capcom’s infamous rehashes, but it’s so much more enjoyable than most that it’s extremely hard to ignore.
  4. Not exactly the dazzling reinvention we hoped for, but Apollo Justice more than holds his own. [May 2008, p.55]
  5. Even though it still relies on a lot of the tried and true mechanics of the Phoenix Right-titles, Apollo Justice manages to add enough new DS-related features to keep this package feeling fresh while adding a great and engaging storyline to the mix. This is the best offering so far for newcomers, and fans of the Phoenix Wright titles are going to appreciate the improvements to the formula.
  6. 70
    Despite these small problems, however, this is still essential playing for long-time fans, and for new entrants: buy this game, play it, and then get the others.
  7. Plead nolo contendere, Apollo. [Mar 2008, p.65]

See all 48 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Sep 20, 2012
    At first, I missed playing with Phoenix. But I changed my mind, because the game is as enjoyable as the Phoenix Wright's ones. More memorable characters, the OST is perfect, the story is great too. I enjoyed this game a lot. Sometimes I play the entire saga again, and never get bored of it. Expand
  2. Jul 21, 2014
    I love this game! At first glance, I thought, "how can this possibly beat Pheonix Wright?", but it certainly is possible! Apollo Justice is one of the best games I've played in a long time. It has an amazing and clever plot with lots of twists and turns. And in the end, you decide how the game ends. I love how this was an open ending game. It leaves you with curiosity of what happens next. It's a shame there wasn't a second one, since a lot of questions were unanswered. From the unique characters, astonishingly good plot, and the clever game play, this game is one of the best games I've played. I hope people don't cross this off their list because it's too long (which is true). Please take the time and play this game. You will be swept off your feet, I promise :) Expand
  3. Aug 17, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My expectations for this game weren't too high. I expected it to feel like any other Ace Attorney gane, and be a decent entry. I also have seen the scores on metacritic before playing, and now, after playing it, i'm shocked that the scores of AA1, JFA, and T&T are so much higher than Apollo. In short, this is my absolute favorite Ace Attorney game.

    I'll begin with the characters. I like Apollo Justice more than I djd Phoenix. He was more relatable: a quirky, nervous guy who goes through crap in the first few chapters. During his very first trial, he had to put his boss in jail, then was unemployed. After his first trail, he found out that Phoenix, his only chance at employment, made him present forged evidence.
    Trucy, on the other hand feels like Maya or young Ema Skye did, with one key difference:she's naive and says things without thinking to often dangerous people. When this happens, Apollo feels embarrassed by her, which also reflected how I felt when Trucy did said things.
    Speaking of Ema, she's back, as the detective. i really liked her in Rise from the Ashes, and do here, as long as she's not acting salty, as in this game, she's often a grump when you first talk to her.
    Phoenix still retained his hunger to bring justice like in the original trilogy, but this time, he is much more calm and collected. So much so that he almost feels like a different person. Thankfully, He regains his loud mouth and erect finger (no, not that finger) in dual destinies.
    Kristoph Gavin is extremely surpising. Before playing, I thought he was a goodhearted leader who killed someone without knowing. The opposite happened.
    Klavier Gavin is the first prosecutor who seeks the truth in their debut, not just victory. Personally, I was not a fan of this. The antagonist didn't feel like an enemy.

    Now, onward to the cases.
    Turnabout Trump is the ultimate first case. The witness is NOT the killer for once, and this case most likely took everyone by surprise. It was an amazing way to kick off the game.
    Turnabout Corner is a solid case. It felt like any other. It did a goid job of forming the characters
    Turnabout Serenade had some good twists, and was slightly better than solid.
    Turnabout Succession is amazing. It's courtoom action isn't all that great, but the investigations are, because all the plot twists are found out there, as well as the aftermath. You also play as Phoenix during his last trial, but the GBA bacgrounds conflicting with the DS graphics Klavier sort of bugged me. After this case, I found a few plot holes in Turnabout Trump that were never filled, but they were minor.
    I loved how almost all cases were connected. Corner wasn't, but it's more realistic. Too many coincidences turn my suspension of belief off. This game also has a moral delima, like JFA. The delima regards a broken justice system, and using unconventional methods to prove the truth.
    The ending is extremely satisfying. You find out that Phoenix set up the jurist system and knew from the beginning that Kristoph was the killer, and this was the only way to bring justice. Lamoir, a blind singer who suffers from amnesia, is revealed to be Trucy's mother, who "died" in accident. She also was with another man before Zak, who was Apollo's dad. This means he and Trucy are half-sibilings. A good plot twist is one that is impossible to guess, in my opinion.

    Finally, the gameplay. They removed the ability to present profiles. Oh well, no big deal. When you investigate as phoenix, you get to break the magical psyche locks again, and still a good amount kf times for one part. Ema's forensics and other things gave you little gimmicks to play with, but they're all case specific, which is fine, because it'd probably get annoying if you did them in every case. You can also examine evidence as 3D models, just like in Rise from the Ashes.
    And now, the main gimmick of this game: Apollo's bracelet. I really enjoyed it. Thankfully, you could only use it when you had to. Some nervous habits were easy to find, some difficult, and some awesome, like Kristoph's scar becoming a skull. I'd also like to say this game's music and graphics trump the previous titles'.

