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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review: More Courtroom Capers

Apollo Justice Ace Attorney Trilogy

We’ve had a compilation of the first three Ace Attorney titles on modern formats, and we’ve had a compilation of the last two Ace Attorney titles on modern formats. Now Capcom is filling in the gap with a compilation of three more Ace Attorney titles. Collectively it’s called Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy – which is a bit silly really, for reasons we’ll go into a little later. But for those who enjoy visual novels, crime drama and some puzzle solving, it’s yet another great package.

As already mentioned, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy bundles up three games. There’s Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice. While this is called Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy, then, you’ll find that the titular character is only the focus of one of these titles. Admittedly he does appear in the other two as a playable character as well, alongside a third playable character – Athena Cykes.

Originally released in 2007 on Nintendo DS, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is the most basic of the titles here, very much sticking to the tried-and-tested formula of the original Ace Attorney trilogy. In its opening case you’ll find yourself actually defending the legendary Phoenix Wright, who’s been accused of murder. In a comical trial, you’re in charge of the cross-examination of Wright, and others, trying to spot contradictions in the statements they make and presenting evidence to back it up. Apollo has a unique skill up his sleeve, too: the ability to perceive when people aren’t quite telling the truth.

Apollo Justice Ace Attorney Trilogy Preview (1)
Image: Capcom

It’s the other two titles – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice – that are perhaps more interesting in this package. Released on Nintendo 3DS in 2013 and 2016 respectively, they successfully bring the series into the world of 3D. This means the courtroom antics are more over-the-top than ever before, with characters being more animated and outrageous. It also allows for dynamic camera angles, adding more drama. Where the benefit of 3D is most felt, however, is in the investigation sections that sit between the humorous bouts of courtroom action.

Thanks to locations being rendered in 3D you can approach them from different angles, making your hunt for clues that bit more challenging and rewarding. Of course, you’ll also need to question people to gather evidence, and these characters exhibit more personality than previous titles. Ultimately, though, the gameplay itself remains largely unchanged from the many titles that came before, for better or for worse. You’ll find little tweaks, such as having to pick apart supposed evidence brought to light via seances in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, but that’s about it.

Playing the PS4 version of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy on PS5 for review, these titles clean up very nicely indeed. As ever, it’s a shame that they’re not voiced, but it’s also understandable given the sheer amount of dialogue here. In any case, all three games look absolutely brilliant, with the 3DS titles in particular benefiting from a little bit of love. Character models are crisp, detailed and wonderfully animated – you’d never believe they started out life on 3DS.

More work has been put into Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy than just sprucing up the visuals as well. A museum has been included, for example, that allows series fans to peruse art, listen to music, and more. And as for quality of life features, you can now engage autoplay which makes playing a more relaxed experience, and all games and episodes are unlocked from the outset, allowing you to jump in exactly where you want. New to all of these games? Perhaps jump in at the beginning of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Played them all before and have a peculiar love for episode 4 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice? Start there if you wish.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a bit of a no-brainer for fans of the series – it’s three more solid entries enhanced for modern consoles alongside a wealth of extras and quality of life improvements. What’s not to love? Saying that, however, we’re of the opinion that this offers the weakest selection of games when it comes to the three collections now available. If you’re new to the Ace Attorney series, perhaps start with the Phoenix Wright Trilogy or Great Ace Chronicles, then think about picking this one up.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is based on the PS4 version (played on PS5), with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!