E3 2013: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies Impressions

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual DestiniesPhoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies was playable in Capcom’s booth at E3, so I went ahead and decided to check it out. The demo is a very small section of the first case, in which you have to solve the case of who detonated a bomb that destroyed the old courtroom. Anyone who’s played any previous entry in Ace Attorney will instantly be at home with the same mechanics the series has featured previously.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual DestiniesPhoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies features the same talking portraits in the storytelling of the game, but they are rendered in full 3D. In fact, all characters are rendered lovingly with polygons. In addition, some environments are now fully 3D, which allows for some graphical sugar such as the slow zoom on a witness as you begin cross-examination. There are a few other new features, such as the ability to bring up a chat log of the most recent dialog, in case you missed something, or skip back to the beginning of a witness’s testimony. Otherwise, the controls and mechanics are the exact same.

Phoenix Wright is back as the main character of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. For those who played Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, it’s sort of unclear at this point how Phoenix got his attorney’s license back, but the game acknowledges that Phoenix has been away from the bench for over 7 years, and that this return is a “rebirth of the Phoenix”. Apollo Justice himself also returns, and there are a few other familiar faces as well.

The demo began with a dialogue scene establishing the case, and then only let me go through two segments of gameplay. One was where I found the contradiction in a witness’s testimony, and presented evidence to prove him wrong. The second was unique, in which I questioned the defendant using the new Mood Matrix mechanic. You read each line of testimony, and as the witness feels emotions, they will light up at a corner of the screen. Should the witness feel an unusual emotion, you tap that emotion to question further. I’m sure it’ll get more complex, but in this demo it felt like playing a game of Simon Says where you only have to remember one color. Once I accomplished this, the demo ended. That being the case, it has been a very long time since we got a proper Ace Attorney game, and I just can’t wait for this to come out. This is one of the franchises I hold very dear to my heart.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies will release on 3DS later this year, exclusively on the Nintendo eShop, for $29.99.

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