Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice Image
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81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics What's this?

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8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

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  • Summary: This narrative adventure stars beloved defense attorneys Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice and sees the return of many familiar faces alongside some exciting new additions. Filled with puzzling cases to solve, the new game also brings popular investigative techniques from previousThis narrative adventure stars beloved defense attorneys Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice and sees the return of many familiar faces alongside some exciting new additions. Filled with puzzling cases to solve, the new game also brings popular investigative techniques from previous installments, along with brand new mechanics such as the Divination Séance. Spirit of Justice sees Phoenix in a brand new location: a courtroom situated in the Kingdom of Khura'in, origin of the Kurain Channeling Technique, where mysterious séance trials decide the fate of all defendants. Meanwhile, defense attorney Apollo Justice faces his own challenges holding down the fort at the Wright Anything Agency, as he takes on a case that will have explosive implications. Both our heroes are joined by a host of returning friends and adversaries in their fight to bring about justice. [Nintendo.com] Expand

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice Announcement Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. Mar 22, 2019
    100
    It’s hard to find much fault with Spirit of Justice. Dramatically improving upon its predecessors’ storytelling and varying the familiar gameplay elements, this game gives the trilogy – and series, for now – a more-than-polished conclusion that engages the brain as well as the heart.
  2. Sep 8, 2016
    90
    While Ace Attorney has had its ups and downs since the original trilogy came to a close, Spirit of Justice amounts to the fresh start Phoenix Wright needed to break away from his past. A great setting, fantastic mysteries, memorable characters, and a consistent, thoughtful theme make this a must-play for anyone interested in Ace Attorney's anime-infused take on Law & Order.
  3. Oct 11, 2016
    85
    Despite being a game whose potential makes it frustrating considering how little is actually accomplished, Spirit of Justice still is the best among the most recent games in the series.
  4. Sep 8, 2016
    80
    Spirit of Justice strikes right to the core of what makes Ace Attorney games great: bold, dramatic narrative, a ridiculous sense of humour, and outstanding writing. The first truly superb AA game in years.
  5. Sep 26, 2016
    80
    Spirit of Justice is a must-play for fans of Phoenix Wright’s continuing adventures. Though some minor mechanical quibbles remain, this is, by far, the most intuitive and visually engaging entry in the series. The amount of innovation and genuine humor found throughout paint a rosy picture for the future of the franchise and make Spirit of Justice the freshest courtroom since the first.
  6. Sep 9, 2016
    80
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice is sure to please fans with its engaging story and sharp humor, but the gameplay formula is starting to show its age.
  7. Sep 8, 2016
    65
    There’s enough snappy dialogue and silliness in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice to satisfy long-term series fans, and the conventional courtroom sequences still feel rewarding when you get on a roll and a witness starts to unravel. But the heavy-handed mysticism of its bloated middle act and the general lack of innovation makes for a less than essential entry in the Phoenix Wright saga on the whole.

See all 66 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Sep 14, 2016
    10
    I finished the game today, beating all the cases but the DLC one, and I have to say... This game is absolutely amazing. I see people complainI finished the game today, beating all the cases but the DLC one, and I have to say... This game is absolutely amazing. I see people complain that it doesn't innovate much, that it is almost the same old formula as the first Ace Attorney, but, honestly, is that a bad thing? Because I think it isn't! I just want more of the same with different stories and a few innovative additions, that's it! If something works, why does it have to change?

    About the game, it just never disappoints. The first case is cool, as it is a very deep case for being the first. It introduces the amazing mechanic of the Divination Séances, in which you witness the victim's final memories, and the Defense Culpability Act, which creates a lot of tension because it means that if your client is declared guilty, so is the one that defends it and he will receive the same penalty. The guitar witness was a bit annoying in this case, though, because he spoke extremely slowly sometimes.

    The second case is fantastic, with a very entertaining investigation part due to the troubles Apollo and Athena face during it. The trial and the way the victim died are also excellent, a very original plot, with a lot of magic!

    And in the third case we at last get to see Mystic Maya! The reunion between her and Phoenix was a great moment. And the plot of the case is once again very very good, extremely mystic and very well set in the Kingdom of Khura-in.

    The fourth case is in my opinion the worst case in this game. It's a bit odd and unrelated to the rest of the game. That doesn't mean it's boring, though, I liked it, Athena deserved her moment of glory, and the appearance of Simon Blackquill is good. Besides, the witness Uendo Toneido is extremely hilarious. It still feels too apart from the rest of the game, though.

