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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review - All Rise

  • Engaging storytelling and rich narrative
  • Diverse and unique characters dripping with personality
  • Enhanced visuals and new features making it accessible to newcomers
  • Not everyone will enjoy the pacing of the game
  • Some sluggishness and wonky control on PC

A PC review code for "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy" was provided to SVG for this review. The game will be available on January 25, 2024, for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

In the realm of remasters, re-releases, reboots, and HD collections, it's easy for classic games to get lost in the shuffle. But every now and then, a game comes along that not only withstands the test of time, but also gets a fresh coat of paint and new life on modern consoles. Such is the case with the "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy" collection. (Pun absolutely intended.)


The "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy" is a legal drama-packed collection that bundles together the fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters (16 episodes in total) of the long-running "Ace Attorney" series. If you're a newbie to this courtroom circus, you're in for a treat with a series that blends detective work with law and order, all wrapped up in a quirky, animated package that's full of heart and humor.

New kid on the legal block

First up in our legal lineup is "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney." You're introduced to the titular Apollo Justice, a spunky new attorney with a flair for dramatic courtroom showdowns. It's a fresh start for the series, with Phoenix Wright – the once-legendary lawyer — now taking a backseat. This game nicely sets the tone for the trilogy with its unique blend of serious casework and offbeat humor. Apollo's debut is more than just a new face; it's a whole new chapter, starting off with defending none other than Phoenix Wright himself.


Next, we have "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies." This chapter takes a slight detour, bringing back Phoenix Wright to share the spotlight. The story deepens here, weaving intricate narratives that challenge your detective instincts and legal prowess. New characters add spice to the mix, each with their unique quirks and backstories. "Dual Destinies" feels like a bridge to the earliest entries of the series, connecting the old guard with the new and ensuring that players get a taste of both worlds.

Rounding out the trilogy is "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice." The narrative takes a more dramatic turn in this entry, with cases that push the boundaries of your imagination. This chapter actually leans into the supernatural, adding an extra layer of mystery to the courtroom drama. The storytelling in "Spirit of Justice" is at its peak, with complex cases that challenge not just your legal skills but also your ability to suspend disbelief.


A detective in lawyer's clothing

The gameplay across the trilogy remains true to the series' roots. You'll find yourself knee-deep in evidence, witness testimonies, and contradictions. It's a text-heavy affair, but one that's rich in narrative and character development. As a newcomer, you might be surprised at how much reading is involved, but even if you don't particularly gravitate towards visual novel adventure-type games, the stories are so engaging that you'll soon forget you're playing a game and feel more like you're unraveling a mystery novel.


One of the trilogy's strengths lies in its diverse and eccentric cast. From the earnest Apollo Justice to the seasoned Phoenix Wright (and everyone in between), each character brings a unique flavor to the legal proceedings. The supporting characters are just as colorful as the main protagonists, each contributing to the game's humor and depth while adding to the overarching story. Their interactions and developments keep the narrative engaging and often lead to unexpected plot twists.

Dripping in high definition and new features

Visually, the "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy" is a treat. The transition to HD breathes new life into the games, with vibrant colors and detailed backgrounds that make the courtroom and investigation scenes pop. The character animations are expressive, adding touches of personality to the drama and humor of each trial. The audio, too, is a standout feature, with the meme-worthy catchphrases we all know and love, and a dynamic soundtrack that keeps you immersed in the action.


The trilogy introduces new gameplay features like Autoplay and Story Mode, making it more accessible to newcomers. Autoplay is a blessing for those who'd rather experience the story without constant button presses. Story Mode, meanwhile, lets the game handle the heavy lifting of evidence selection, perfect for when you want to focus on the narrative. These additions are thoughtful and well-implemented, allowing you to enjoy the story at your own pace.

All aboard the Newcomer Express

For newcomers to the series, this trilogy is the perfect entry point. The first game, "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney," essentially resets the series, making it easy to jump in without prior knowledge of the first few games. The gradual introduction of familiar characters ensures you're never lost in the lore, and, in fact, may just make you want to check out the other games when you've cracked all of the cases. The trilogy does an excellent job of welcoming new players while still offering depth and complexity for series veterans.


All that said, one aspect that might not sit well with everyone is the trilogy's pacing. The storytelling, while engaging, unfolds at a leisurely pace — and that's being generous. Some cases can feel drawn out, requiring patience and attention to detail. This slow burn is part of the charm for some but could be a deterrent for players looking for more action-packed gameplay.

While the trilogy mostly runs smoothly, there are minor technical issues to note. There is some sluggishness seen in menus and transitions on PC. The controls, especially with a mouse and keyboard setup, can occasionally feel a bit clunky. These aren't deal-breakers, but they are small blemishes on an otherwise polished collection.


A solid case

"Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy" is a robust package that offers a fantastic blend of detective and legal drama. It's an excellent starting point for newcomers, with all the previously released games and DLC included. The trilogy's quirky characters, engaging narratives, and new features make for an enjoyable experience, albeit one that might test your patience with its text-heavy and slow-paced nature.


On that note, while SVG tested the PC version, it does feel as though picking up "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy" makes the most sense on Nintendo Switch. Its portability that would allow for easier pick-up-and-play sessions and the visual novel-esque nature of the game. Regardless, for those willing to dive into the world of courtroom battles and legal intrigue, this trilogy stands as a solid 8 out of 10. Whether you're a seasoned "Ace Attorney" fan or a curious newcomer, these halls of justice are worth a visit.