    In summary, I'm giving this game a 10/10 for improved graphics and sound, likeable and interesting characters, great new gameplay features that aren't oversused, and an excellent story with plot twists that are sure to shock you.
  4. May 25, 2013
    I have played through nearly every other Ace Attorney game, but Apollo Justice was special. It's true, you do not play as Phoenix Wright, but that does that not mean he isn't a factor in the game. The story is nothing short of masterfully crafted, and all of the characters are memorable and influential on your journey. My only problem with the game is the way saving works and the lack of text skipping. I hope to see a sequel to this great game some time in the future. Expand
  5. Jun 11, 2014
    This game made me a bit mad at first, when Phoenix Wright wasn't the main character, but in the end, Apollo is just as good as good old Phoenix, and this game is definitely a great addition to the series. As a guy who has played every single bit of Ace Attorney available, this game isn't as strong as the other ones. I still recommend it, because it adds a bunch of new GREAT mechanics, funny dialogue, and adorable characters. Expand
  6. Apr 16, 2014
    Apollo Justice...is hard to criticize properly.

    Let me say first off that it's still the same grandly successful type of story, characters,
    and gameplay that makes this series great. Its writing, thinking demand and general quality as a game is still very high up and it's still quite an enjoyable game in the series.

    I just didn't like it as much as the others. Not that anything in it is wrong, but it just doesn't work as well.

    I guess the main issue is the characters and unified story, but the gameplay is also a bit less good.

    Gameplay first: every AA game tries to have its own little gimmicky feature, like the Magatama for JFA onwards, Miles Edgeworth Investigations has the Logic feature, and so on.

    Apollo's gimmick is his bracelet that makes you zoom in on witnesses and see...something.
    I'll admit right ahead that I'm bad at noticing visual things, so maybe it's unfair criticism, but this gameplay style is just sh*tty. The zoom is so awfully close to people that it's painful to see anything, you can only see a tiny part of them, so you have to recheck again and again and again and again until you've found the one detail...which I usually never found! I always had to ask the internet for it. And sometimes the details are just about ridiculous, for example you're supposed to find a guy having armpit sweat during one part of his statement! Yes, just during that one part, it disappears after, so you have to know to look at the armpit and only the armpit since the zoom is so close-up, find that one magical moment where the sweat appears and point to it...

    The gimmick is just awful and nowhere near as good as the Magatama or any other such gimmicks from the series. Rest of the gameplay is just not as fun as the rest too. Nothing hideous, but just not as fun. The thinking and critical skills required are still good too, though.

    As for the story, it's really hard to explain, but I'd say that the characters, apart from Trucy Wright who is a really great sidekick and even better than Maya(although that's far from being hard), are usually not as fun. The drama is less strong, the fun is less strong, the thinking is pretty great but the story isn't as interesting emotionally, so I care less. Trucy herself is I think a character with a ton of potential, but isn't used as much as she could've been.

    The characters as a whole are good, but not as good. Prosecutor Gavin is no Fransizka von Karma, and certainly no Edgeworth or Godot. A good foe for sure, but not as memorable an over-the-top character as others have been, despite the fact that he's over-the-top in his own way. Ema Skye as an already rancid old woman despite being 25, the Gavinners and Lamiroir, the Kitaki yakuza family, yeah they're all good, but not as good, not as fun or deep, not as tragic or entertaining as a whole.

    Storywise, it's still damn good, but the game has a gimmick akin to Trials and Tribulations where all the stories come together in an overarching one.
    It's bad.
    It hurts the individual stories that become less fun or varied because they have to be tied to the overarching one, and it's not all that interesting or well-used for the general plot of the whole game. I really think this idea should be scrapped for most cases. It only worked in T&T because every individual story had characters that were intimately tied up to Maya's family or Phoenix' past(save for the MaskDeMasque story). Here, they try to recreate the same principle with Trucy Wright/Enigmar/Gramarye and Apollo Justice by telling the story of their families and pasts, but they only have one game for it. It doesn't feel as full, as deep or just as good.

    This really should've been a brand new take on the principle of an Ace Attorney, and it's not. It's a rehash with new characters which are given too much to do for a complex plot where not enough about themselves has been established yet.

    With that said, the OST is particularly good, and that's saying a ton considering that every AA game has a good soundtrack(except maybe Investigations is a tiny bit less good).

    In the end I can't quite put the finger on why, I'd need to play all of them again back to back, but I remember that AJ was the one I was just not as fond of as I was about the others. Definitely not the one you want to start the series with, the original PW:AA on DS is still the best to get in the series and the best to learn of all the characters.
    Still an 8, because all the criticisms don't take away the fact that is is an amusing title like all its peers.
  7. Jun 2, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I honestly have to say this is the worst ace attorney game I have ever played in my life, possibly THE worst game I have ever played in my whole life.

    While the sprites, music, locations, and characters are all interesting and wacky (as to be expected from the Ace Attorney series), the plot and cases of the game were confusing and, quite quickly settled, in my opinion. The new mechanics were thrown into your face, then never used again next case. Did I mention this game also has the strangest ending ever? Not only do all these relationships get thrown around, but Apollo randomly gets evidence after that whole "MASON System" thing. You'd think they'd make a better transition for that, but nope. It's just there.

    It usually takes me a bit to beat Ace Attorney games (For example, Justice for All took me 21 hours), but Apollo Justice was under 15 hours of play time.

    Apollo Justice just feels like a strange fanfiction that was somehow made into a game, and it's not very impressive.

See all 18 User Reviews