Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy review – Justice prevails in this Capcom collection

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy review – Justice prevails in this Capcom collection
Images via Capcom

Written by 

Jack Roberts

Published 

22nd Jan 2024 15:00

In the Ace Attorney series, no one case is ever the same, and they are seldom devoid of interesting characters. It was the case for the original Phoenix Wright-centred games, and it continues in the collection of Apollo Justice games that have been collated into the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy.

With a bevvy of bonus features for you to get stuck into alongside three incredibly well-crafted and freshly polished games, the collection demonstrates that not only is the Ace Attorney franchise alive and well but emphasises Capcom’s willingness to celebrate the series.

GGRecon Verdict

The Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is an excellent collection of games that the earlier Phoenix Wright-heavy series of games may have previously overshadowed. While Phoenix may be the title character in two of the games, these games as a collection collate Apollo’s character and shine a light on the ever-growing team of attorneys as they defend a range of characters, from the malevolent to the bizarrely charming.

Alongside the games themselves, the assortment of bonuses including music, concept art and cinematics enhance the experience by allowing players to completely immerse themselves not only in the game world but also in the development and impact of the titles, making it a definitive title for veterans of the franchise and even newer players starting their Ace Attorney journey for the first time.

Courtroom dramas

The Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy bundles three games together that arrived after the initial trilogy of Phoenix Wright games: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice.

The three games in this collection, of course, place an emphasised focus on Apollo Justice, initially a fledgling defence attorney who gradually comes into his own as these games progress as he attempts to build up a reputation as strong as Phoenix Wright’s.

In this case, the first game in this collection is by far the strongest, as Apollo makes strides to prove himself and step into his own and has seen the same graphical overhaul that the other Nintendo DS titles received in previous collections. While I’ll always love the more pixelated style of the original presentation, this fresh lick of paint on the character models feels right at home, particularly with the pop of colour from the Switch OLED.

Apollo Justice using his deductive reasoning
Click to enlarge

Dual Destinies sees Apollo as a much more assured character as he and Phoenix are joined by Athena Cykes and we are introduced to new features that allow you to determine contradictions in testimony by reading the mood of the characters in the dock. Once again, bringing in a new, fledgling character with a unique set of abilities is when the series is at its strongest. As they learn the ropes, we learn the ropes with them and it’s charming to see them (much like the games themselves) attempt to live up to Phoenix’s legacy.

Finally, in Spirit of Justice, Apollo and Athena are trusted to go it alone, holding down the fort while Phoenix is away helping out his veteran assistant and medium, Maya Fey. As the latter games were originally 3DS titles, their character models have also received a buffing up, with smooth animations mixing well with the iconic anime cutscenes. The story of this game caps off the collection nicely, as a culmination of the characters introduced in these games.

However, despite its presentation of an assured team, the Spirit of Justice story can get a little muddled and it doesn’t quite hit all the notes I hoped it would. As such, while still a fantastic entry, it’s a little weaker than the previous two that introduced something new to the franchise through characters and concepts.

Judge for yourself

Apollo Justice in Spirit of Justice
Click to enlarge

There is never a dull moment in these games, whether you’re investigating a murder, defending the most difficult of clients, or reeling from a bombing in the legendary courthouse, there is always a vibrant set of suspects and witnesses to press for information.

Each game offers unique ways to play, as Apollo uses his powers of perception to read suspects with his steely gaze, and Athena and her trusty Widget allow her to decipher the emotions a witness is feeling to help add to their testimony. Puzzles, as ever, are seldom straightforward and, can at times, be somewhat perplexing until you get the justification for the answer. However, it's always fun attempting to decipher what you need to present as evidence, as even the most obvious villain attempts to keep you on your toes, and the heat off of them.

Justice for all

Apollo Justice in Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies
Click to enlarge

But it isn’t just the games that are a thing of beauty in this collection. Alongside them is a shiny new museum that encourages you to dive deep into the development of all these games with an Orchestra Hall to listen to the wonderful score, an art library, an animation studio to play around with the characters and even an in-game trophy section that rewards you for completing specific events in each of the games.

While the trilogy would have held up without this section, I can’t stress enough how much joy I felt just letting some of my favourite Ace Attorney tracks run, or working my way through the accolades to satiate the trophy hunter in me. In recent years, particularly last year with Resident Evil 4 and Street Fighter 6, Capcom continues to go above and beyond to celebrate its franchises and wants you to immerse yourselves in it from development to credits. And you owe it to yourself to oblige and indulge in these extras.

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Get exclusive news, content, and discounts sent directly to your inbox

You've joined our newsletter. Thank you!
Sorry, there has been an issue in subscribing to the newsletter.

The Verdict

The judge as he appears in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Click to enlarge

The Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is an excellent collection of games that the earlier Phoenix Wright-heavy series of games may have previously overshadowed. While Phoenix may be the title character in two of the games, these games as a collection collate Apollo’s character and shine a light on the ever-growing team of attorneys as they defend a range of characters, from the malevolent to the bizarrely charming.

Alongside the games themselves, the assortment of bonuses including music, concept art and cinematics enhance the experience by allowing players to completely immerse themselves not only in the game world but also in the development and impact of the titles, making it a definitive title for veterans of the franchise and even newer players starting their Ace Attorney journey for the first time.

4.5/5

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Code provided by the publisher.

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.