    And well, the fifth case is absolutely amazing. I don't want to give spoilers, just tell you that the first trial day is unforgettable due to the circumstances that surround it. And well I was very surprised to have it focused on Apollo. I actually think that Apollo was a quite dull character in his own game, with almost no charisma, but Dual Destinies and mostly the last case of this game take us to know him a lot better and like him a lot more.

    I want to highlight just 2 more things, the first one is the development of the character of Rayfa. She becomes a very profound character despite being very young, for me she is one of the greatest characters ever the saga has given us. And the second one is the characters' names. Khu-rainese people have so clever names! For example, your first client is named Ahlbi Ur'gaid, which comes from "I'll be your guide". Heck, even Minister Inga's full name, Inga Karkhuul Haw'kohd Dis'nahm Bi'ahni Lawga Ormo Pohmpus Da'nit Ar'edi Iz Khura'in III, has a meaning! (How could this name be any longer or more pompous than it already is?")

    All in all, this game is a must-play for fans of the series, in my opinion much better and memorable than Dual Destinies. Perhaps not the best game to get started in the saga, though, but well, it's perfectly playable and enjoyable even if you haven't played the others (c'mon, play them, they are not hard to get!)
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  2. May 14, 2017
    10
    I'm a huge fan of the Phoenix Wright series: I own nearly all installments of the franchise (including Vs Layton) and I practically love everyI'm a huge fan of the Phoenix Wright series: I own nearly all installments of the franchise (including Vs Layton) and I practically love every single one of them - maybe AAI a little less - and while I don't own all of them because of external reasons (PLEASE bring dai gyakuten saiban and gyakuten kenji 2 already PLEASE!), I constantly replay each one of them once a year. For over 10 years.

    So it's no surprise if this game will get a 10 out of 10 from me. To be fair I was nearly going for a 9 for a pretty small reason, but then I thought that this game deserves all the love it can get. And the reason is, this game's true name should be Apollo Justice 2.

    Yep, remember that pipsqueak that nobody cared in that supposedly new installment of the franchise? the one that apparently nobody liked and forcing them to make Phoenix return? Well I do because I loved Apollo Justice and he had quite the potential to become a better character, and in Dual Destiny he was mostly a side character where all the developed was for Athena instead. And even then Athena is still quite anonymous if you ask me.

    But in Spirit of Justice, Apollo is the main protagonist. Sure, Phoenix and Athena are still there and the first case it's one of the best of the series so far (with only Apollo Justice's first case being, in my opinion, still the best for story importance), but Apollo will soon steal the scene and, at long last, he'll get his deserved backstory filled up and going as we finally know what happened to his family and what this will mean for him.

    I can't spoil the game for obvious reasons however I can say a few things that make this game good.

    For starters, this is (I think) the second game in the entire series that has a story that is straightforward and doesn't jump all over with its chapters, with only the first game doing the story like this. Basically, each chapter pushes the story forward without jumping back and forth between them, which became quite the common thing since Justice for All (I'm not lying: the first case in JFA is actually the second, and only the third and fourth cases are chronologically correct). This makes the story feel more tense and you'll always want to see what's gonna happen next.

    Secondly, the setting of the game is different but not just that: the mentality of the people will make you, the player, feel in danger: you'll soon discover that whoever tries to help the defendant gets the same punishment as them, including death. So from the very beginning, you'll feel underpowered and I never felt that way in a long time, but in a positive way. It's just good story writing and dialogue that helps you immerse into the setting and it's amazing.

    And third, while the story is good, It's the characters that definitely make the game worth it: apollo becomes a better leader, Trucy is back and we get to see her weak side for once - which is something that was never shown to this day - and we get to see Maya again...but for some reason she just feels as bland as she was in the original trilogy. Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of her but only because she just feels bland and very uninteresting, but this is just my opinion.

    There is more to be said but it would go into spoiler territory, so I want to tell you why this game nearly got a 8-9 instead...and that is, the game is underwhelming in some parts. Very, very underwhelming.

    For one thing the game has 5 cases (6 with the dlc) and only 3 of them are really relevant to the main story, with the other 2 being completely unrelated. However, while the 2nd case was good because it was very well done and it had trucy in it, it's the 4th is just bad and feels rushed as it doesn't even have an investigation scene and has Athena in it (the only case where she is in the game). They are not terrible by all means necessary and while I could defend the 2nd case for its quality, it's the 4th case that ruins it for the wrong reasons: if it was removed nobody would miss it. And the 6th case, while a nice throwback to the original games thanks to Maya being the assistant again, it wasn't very spectacular at all and it's definitely inferior to the 6th case of Dual Destinies. In other words, they went with quantity rather than quality and among 6 cases, only 3 are just the "best" ones.

