Review by getar1234

"You can never have enough of a good thing *spoiler free review*"

Released nine years ago, the ace attorney series never really took off, for three years it was sold on the game boy advance in japan, then later in 2005, the games were re-released for the DS all over the world. After 4 phenomenal games, fans are treated to a spin off featuring Miles Edgeworth. For those who haven't played any other ace attorney games, I suggest you play the first 3 before trying this. I waited a long time for my copy of AAI so was it any good?

STORY

With a game like ace attorney, the story is everything, since, ace attorney is a series of murder mysteries in which you have to prove who you think is the murderer guilty. In the previous 4 games, there were 2 sections, investigation and court. In investigation, you questioned witnesses and looked for clues piecing together what you knew for the next day in court. In the court sections, you cross examined witnesses and proved they were lying using evidence you found earlier, leading you to the truth.

However, in this spin off, Miles investigates the crime scenes and doesn't go into court. While it says it's all about the crime scene, it's set-up in such a way that it's pretty much the same as the other titles, you still have investigation sections and then you have argument sections in which you have to show clues you found to show the person you're talking to is wrong. It's pretty much the same thing. While it may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world the writing is top notch and the mysteries will have you scratching your head for a while. You meet many interesting characters along the way, and for the true fans, lots of cameos are featured even if they don't play a part to the main story.

While I love the story, there is the matter of the time line. A lot of people get confused over the time line of which cases happened when. There are 5 cases, and the time line is all over the place, you're there now you're two days ago, then you're in the present, it's confusing if you don't pay attention. However, in the true ace attorney fashion you'll always feel on top of the world when you solve the case.

If you've played ace attorney before, you'll know that these murders aren't exactly normal, I won't mention any of them but they aren't your usual predictable boring murder mysteries. There are many twists to keep you occupied. The cases themselves are usually some of the best seen in an ace attorney game, while it doesn't exactly get as good as 1-4 or 2-4 it does get interesting. First cases in ace attorney games are known for being quite obvious and the last one is known for being really good. That still holds true in this title.

GRAPHICS

There isn't much to say about graphics, but the layout is a different story, rather than a first person view, you are given a conversation layout. This is a nice touch since it's easy to know who's talking now, in previous games, if phoenix started talking, you might get confused if it has a picture of a woman.

Everything looks more polished and refined, character models look more smooth and environments look more polished even if some of them are a bit boring. Compare Ema Skye's teenage look from the first game to now and you'll notice a dramatic difference.

SOUND

It's a game about lawyers, the music can't be good right? Wrong. Search the web and listen to some of the in-game music (don't look at the comments though they always contain spoilers). The music is mainly piano rather than the bleeps from the previous games. For previous fans, all the favourites are back, inform the truth, Objection!, Allegro, Cornered and many new pieces to. I would never have expected to find such good music in a game about lawyers.

You'll occasionally stop playing just to listen to the music, it's great. This is one of the best soundtracks of the ace attorney series to date.

GAME PLAY

Ok, you know that miles investigates crime scenes and has arguments, but how do you do that? In the game you have a truth bar, every time you make a mistake you lose a bit, once it's all gone, its game over, but the game has a great save system when you can save anytime you want. In investigations, you look around and when you see something of interest, you examine it, using evidence from previous examinations, you deduce which means, find the contradiction in what your examining. Sound boring? Trust me, it's not.

If you've played previous titles, you will know each playable character has a gimmick. Phoenix has Pysche locks which let him see if people are lying. Apollo let him see people's habits when they lie and Edgeworth uses logic. I actually prefer this, Pysche locks tended to get tricky since you didn't know if you had the right evidence, with logic, if something doesn't make sense, you jot it down, then later, you connect them to see if they make sense together. For example, if you notice that the killer used the gun, and that the victim was a detective, connecting them proves that the gun was the victims, showing signs of a struggle. It doesn't feel like a gimmick and it feels like something you would use in real life. If you examine something and miles still see's something strange he says "I won't rest until I have expected every suspicious nook and cranny" or "I've already checked this area but it doesn't hurt to do so again", if you have inspected everything, this is a nice change because you won't aimlessly be checking things over and over for no purpose.

Arguments work in exactly the same way as cross examining. People give there arguments, then you can press them for extra info, or prove they are lying by showing some evidence. One problem I have with this is that, it's pretty easy when compared to other games in the series.

The game clocks in at about 10 to 15 hours and unless you are a really big fan, you won't be playing through it again for a while, it's very very linear. It's an interactive novel, it would be. But for the 15 hours I put in, they produced some of the best moments of the series.

CONCLUSION

In short, this game is fantastic, it doesn't have the best graphics, it doesn't feature lots of explosions, but that's exactly what it's all about. Ace attorney is just another series that proves it doesn't need to be Call of Duty to be epic. I highly recommend picking it up and getting yourself into the series. It's one of the few series where it has a huge fan base willing to talk with you about it. Pick it up. Get immersed in it. You won't regret it.

STORY: 9.2
Fantastic with lots of twists, but some of them are a bit strange and some cameos are pointless.

GRAPHICS: 8.6
It doesn't really matter but they still look pretty awesome, and it's a nice change having a conversation layout. It's got its own unique style.

SOUND: 9.7
Simply one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard for a video game, I love it.

GAME PLAY: 8.9
Even if it's too easy, it's still the same fun, but linear game we have all come to know and love.

REPLAY VALUE: 6.2
You'll play through it 2 times maybe, but only fans will appreciate it any more afterwards.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/10

Game Release: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (EU, 02/19/10)


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