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Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies – 3DS

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies – 3DS

Platform: 3DS (Download Onlyuntitled)

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date (NA): October 24, 2013

Genre: Adventure, Visual Novel

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Shadow Links

Phoenix Wright is finally back in his own game after a few side games with Apollo Justice and Miles Edgeworth taking the show. On his travels he even managed to pick up a new sidekick to make solving cases in the courtroom even more interesting.

Phoenix Wright was famous defense attorney until some events 7 years ago revealed in the Apollo Justice game, when he was disbarred for forging evidence, bringing about the “Dark Age of Law” which describes the public distrust of the justice system. Speaking of which, just to clarify, the justice system in the game is based on a streamlined version of Japan’s and not USA’s, so there is no innocent until proven guilty. Most of the criminal cases can be tried in just days after the event and are ruled on by a judge in court after being presented evidence and hearing arguments from a defense attorney and a public prosecutor and witness statements. Don’t worry if you have no idea about law, it explains what you need to know very easily.


Not exactly a normal courtroom when you get attacked by the prosecutor’s hawk

Wright still continued with the Wright Anything agency where he did small jobs and traveled while Apollo handled cases. On his travels he picked up Athena Cykes, an up and coming lawyer with the ability to hear people’s hearts which turns out to be useful for cases. An event occurs which causes Wright to come out of retirement and that is where the game’s story begins to twist and turn. True to reputation, these convoluted stories get pretty crazy at times and twist harder than a ski jumper in Olympic competition. Despite that though, sometimes you will see through a case really early and have to wait for everyone to go through all the wrong crap to get to the realization of the truth. Then just to burst your bubble your sidekick spoils the moment. See this webcomic for an illustration of the moment.

Yes, you defend an orca from prosecutor Blackquill, a deathrow criminal. (DLC)

Yes, you defend an orca from prosecutor Blackquill, a deathrow criminal. (DLC)

We have a new cast of important reoccurring characters like Athena Cykes, Prosecutor Blackquill, and detective Bobby Fullbright to flesh out into interesting people as well as all the crazy witnesses, criminals, and defendants in each case. Those 3 take multiple episodes and are integral to the plot as well as Apollo Justice, and all of them are revealed like peeling an onion’s layers over the course of the game. I have never seen such a colorful cast of characters in a series as Ace Attorney as they all are so visually different and mentally as well. Though this can lead to some annoying instances, see the webcomic in the above paragraph.

You spend most of your time presenting evidence contrasting witness statements

You spend most of your time presenting evidence contrasting witness statements

The basis of the game is that you play as the defense attorneys and argue in court for a not guilty verdict. Typically some detective work in examining the scene looking for evidence and questioning witnesses in and out of court is necessary. The game’s progression is very similar to a point and click adventure in that respect. The game is made a bit easy since it won’t continue to the next day until you find all the necessary evidence and witnesses. Also getting a guilty verdict can be continued back from the last statement you messed up at without any penalties from the judge. Previously you had to restart the case from a save or the start of that day of the case.

Hmm analytical psychology.

Hmm analytical psychology.


I mentioned earlier that Athena has an ability, but she isn’t the only one. Each attorney has one that helps with each case and usually use a final burst of “quick thinking” where you put everything together at the end of some of the cases. Phoenix Wright has a spiritual stone given to him that allows him to see spirit locks on people’s hearts when they don’t want to give up a secret. Apollo has a bracelet that tightens sometimes when people lie. Athena has a program that uses analytical psychology using information from her hearing a person’s heart to display emotions which are used in contrast to the statement they made. Sounds complicated, but you just pick the emotion that doesn’t fit. Still it manages to add probably the most interesting feature to date, and actually uses the 3D ability of the 3DS.

A few anime quality scenes are really good.

A few anime quality scenes are really good.

Since this is a 3DS game, I thought I should mention how much it uses 3D. All the characters are projected slightly 3D and have a few animated actions they perform. All the backgrounds in the court and crime scenes are have depth, but often look like a snow globe with different parts seeming flat at different distances. Only a few rare times did it break 3D for me, typically when something jumped out of the screen like an OBJECTION!!!! or the verdicts with the random confetti which somehow fell behind objects even though the confetti was projected.

Nerd Rating: 8/10

Dual Destinies was perhaps a little short with only 6 episodes and a special downloadable episode, which I thought was worth it due to being longer than most of the episodes. A downloadable title like this doesn’t cost as much as a cartridge, so I can forgive the length. It was really nice to see the animations and in 3D even if it was only a few canned movements, but that stays true to the previous style of the games. Probably one of the better games in the Ace Attorney series, even though the concept is beginning to age. Well worth a download on a 3DS.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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