    Also the new seance mechanic is a nice touch, but it's not easy to get used to it and you might fail quite a lot of times before understanding how it works.

    So do I recommend it? If you're a fan of the series you probably already have it but if you don't, I highly recommend it without restrictions: sure half of the cases aren't great but I never thought to quit because of them and even if underwhelming, they were still fun to play. And the fact that the story is played throughout the entire game instead of few parts is a nice touch that really helps making this one of the game chapters.

    Also, enjoy the first case's villain...he's amazing.
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  3. Sep 17, 2016
    10
    "The greatest turnabout in series history"

    Pros: Improved reanimated visuals Fantastic Story Good Music Returning Characters Cons:
    "The greatest turnabout in series history"

    Pros:
    Improved reanimated visuals
    Fantastic Story
    Good Music
    Returning Characters

    Cons:
    Case 4 is crap
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  4. Sep 28, 2016
    9
    MAKE SURE TO GO TO OPTIONS AND TURN ON: TEXT SKIP ALL! This allows you to fast forward the text for all of you fast readers! Invaluable.MAKE SURE TO GO TO OPTIONS AND TURN ON: TEXT SKIP ALL! This allows you to fast forward the text for all of you fast readers! Invaluable. I've always loved Phoenix Wright games, and this one is once again amazing. Dual Destinies is hard to top, but this one is at least on par. I do miss the ending sequences introduced in Dual Destinies when everything ties together and that crazy awesome music kicks in, but other than, this game had everything I love and more. PLEASE get official Investigations 2 and Great Ace Attorney translations over here in the US. PLEASE! Expand
  5. Sep 16, 2016
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A worthy successor to Dual Destinies. I enjoyed every minute of playing it. Every game before this one had at least one boring case, (typically the 3rd). However, I loved every case and all are fun to play (yes, even the filler with Athena).
    The new mechanics were great and the returning ones were also fun. Music was great and even had many twists I couldn't see coming.
    Despite that, this is not a perfect game. And I only say this because I want Ace Attorney to get better over time as to not go stale. While there were many twists I didn't see coming, there were a handful I saw in advance. Perhaps it was intentional with foreshadowing in some cases, but if you've been a loyal Ace Attorney fan in the main series, you will see some recurring patterns in this game. Including Maya being accused of murder and becoming a hostage. Please just make her live happy with Nick.
    I also wish there were more character interactions. I'd love to see Pearls and Rayfa together. Athena and Maya would get along swimmingly. And Trucy needs to be more involved with the Fey cousins as they are practically family to Phoenix. There were just too many missed opportunities.
    While the game is more than worth the $30 price tag, I still wish it was longer. I understand it takes time, but perhaps more DLC cases should be added. Ones that don't have an overarching story, similar to Athena's filler case. Cases where we can get that more character interaction while not drowning out the main plot.
    The anime cut-scenes are magnificent and while the anime being simulcasted on crunchyroll has held its own, it will never compare to the quality of these. I love that they were more fleshed out. Trucy's case and the prologue (which for some reason doesn't play when you start the game immediately), had the best cut-scenes. At the same time though, it makes me crave more. I hope there is more budget and time put into making these animations, as I feel they are too great to not give more credit to.
    The music is beautiful to the ear. From the soothing tunes of Nahyuta's theme and Apollo's updated theme, to the upbeat energetic Confess the Truth and Alegro Cross Examination, this is on par with Dual Destinies. It brings classic songs with their own twist and new songs to fit the cases and landscape.
    One feature I think would be nice is to have branching paths. There were so many times where I knew the evidence that contradicts what was just said, but I can't select it until I go through 10 minutes of dialogue of Apollo or Phoenix saying "I have no clue how I can overturn this." Perhaps an interruption feature where you can have one chance to present the evidence internally (so no penalties are given) in order to skip this dilemma.
    These negatives I have outlined though are all nitpicks. You will have just as much fun in this game as you did taking down the final "boss" of every previous game. Capcom, I beg you to continue to release these in the US. You have a fantastic franchise here that deserves continuation and even ideas from fans to help expand it into a great game.
    In any case, since the "reboot" so to speak, we've had it focus on Phoenix and Apollo for the main story segment. I'll be waiting for Athena Cykes: Ace Attorney if you don't mind. ;)
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  6. Apr 10, 2018
    9
    Definitely one of my favourite Ace Attorney games. The characters are memorable, and the game has a great script. The game can actually getDefinitely one of my favourite Ace Attorney games. The characters are memorable, and the game has a great script. The game can actually get quite challenging in its puzzles. Gameplay-wise, the only new thing is a feature where you look for inconsistencies in the memories of victims. This doesn't add much, but I was fine with that. The spiritual themes can get overwhelming at times, and it's more of the same in terms of gameplay, bit it's still recommended highly. Expand
  7. Nov 14, 2018
    4
    As a long Ace Attorney fan, I think this is the vote I'd give for this game. A not full 5.
    Let's start witht he basis:
    1) Gameplay: It's
    As a long Ace Attorney fan, I think this is the vote I'd give for this game. A not full 5.
    Let's start witht he basis:
    1) Gameplay: It's overall ok. It's good to see a comeback of some features from the old 4 games like the full examination of an area, the usage of cameras, Ema's forensic abilities, etc. I also liked the divination seance (as gameplay), so there is a somewhat level of challenge.
    But
    Except for the cross-examination and the divination seance, the rest of the old/new features don't have any kind of penalities, just like in Dual Destinies. Why doesn't the Mood Matrix have penalties? Why doesn't the magatama have penalties? Why does the bracelet a Magatama 2.0, with no real purpose in terms of challenge at all? Why doesn't the Thought Route have penalties like the Logic in AA Investigation series?

