I never thought a series that started as a simple defense lawyer protecting his clients would turn into this gem of a franchise. Five years ago, when I first saw Wright point his finger to object to a contradiction, I knew I was in for something great. I never knew it would go beyond just great into legendary.


Ace Attorney has always been light on gameplay, and that’s no difference here. Everything you do always boils down to just selecting dialogue options and presenting evidence. While it is occasionally broken up with a few different changes of pace including examining crime scenes and watching for tells from the witness, these moments are very few and far between. While this may sound bad, this is all the gameplay Ace Attorney needs to stay engrossing.

In the court, Phoenix and company face off against the prosecution and shady witnesses. Your core cross examining still consists of pressing witnesses for more detailed statements and presenting contradictory evidence. The only new cross examining element is the Mood Matrix, a computer program where you can get more information out of their information by analyzing their moods. While it’s a great concept, some of these sections do boil down to trial and error.


Outside of the courtroom, more varied gameplay elements rear their head. Of course, you have the usual analyzing of crime scenes, but they have been expanded for Dual Destinies. The 3D environments allow for you to get multiple perspectives of the locations you inspect. While this is an awesome concept, it could’ve been further fleshed out.


The core of exploring environments is still questioning witnesses outside of the court. This game makes use of both the iconic Magmata and Apollo’s bracelet in new and exciting ways, keeping the questioning of witnesses from becoming too stale. Of course, you still have your normal dialogue tress and plenty of important pieces of evidence to show suspects.


Like the previous games, the story and writing is the real star here. The world is currently plunged into the dark age of the law, where corruption and bribery is the norm and the truth is rarely found. Phoenix Wright has been disbarred, Prosecutor Blackwell was charged with murder, courtrooms are being bombed, and the world’s premiere law academy preaches “The end justifies the means.” It’s a dark, unforgiving time period, and it’s built in perfectly.


The atmosphere isn’t the only thing the game’s story has going for it either. The cast has been expanded, with characters both old and new showing up throughout the twelve hour long experience. The old cast may seem like nothing but pure fan service, but they all end up playing important roles to solve the cases.


The newcomers surpass all expectations I had, outshining even some of the classics such as Maya Fey and Dick Gumshoe. Bobby Fulbright fills in the slot of detective this outing and does an admirable job keeping the players entertained while still being competent enough to get his job done. Simon Blackquill may appear to be nothing but a dark and brooding character at first, but he manages to be on par with even Miles Edgeworth when it comes to interesting prosecutors.

However, the real star of the show is Athena Cykes. This up and coming attorney has just joined the Wright Anything Agency to save someone she loves. Her character arc from a nervous rookie to a confident lawyer is extremely well done, and her past is masterfully tied into it. She feels more human than any other Ace Attorney character, with her undying loyalty mixed with her self-doubt making her a rather unpredictable character. However, no matter her faults, she comes out at the end feeling more inspiring than any video game character I’ve ever seen.


I can safely say without a doubt that Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is the best 3DS game ever made. In fact, it may just be one of the best games ever made. Just as Phoenix hoped to usher in a new age of the law, I hope this game can usher in a new age of storytelling and writing.  Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is the best game to come out all year, and is perhaps one of the greatest games of all time. Dual Destinies is a game that can be enjoyed by previous fans of the series, newcomers, and everybody who just wants a good story. This is the 3DS system seller right here, and you’d be crazy to pass it up.


Graphics: 8/10

Sound: 9/10

Story: 10/10

Gameplay: 10/10


Overall: 10/10