Objection! Take that! Hold it! Another Ace Attorney game? Why, yes indeed!
The newest addition to Capcom’s courtroom drama adventure series, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, gives gamers more of the same intriguing mysteries and logic solving gameplay. Made for the Nintendo DS, the game features Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth this time around, famous for being the unrelenting rival of the original Ace, Phoenix Wright. Unlike its predecessors, Ace Attorney features some new elements that spice up the series nicely, but the linear gameplay that fans are used to remains generally the same. You’ll miss Phoenix and the short-lived Apollo Justice at first, but Miles Edgeworth quickly gains your heart as you lead him through one strange case after another.
The main thing fans will notice in this game is the glaring absence of the courtroom. In its place, players explore crime scenes and use Miles Edgeworth’s logic ability to discover the truth. It’s actually just what the game title claims; an investigation-type game. There are many familiar faces that fans will recognize, and some really great new strange people to press in interrogations. Also, in addition to the amusing character motifs that are an Ace Attorney series staple, Capcom also uses 2D sprites that the player can mover during investigating crime scenes, which is actually a very nice addition. Gamers get to control Edgeworth through five different cases, each with a different crime with an intertwining common denominator that ties them together at the end.
Each episode works the same way; introduction, investigate, interrogate, repeat, solve. During the course of the episode, Edgeworth must make logic connections, present evidence to support his claims, and press and question witnesses and suspects. Some players may find the logic a little holey, and it most certainly is a trial-and-error process. Edgeworth is penalized for each wrong decision he presents, represented by a logic meter at the top of the screen. If the bar drains to empty, Edgeworth gets thrown off the case and the game is over. Often, much like the other games in the series, there are multiple pieces of information or evidence that would make sense to present, so the game gets frustrating at times as Edgeworth is continuously made a fool of as you choose the wrong thing. There are certainly times where the player will know right off the bat what to present and the logic is obvious, but sometimes the choice won’t even make sense until after you present it and the characters explain why it’s correct.
After playing through four other Ace Attorney games, unfortunately for Miles, this one seems a bit stale. Although the added elements certainly are fun at first, for the most part, the game is pretty much the same as the others. Quirky characters and interesting cases are still present, and the writing truly saves the game and makes you want to continue playing. However, the frustrating trial-and-error process might turn some people off, especially those who are new to the series. Naturally, we wouldn’t ask for it to be easy; discovery and figuring things out is what the game is all about, of course! But the fact remains that there are definitely some far-fetched conclusions that will throw even the most experienced Ace Attorney into a fit of rage as they continuously connect things incorrectly.
Blast factor: Capcom preserves the things that make the series great, and at least attempts to bring new life with the investigation aspects and logic meter. Needless to say, the things that make the original Ace Attorney frustrating are glaringly present in their latest offering as well. This is not to say that you won’t have a great time holding y and screaming "Objection!" as loud as you can into your DS in a crowd of people, but that players should be prepared to get a little flustered. Ace Attorney is a wonderful series, with a different style than any other games I’ve played. Give it a chance, and I’m sure most will not be disappointed.
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