    Bonus Magatama: between the other "powers", this is probably the most present in the game. And still, its challenging level is zero. In Trials & Tribulations, when you investigate, you find more than 1 person to have red psychelocks, and before to unlock them you're forced to find new clues elsewhere.
    In Spirit of Justice everything is guided: You see someone with psychelocks, you're just ready to unlock them. This isn't how features like magatama, mood matrix, bracelet, etc... should work in a game where the player's logic is needed.

    2)
    Multimedia: This is probably what saves the game more. Graphically there is a big improvement from Dual Destinies, and the music is overall in the standards of the other Ace Attorney music.
    My only critic point is how they used the motion capture. Each case has some parts where a character uses them. Unfortunately you notice the quality drops because they look unfitting with the models and the characters. The worst case scenario is during the case 5, in a particular moment a certain character acts like a child because of how unwell they used this feature in the game.
    Plus, on 3DS the framerate drops to 30fps or less.

    3)
    Story: It's a mess just like Dual Destinies.
    Again, they used the main characters and tried to connect them somehow, even if the possibilities that that would happen are less than zero. In short, I'm talking about retcons. And unfortunately some characters are victims of this in the game. The presence itself of a country like Khura'In is interesting IF it was placed with other purposes, like, for example, a game where Phoenix is the only character playable, and characters like Apollo, Athena, Trucy, etc weren't connected with the game at all, because they don't have to. But, in this case, Khura'In has just ruin any expectation in a bad way.
    And I'm not talking about the characterization of the people in Khura'In, but the motive Khura'In is present in the game. Just like the motive Maya is in the game. This motive is weak and not even explained in the game. Capcom released a "prologue" animated trailer of about 10 minutes where shows why Phoenix traveled in Khura'In, which is because Maya dropped the phone during an attack of a "rebel". But in the game, that video isn't canon. So we don't even have a good start of the game.
    Speaking of rebels, I find all this very annoying. Let me explain why.
    It's true Ace Attorney isn't meant to be realistic. The law itself in the series is a joke, it's meant to be as simple as possible so that could be understandable for the player.
    But I noticed in the last Ace Attorney games they tend to exaggerate all their topics.
    In the previous games, you could somehow see that some topics were close to the real life, for example, the role of each character during the crime.
    But in this Spirit of Justice, they treat lawyer like gods and demons. Like if they only exist in a fantasy world. "The law system decided to kill all the rebel lawyers" are we serious? How can you compare this to a real life fact? You can't, because it's unrealistic. And so is unrealistic most of this game.
    It's this game meant to be fun? Yes. But I remember when Ace Attorney was also serious.

    4)
    Storytelling:
    Short message about how they wrote the cases: three writers devided 6 cases (including the DLC), and you can easily see who wrote what. The first two cases have a large amount of gallery speaking. In the first case, in particular, it's very annoying.
    The third and fifth case are known for the veeery long pauses with dots. You only read dots everytime they have to say something. It's really annoying in the game.
    The fourth case is probably the best written case in the game, and personally maybe the best case in the game, even if I didn't like it so much due to some motives.

    In conclusion... Spirit of Justice is a fun game, somewhat, but with Dual Destinies they just don't work like the previous games.
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See all 24 User Reviews