PAX Prime: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies – First Impressions

Before jumping into this review, I should admit up front that before PAX Prime, I had never played an Ace Attorney game. Not sure why that happened, but it just never really crossed my radar! However, hearing that new Phoenix Wright title was headed to the 3DS, and that it would be the perfect starting point for newcomers to the series, made this a must-try at the convention.

The booth was set up nicely—a false courtroom, with the 3DS consoles displayed on “wooden” judges’ stands. It was a small booth, but there were still about 6 systems to play on, including a media system. Rather than jump the queue, however, I waited in line—after all, game reviews are subjective, and it can be helpful to watch the faces of the people leaving a booth after playing a demo. Do they look happy? Excited? Disappointed? Do they ask questions?

There seemed to be a general air of positivity from the Ace Attorney booth, so I was glad when I finally got to the system and was able to give it a go. The demo consists of one quick case, giving you the range of experience when it comes to listening to witness testimony, checking stories between different people, and examining evidence.

According to the booth people, this new game, Dual Destinies, shows off a ramped up “Investigation Engine”, but I gather than there were only minor tweaks made to ensure that it’s easier to examine evidence and areas rather than a full revamp of how things work. However, the 3D addition to the game allows you to see a fully realized environment, rather than just clicking around in hopes you’ll find a clue to your case.

What I appreciate about this game—and people who’ve been playing the series for a while may already know this from previous titles—is that it makes you think in a different way. It’s an analytical style of play, where what people say has a strong bearing on how you solve puzzles and progress. There are brain teasers in the form of logic and analysis, but all wrapped up into the excitement of a game with story and real characters.

The case in the demo was short—and a little cutesy, despite the whole bomb and teddy bear thing—but it was intriguing enough, and fun enough, to pique my interest in playing the whole game once it’s released later this year. No firm release date has yet been announced, but we know it’ll be “soon.”


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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