Generally favorable reviews - based on 63 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 63
  2. Negative: 0 out of 63
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  1. Nov 11, 2013
    A masterpiece that raises the bar for the series, employing all of its strengths and eliminating the vast majority of its weaknesses. This fifth mainline entry pays homage to its heritage while paving the way for the franchise going forward. Here’s hoping that the next turnabout doesn’t come with another six-year wait.
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    Needless to say, I really enjoyed Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. It’s a shame that Capcom didn’t see fit to support this game with a retail release, but maybe there’s still some hope for that.
  3. Nov 19, 2013
    If you're never played any of the Ace Attorney games, this would be a perfect starting point. It's exactly what you'd want an Ace Attorney game. Simply put, it's a masterpiece.
  4. Oct 24, 2013
    Topped off with beautiful 3D animations, an unsurprisingly excellent soundtrack, and some great anime sequences that highlight major moments in each case, Dual Destinies is not to be missed.
  5. Nov 6, 2013
    Proves that well-written adventure games still have a place on any system.
  6. Oct 31, 2013
    Simply sublime work from Capcom! Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies takes the best elements from the previous four main entries, as well as a pinch of excellence from the Ace Attorney Investigations spin-off, and amalgamates everything into one extremely special package, complete with fresh ideas that alleviate any minor issues people may have had with the series in the past.
  7. Oct 30, 2013
    While the third in the series Trials and Tribulations remains the high point in the Phoenix Wright saga, Dual Destinies comes up as a very close second. Managing to wash out the bad taste the Edgeworth spin-off left, this is an incredible return to form for the series. With each case being as intriguing as the last it’s a game that is hard to put down till you’ve reached the games dramatic conclusion.
  8. Oct 25, 2013
    Wonderfully witty as ever, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is another excellent entry into the Ace Attorney series.
  9. Oct 24, 2013
    Limits on investigation and the notable absence of some cherish characters are boring details, but, by the time you reach the last case, you'll notice that they are just that: details.
  10. Oct 24, 2013
    More of the Ace Attorney you know and love. With five full cases (plus an extra DLC case to purchase and download), each lasting tons of hours, there’s a full game here for a relatively cheap price.
  11. Oct 24, 2013
    Dual Destinies follows in its predecessors' footsteps by combining simple gameplay mechanics, memorable characters, and bizarre courtroom antics into a wholly entertaining experience. It drags at times, with pacing between the investigations and trials occasionally being an issue, but that hardly gets in the way of the fun.
  12. Oct 24, 2013
    The best Ace Attorney so far, with a wonderfully entertaining series of mysteries that showcase the series’ oddball characters to their very best – and make some subtle but welcome improvements to the gameplay.
  13. Oct 21, 2013
    Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies is a great episode of the popular Capcom's franchise. The new gameplay mechanics and the brand new graphics are enough to turn a classic into something new and shiny.
  14. Nov 5, 2013
    The verbose characters and clue interactions provide several hours of likeable humour per case. This is the perfect game for sitting in your favourite chair with a hot drink and a soft chuckle just hovering, perhaps even spilling into a quiet giggle.
  15. Oct 24, 2013
    Any fan of the series should be considering buying this game, as long as they don't mind the lack of physical version or not being translated into any other language but English. There's little innovation here, but it's addictive, fun and satisfying.
  16. Oct 24, 2013
    It's perhaps the best entry in the series: with the usual high quality script and characters and completely overhauled visuals and presentation, Dual Destinies will engage and will be loved both by fans and new players.
  17. Nov 5, 2013
    The fresh look and new faces, matched with the familiar game style, make it a must-buy for fans of the original trilogy.
  18. Capcom's lawyer sim continues to carve its idiosyncratic niche with sharp storytelling and impressively polished production values.
  19. Oct 24, 2013
    Dual Destinies is an excellent chapter in the series. The gameplay is the same that we learned to love, but it's a little more varied and refined. The cast sees a lot of new characters: the fans might miss some of the classics, but the narrative quality is top notch.
  20. Oct 24, 2013
    The new 3D lookings, an epic soundtrack and the particular direction of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies makes it a well crafted chapter of the series.
  21. Games Master UK
    Nov 27, 2013
    Not as light on its feet as older games, but still a great slice of law and disorder. [Christmas 2013, p.79]
  22. Oct 25, 2013
    Like a good novel, each case is deep and filled with plot twists. If you loved the Phoenix Wright games of the past, you'll feel right at home.
  23. Pelit (Finland)
    Feb 13, 2014
    Dual 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]
  24. Apr 13, 2014
    Capcom 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.
