Aside from Apollo himself being a downgrade, the rest of the gameplay is still exceptional. Although the updated DS features are somewhat underwhelming, including using the stylus and microphone for fingerprinting, using luminol spray, and casting footprints, (a lot of the same stuff we saw in Chapter 5 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney), there's something to be said for not messing with a good thing. The core gameplay is identical to previous installments, and the upgraded features are used like a garnish to an already delicious dish. That said, people who are looking for something new that utilizes DS's capabilities will be disappointed.
At heart, the Ace Attorney series has always been about telling a good story, so in a way it's hard to weigh its merits without giving away some major spoilers. You'll have to trust us on this one - it's worth sticking it out to the final chapter. In the end, Apollo Justice delivers the same winning formula we've come to expect, throws in some refreshing new twists, and leaves us satisfied yet still eager to see where the story will go. If Apollo is to continue in the starring role, let's hope he shows some depth in the next installment so we're not still pining for Phoenix to rise again.
Feb 19, 2008