Court is Now in Session
Set one year after the events in Apollo Justice, Phoenix Wright is officially back in court. Well, I don’t know about you but I’m delighted to see lawyer!Nick after being such a hobo for a while. In addition to Apollo, Wright Anything Agency added another lawyer in their team by the name of Athena Cykes. With these three in action, they face the darkest time of the law.
False convictions and fabricated pieces of evidence ruled the Dark Age of Law. Both the Defense and Prosecution do whatever it takes to get the result they want. The central theme revolves around it with the first cases serving as the prelude to the climax of the story as seen in the episodes 4 and 5. The last episodes are like one big case split into two. And just like what I always love in every Ace Attorney game, the last case concludes most of the loose endings. Everything comes full circle since the whole plot rotates in a single theme. But Capcom seems to ignore (or at least silently hoped that players overlook) some loose ends introduced way back Apollo Justice. It’s a bit jarring knowing something and it’s not even tackled in the game.
Dual Destinies is something that even newcomers to the series can enjoy. As a long time fan, I enjoy it immensely whenever something or someone in the previous games appeared or mentioned (even the appearance of Payne is something I enjoyed). Speaking of recurring characters, Dual Destinies did not fail me in this one. In fact, it gives me lots! You have no idea how much I flailed and internally screamed! (Even the appearance of Magatama had me screaming lmao). More importantly, Klavier Gavin and Miles Edgeworth make an appearance and thank god for the higher graphics as they are now a lot more ikemen. If you’ve missed these Prosecutors like me, play this game and you’ll be in for a small treat.
In addition to the main game, there’s an extra episode available for download. This is yet to be the most quirky case Phoenix ever defended in court. For a side episode, it is great, perhaps even greater than the ones included in the main story. Capcom does not cut any edges in this one. It could have been in the main storyline. I totally enjoyed every moment spent playing it.
Anything is Possible in Wright Anything Agency
Finding out faults and lies of witnesses outside the court has been one of the things that I enjoy in every Ace Attorney game. Since Phoenix is officially back to business, his Magatama makes an appearance as well. So as Apollo’s bracelet. Since anything is possible in their agency, a new lawyer with a peculiar ability comes along. Scouted personally by Phoenix, the eighteen-year-old Athena Cykes joins the defense team. She also studied Analytical Psychology and uses it on their witnesses. Athena has a heightened sense of hearing and can hear the distress in someone’s heart. With her gadget called Widget, she analyzes the testimonies alongside the emotions of the witnesses. For instance, if a character feels happy despite debris falling on to them, she tries to untangle the conflicting testimony.
The defense isn’t the only one who have gotten a new character. Prosecutor Simon Blackquill is a convicted felon who is given a special permission to still hold trials. Unlike the charms of Edgeworth and Godot, I find Blackquill standoff-ish (aren’t they all? lol). Yet he grew on me overthe course of the story as his sense of humor tends to be dry and lame, like mine lol. And he’s so much a sensible guy than from what he lets it on. Another addition to the quirky set of characters is the new detective, Bobby Fulbright. Fulbright is the stark contrast of his predecessor, Detective Gumshoe. For one, Fulbright wears a white uniform, looking tall and proud while shouting “IN JUSTICE WE TRUST!” compared to Gumshoe’s unruly and untidy appearance. I didn’t mean to pick on Gumshoe when he’s not even in the game. I hoped he was…
If you have played the other Ace Attorney games, Dual Destinies is pretty much the same. The point-and-click system is still the same, especially during investigations. You get to ask the witnesses, press them for more information, and present evidence while shouting Objection! or Hold it! for the kicks. The only addition is Athena’s Mood Matrix which only plays a side role. I wish it was given a more pivotal role in the game.
Presenting evidence can be quite annoying too. Despite knowing which is the right evidence to present to finally expose the lies in a witness’s testimony, you have to find the right statement or timing to show, otherwise you’ll get a penalty. It can be frustrating to find that tiny bit of statement to present your evidence. The game follows a pre-set of “steps” before you finally unravel the truth in them.
With the improved graphics of 3DS, the game is much more appealing to the eyes. Playing them in 3D or not doesn’t make big differences the might affect the enjoyment of the game. There are also animated scenes scattered in the game.
While it did not topple Trials & Tribulations as my favorite Ace Attorney, Dual Destinies is still a great game with a central theme that ties all cases together. Veteran players and newcomers alike can enjoy the game. Dual Destinies is a great addition to the list of great games in the Ace Attorney franchise.