  25. Mar 12, 2014
    One of the best of the games in the series, Dual Destinies takes a while to build back up from its explosive beginning, but it’s more of the same fun characters, stories, and gameplay fans have come to expect.
  26. Jan 3, 2014
    The latest game in the franchise delivers what the series has always been great at, without jumping any sharks. The story is exciting, the characters memorable and the humor great. The updated 3D graphics feels like a natural evolution of the old style but the difficulty could have been higher. A must for fans of the series.
  27. Hyper Magazine
    Dec 28, 2013
    Thankfully coutroom battles are still as tense as ever, but it's clear the script was written by the B-team without series head Shu Takumi. [Jan 2014, p.74]
  28. Dec 12, 2013
    If you still don’t know this series, you can start with this game. You’ll love it.
  29. Nov 26, 2013
    Phoenix Wright's latest misadventure in the courtroom is undoubtedly his greatest. The overarching plot is as well written as always, with plenty of in-jokes and pop cultural references. While the central gameplay of the series remains intact, the game manages to make it all feel fresh through a number of small updates that improve the overall flow of the game.
  30. Nov 15, 2013
    Dual Destinies is the fifth game in the Phoenix Wright franchise and is a great addition. With a new playable character and her own techniques the game refreshes itself. It gets rather complicated sometimes, which can be quite annoying.
  31. games(TM)
    Nov 14, 2013
    Absolutely Capcom at its best. [Issue#141, p.115]
  32. Nov 12, 2013
    The narrative that runs through that world isn’t always focused as it could be, but Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is a largely excellent visual novel adventure.
  33. Nov 6, 2013
    If you're not afraid of a digital-only title, you can look forward to a good crime-adventure with very special characters.
  34. Nov 1, 2013
    If you’re looking for some hot courtroom action, clinically insane characters, wild crime scenarios, and a lot of worthwhile reading, then Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is probably the niche game for you. Although it straddles the definition of “game” very loosely, it is an overall satisfying and sometimes exhilarating experience worth playing.
  35. Nov 1, 2013
    Fans of the Ace Attorney franchise may find themselves with an easier experience than what they bargained for. However, that shouldn't be reason to pass on Dual Destinies. The latest installment in the franchise remains wonderfully written, happily off-the-wall and even more attractive now that it has shed its 2D carapace and embraced the wonders of modern technology.
  36. Nov 1, 2013
    Dual Destinies won’t convince skeptics, as it’s still more visual novel than game and about as linear as it gets. But after a couple of disappointing spin-offs, it’s the closest the series has come to the greatness of the original trilogy.
  37. Oct 29, 2013
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is definitely an Ace Attorney game. The mechanics are almost unchanged, but the writing is as fun, witty and clever as ever. It isn't quite up to par with the best of the series, but it's still an incredibly fun experience.
  38. Oct 28, 2013
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies is a success. Yes, it feels like more of the same, but for a series that has yet to put out a bad title, that shouldn’t be viewed negatively.
  39. Oct 28, 2013
    Fans will be happy that Phoenix Wright was able to localize it – it really would have been a massive injustice if this game never saw the light of day outside of Japan, as Dual Destinies is up there with the best entries in the franchise.
  40. Oct 25, 2013
    A serious lawyer drama in an absurd manga setting: ace attorneys Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice are back to fight crime, protect the innocent and once again try to get themselves out of embarrassing situations.
  41. Oct 25, 2013
    Dual Destinies treads familiar territory, but laying out a complex case and discovering the truth is still exciting. A handful of new elements make it a rewarding addition to the Ace Attorney franchise, but they aren't the real draw of the series.
  42. Oct 24, 2013
    Phoenix Wright jumps in Nintendo 3DS with the first videogame with tridimensional graphics in the series. It's not revolutionary, but it's still very enjoyable, maintaining the success formula from previous iterations.
  43. Oct 24, 2013
    Remaining issues and a lack of innovation aside, Dual Destinies and its witty writing manage to fully captivate you and glue you to the screen.
  44. Oct 24, 2013
    Phoenix Wright is back at his best. A handful of new gaming options take Dual Destinies to an upper-state of quality, although the core of the gameplay still focuses mostly in finding out the truth by means of thousands of lines of dialogue. Both fans and newcomers will enjoy the traditional approach of the franchise.
  45. Oct 24, 2013
    Viewed abstractly, Dual Destinies is a straightforward sequence of locked narrative corridors.
  46. Oct 24, 2013
    Phoenix Wright’s triumphant return to the courtroom has been matched by a game worth of such an event. Sure, it is more of the same, but with more variety, a new set of great characters and it looks really nice to boot.
