Whoever said there are no great games for the 3DS has his/her verdict in an absolute wrongful.
Welcome to the latest installment on the 3DS of Capcom’s long running Ace Attorney franchise. Dual Destinies brings back the glory of the franchise in a beautiful, smart plotted and deep experience. After investing around 30 hours into the game (and that’s only through the first three cases), I am totally impressed by how smartly plotted and captivating an experience Dual Destinies is.
Dual Destinies puts you in the shoes of the world’s most famous attorney and his accomplices striving through twisted cases, throwing whatever shrewd skills they have at your disposal to persuade the judge to rule a ‘NOT GUILTY’ verdict.
Visually,the game is stunning, whether you are plying in good old fashioned 2D or using the new 3D mode, and is rich with colorful, anime style graphics. Though the background is still classically static, the way the characters are sketched and animated is a joy to watch.
The first case introduces you to the game’s system, which can be played using the stylus only, in a graphic novel style.
The gameplay is traditional and simple yet addictive. As with all previous games in the series, before each case, you are treated with a short clip of the crime that sometimes exposes the culprit, something I wish they didn’t practice as it takes away from the ultimate level of suspense and anticipation when trying to solve the case.
Veterans will feel straight at home with the control scheme, and new comers will pick it up rather easily. After the initial video of the crime plays out, it’s up to you to talk to people, visit crime scenes looking for clues that might help in supporting your claims in the court of law, to eventually question witnesses and cross examining whatever evidences and testimonies you have found and pinpoint an inconsistency in the witness’s testimony. Pretty intense stuff, specially if you are a fan of law shows and detective stories.
Each of the characters with you has a unique skill that helps in detecting inconsistencies in testimonials which help to reinforce your claim. If you messed up and presented wrong evidence to support your claim, you will lose a fragment of your ‘life bar’ . Should that life bar be depleted due to multiple bone headed claims, you will be slapped with a GUILTY verdict. Thankfully, that verdict is not terminal and you can easily pick up the game from a previous moment in the case, before the judge had lost faith in your detective skills.
Once you get the mechanics of the game, you will enjoy the flow of digging down the scenes, squeezing your brain trying to solve the case with as little wrongful claims as possible. Where the game feels most rewarding is in its offering of solid plot twists that will have you constantly changing your approach and fine tuning your case until, at time, the last possible moment in court.
Unfortunately there are still no voice overs in the game, only in cutscenes, but that could be due to a classic case of ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’, or due to the massive amount of text Dual Destinies has which would make it impossible to have it all voiced. That, however, doesn’t affect the game’s flow or makes it an inferior experience. The soundtrack may still be as cheesy as fans will remember, but the thrill of presenting adequate evidence at the right time, causing the awesome catch phrases like ‘Objection’, Silence’ and ‘Hold it’ to play out is still, thankfully, gratifying.
Dual Destinies might not be the greatest game graphics wise, but it offers gamers a very deep and entertaining experience that will get them glued to their 3Ds for countless enjoyable hours trying to struggle through the game’s twists and turns to solve the cases. Fans of the series will gobble this title with ease and new comers can expect a wonderfully charming and well though out experience.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is a 3DS exclusive