Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Preview – On the Wright path

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Preview – On the Wright path
Images via Capcom

Written by 

Jack Roberts

Published 

11th Dec 2023 15:00

The Ace Attorney Series is synonymous with high-octane courtroom dramas, where everything can change at the drop of a hat with untrustworthy witnesses, tangled testimonies, and the iconic scream of objection! And while Phoenix Wright may be the poster boy of the series, Apollo Justice also carved out a role in the games that see him taking the reins and assisting the man himself.

The Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy compiles three games from the Nintendo DS and 3DS era that all feature the titular character: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, and presents them with enhanced graphics and unique bonuses to make for an exciting nostalgic trip. From this early preview, it seems that once again Capcom, fresh from the successes of Resident Evil 4 and Street Fighter 6, continues to show love to its beloved franchises with this selection of games.

Justice is served

Following up from Trials and Tribulations was always going to be a tremendous feat, especially since it rounded off the original trilogy so neatly. During the Nintendo DS era, Apollo Justice felt like a way of establishing a new facet of the franchise that, while a good game on the whole, didn’t quite have the enthusiasm as the previously established stalwart of Phoenix Wright. So, I was interested in going back to Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the first game in this collection, in particular, to see how it fared since subsequent entries in the series.

Apollo takes to the courtroom and has some opinions about the Judge in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Click to enlarge

Apollo Justice’s themes very much follow the trajectory of its place in the video game history books. A new character attempting to live up to the reputation of his predecessor who helped pioneer a genre and became an icon in their own right (or Wright in this case). While it may have been a little too early for this new face during the original 2007 release, my early cases with Apollo Justice have been buffed to perfection.

Apollo is a naïve new defence attorney, and stepping into his shoes after a few years away from playing an Ace Attorney game helped me appreciate his role even more. The first game in this trilogy is by far the gem in the collection, particularly in the early stages I had played. An older title compared to its 3DS counterparts, it has seen a smooth transition from pixel perfection to polished poignancy, with every facial expression lovingly smoothed out.

I said in the introduction here that Capcom does well in showing a lot of love to its franchises, and this is especially evident here when you get to spend a little more time poring over the making of the games in the trilogy’s Museum Mode. With a music player, animation studio, artwork viewer, and the ability to watch in-game cinematics, it allowed me to take the time to appreciate what I had missed during the games' original releases.

No objections

Right from the very first case, the characters in this series of games continue to shine as they become more and more enveloped in the case at hand. Every witness stamps their own identity on their time on the stand, as the battle of wits between defence and prosecution takes place (I'll always be happy to see that hapless Judge who doesn't look to be retiring anytime soon). What can go from a seemingly simple case will often eventually descend the rabbit hole - indicating that you'll have to think outside the box for some of these solutions.

The Judge in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Click to enlarge

The puzzles, often taking the form of examining evidence and poking holes in testimonies, are relatively simple. But, that is by no means a bad thing, as the balance feels carefully curated so as not to alienate the player from losing track of the story. With the odd convoluted solution to throw you off the scent, keep you on your toes, and make sure you're keeping track of every detail. When you're ready to shout OBJECTION! at the top of your lungs (thanks in part to Apollo's Chords of Steel exercises), the story quickens, turning from meticulous puzzle-solving to an intense courtroom drama as you attempt to outwit your prosecuting opponent.

Final thoughts

Apollo Justice in a cutscene in the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Click to enlarge

With my early cases still in progress and the courtroom set for some explosive verbal battles, the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is embracing the same level of polish established with previous compilations of the Ace Attorney series and shining a light on some of the more underrated games. There is clearly a great appreciation for these games, and it is great to be able to experience them lovingly transferred to a current-gen console.

As I return to the courtroom to see how the games continue to play out, I look forward to finishing them one by one and returning with my final verdict (as well as seeing how many courtroom puns I can make to do Phoenix and Apollo proud).

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy will be released in early 2024. For more upcoming Capcom quality, be sure to check out our preview of Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Jack Roberts
About the author
Jack Roberts
Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.
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