  47. Oct 24, 2013
    Top-notch writing, great characters and the ever-present thrills of the courtroom - this is unmistakably an Ace Attorney game.
  48. Oct 24, 2013
    Just because Capcom is scared to lose money on physical copies doesn’t mean you should let Phoenix Wright’s return pass you by.
  49. Oct 24, 2013
    Dual Destinies is aggressively oddball, but it's also sharply written and cleverly constructed. It trades the typical staid approach to murder mysteries and puts a pair of magic panties on its head (yes, there are magic panties), spinning a clever mystery that will please your crime-solving brain.
  50. Oct 24, 2013
    If you’re not already a fan, though, you have nothing to worry about. Dual Destinies is the series’ most user-friendly entry yet, offering conveniences such as a conversation log (so you can look for dialogue details you may have missed), a consultation feature (which offers optional hints if you make too many mistakes during trials), and a chapter select that allows you to easily replay completed scenes.
  51. Oct 24, 2013
    Phoenix Wright's return to the courtroom brings with it an impressive blend of comedic sensibilities and philosophical examinations that make you question how any judicial system can determine guilt when the relationships people have with the truth are so complicated.
  52. Oct 25, 2013
    Phoenix Wright as you know it: Surreal characters, great dialogue, interesting cases and top notch anime artdesign.
  53. Nov 5, 2013
    Dual Destinies is another great game in the Ace Attorney series and superb welcome back to Phoenix himself.
  54. Nov 4, 2013
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies doesn’t do much to innovate the series, but does a great job at bringing a classic experience to the 3DS.
  55. 75
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies offers around 25 hours of brand-new Ace Attorney content, and most of that content is in-line with the greatness of previous entries while offering a creative take never before seen.
  56. Oct 30, 2013
    As my first Phoenix Wright game, I got the impression that Dual Destinies and the series as a whole is enamored with a cavalcade of quirky characters theatrically engaged with marching contention. In that measure Dual Destinies is a success, and while I yearned for an ounce of consequence or more creative approach interaction, I couldn't deny it's whimsical appeal. If you’re in my shoes and have never played a Phoenix Wright game before, Dual Destinies isn’t a bad place to start.
  57. GameTrailers
    Oct 24, 2013
    Quotation forthcoming.
  58. Oct 24, 2013
    Dual Destinies won’t change anybody’s minds about the series’ brand of narrative-heavy, gameplay-light adventuring, but longtime fans will be thrilled by the full docket of goofy legal twists and turns and fun characters.
  59. Dec 28, 2013
    It's high-pitched, talkative, crazy, hysterical, and funny. A lawyer-like thriller made in Japan. It's simpler and more straight-lined than its previous installments. It's pretty playable, though.
  60. Oct 24, 2013
    Dual Destinies is an Ace Attorney game, all right, and that’s perhaps the best result anyone could have hoped for.
  61. Oct 24, 2013
    It’s great to see the iconic Phoenix Wright back in action after six years, and his segments are definitely the high points in Dual Destinies. But when he’s inexplicably MIA—like during the game’s interminable second and third acts—the proceedings slow to a crawl. Still, the story, characters, and courtroom drama are strong enough to draw in newcomers and satisfy lapsed fans.
  62. Oct 25, 2013
    While Dual Destinies may initially appear like a fresh take on the series, it ultimately doesn't take a lot of chances. Still, Capcom continues to do what it does best: creating a compelling courtroom drama with fun, campy, off-the-wall characters. It may be more of the same, but for fans, that's really all they need.
  63. Oct 24, 2013
    Dual Destinies is disappointing. In general it's more of the same Phoenix Wright we've come to know and love, but the stories and characters are horribly weak.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 253 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 253
  1. Sep 28, 2014
    If 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 perfectlyIf 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 24, 2013
    I have always loved the Phoenix Wright games, witty humor with dialogue that makes you think so you can unravel and defend your client. II have always loved the Phoenix Wright games, witty humor with dialogue that makes you think so you can unravel and defend your client. I even enjoyed Apollo Justice, and Miles Edgeworth that were included in this wonderful series. I must say though, this game takes Phoenix Wright and moves the game in a superb direction. Yes, I know you have to download the game and that their is no physical copies but trust me, if you like Phoenix Wright then your going to want to download this game. I have only played thirty minutes into the game(plus the demo before the game was released on the eshop), and I can honestly say I love this game, for its graphics and the story line that I'm so intrigued to learn more about to figure out what this story and its five cases(plus an extra one you can download) are all about!!!!!! Full Review »
  3. Nov 7, 2013
    Right 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
    Right 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.
    Full Review »