Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (Series) Review

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Posted: A year ago, last updated 7 months ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a courtroom murder mystery series where you piece together clues to challenge testimonies and uncover the truth. It’s like a visual novel, although you must interact with characters and evidence to progress.

These are essentially visual novel adventures where you collect evidence, talk to witnesses and make leaps of deduction to move the story forwards. Each case begins with an opening cinematic of a murder. Then you have the task of defending the prime suspect. The gameplay is divided into two sections, investigations and courtroom trials.

During the trial you cross-examine witnesses and use evidence to uncover the truth. You can go back and forth between the different statements in the testimony and press the witness for more details about a statement. The aim is to find an inconsistency, present evidence and establish innocence.

The games in the series are as follows:
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2001) first on Gameboy Advance then on Nintendo DS, PC, Wii and iOS.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Justice for All (2002) first on Gameboy Advance then on Nintendo DS, PC, Wii.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Trials and Tribulations (2004) first on Gameboy Advance then on PC, Nintendo DS, Wii.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (2007) on Nintendo DS, iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Dual Destinies (2013) on Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Spirit of Justice (2016) on Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (2019) - All 14 episodes, spanning the first three games.
In addition to the main games are a number of "Investigations" spin-off titles:
  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (2009) on Nintendo DS, Android, iOS.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations 2 (2011) on Nintendo DS, Android, iOS in 2017.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2012) is a crossover between Ace Attorney and the Professor Layton series on Nintendo 3DS.

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 12/12/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Role-Playing

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 17 hours and 26 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game. Time to complete the games varies depending on the narrative and speed of deduction of the player.

CostsCosts

This game is free to start playing, but requires payment to continue at some point. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.

Free-to-start playing on iOS and Android with in-game purchases for the different games and cases.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated ESRB TEEN.

 

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was rated PEGI 12 for moderate violence and mildly offensive language. The examiner's report expands this rating with the following: The majority of violence featured in this game is implied through still images and narration, making it suitable at a PEGI 7 level. However, in some instances, the violence crosses into a 12 rating with depictions of non-realistic violence towards human characters. In one example, two shadowy figures stand on a boat; one pulls out a gun and shoots the other, who disappears before a splash is seen in the water. In another scene, a man is seen to fall backwards slowly frame by frame into a knife.

Mildly offensive language, such as ‘damn’, ‘dammit’ and ‘hell’, is reasonably frequent. Some crime sequences fall under PEGI’s fear category, meaning they might be upsetting to young children.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy has the following accessibility options:

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Subtitles

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.

Mouse And Keyboard

Keyboard Alone: Can play with just the keyboard.

Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse button/mouse wheel.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

One Tap Targeted: Play with touchscreen, tap in specific locations.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Re-map all buttons/keys.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Remap mouse and keyboard.

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative


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Games Like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney

The following games are like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney for younger age ratings.

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