Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD is an iOS release from Capcom. It’s available now as a free download from the Apple App Store and carries additional in-app purchases.
Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD brings together the first three releases of Capcom’s famous Ace Attorney series and provides their first release in HD. The games put the player in the role of Phoenix Wright, a young attorney with a habit of finding himself defending accused murderers. Right from the start, the game offers a cutscene that shows the first victim and her killer, and it’s up to Phoenix Wright to prove that his client was framed and reveal the identity of the real killer. To do so, players will need to battle in the courtroom, picking apart testimony and presenting evidence. Outside the courtroom, players will guide Phoenix through numerous areas, collecting evidence, speaking to witnesses, and uncovering details, all to discover the truth.
The entirety to the game is based on understanding the facts and breaking down every piece of testimony. While most cases stand well on their own, some of them connect with each other and make references to past cases, which can be important. Players who aren’t up for a ton of reading will be instantly turned off, because the Ace Attorney series is based around reading and dissecting dialogue. Players will be captivated by each character’s personality and choices. Each story is long, but they’re separated into enough parts where players won’t need to commit too much time to enjoy the games.
The series feels almost like a visual novel, but when the court is in session, the real gameplay takes place. Honestly, there’s not a lot of variety to the gameplay. Witnesses will testify in front of the court, then Phoenix needs to either press them on a certain subject or present evidence to argue a claim. It’s a basic system that a few players may find boring, but it fits well with the text-heavy flow of the games. As testimonies are disputed, new twists and turns arise and the story — the biggest focus of the series — becomes one of the most engaging in videogames. Ace Attorney is a story-centric series and that’s what has made it such a popular franchise on handheld systems.
The only form of monetization in this collection is in purchasing the full games. Players can play the first couple cases for free, then pay $5.99 for the first game, $6.99 for either of the other games, or $16.99 for the collection. This pricing seems a bit high and is more than likely to turn off casual fans, but the collection consists of ports of three rare Nintendo DS titles, so players familiar with the series will likely be more than happy to spend.
Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD is a brilliant collection of courtroom stories and captivating characters. The price tag is likely to be a bit high for the average mobile gaming fan, but those who pay will find themselves captivated by what the series has to offer. Because it’s a story-based game without much in the way of numerous paths, few players will see the need to play more than once, and there aren’t any special features that will keep players entertained for any serious amount of time. That said, the series looks gorgeous in HD and it’s well worth any player’s time.
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A great story-based experience providing a ton of gameplay and a wonderful port of a handheld series.