Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

While The Mechanics Improve, Ace’s Storytelling Loses Some Punch
by Bryan Vore on Feb 16, 2010 at 08:50 AM
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Rating: Rating Pending
Reviewed on: DS

Miles Edgeworth has softened up over the years, moving from stone cold Phoenix Wright rival to helpful ally. While I liked Edgeworth’s jerky side, it makes sense that Capcom transformed him into a relatable protagonist to carry his first solo adventure.

The more drastic change in this spin-off of the Ace Attorney franchise is a new zoomed out third-person perspective. Character sprites are animated well and actually show people interacting instead of simply describing what happens. Having direct control over Edgeworth’s movements in a crime scene feels more natural than tapping all over a room with the stylus. Investigations are contained to smaller areas this time around, which thankfully fixes the issue of forcing players to hike all over town to find that one person or piece of evidence needed to move the game forward.

The new logic system finds Edgeworth collecting clues outside of traditional physical evidence. For example, you’ll take note of a contradiction such as: “Why isn’t there any broken glass on the ground if this object supposedly crashed through the window?” Once a handful of clues are gathered, you can piece two together at a time. While it adds another perspective to investigations, I found the game’s logic a little too easy overall. It ends up being more of a process of elimination than true deduction.

While mechanics are certainly important, many fans of the series judge an Ace Attorney by its cast and plot. Without spoiling anything, I can say that the silly tone remains intact, and murder mysteries are just as ridiculous and tough to solve as ever. Myriad cameos and references pay fanservice in spades, however unlikely the setup. The new obligatory teenage girl sidekick, Kay Faraday, provides adequate spunkiness and causes Edgeworth to make his embarrassed face quite often. New rival Shi-Long Lang loves talking about wolves, hates prosecutors, and cares a little too much about his faithful team of 99 investigators. That said, I didn’t find Lang to be as compelling as previous foes like Godot or Franziska.

The overall plot didn’t pull me in as much as previous installments, either. Nothing is really at stake for Edgeworth personally in the final run. Usually, there’s a snowballing sense of urgency to solve the last case, but the end of Investigations just drags on. I enjoyed my time with Edgeworth, but it’s the weakest entry in the series

Game Informer's Review System
Concept Pull the camera out on the traditional Ace Attorney formula
Graphics Sprite versions of characters look great and add some nice dimension
Sound New tracks, like Lang’s theme, blend well with the classic tunes
Playability Third-person maneuverability improves crime scene navigating
Entertainment Fans of the series will enjoy the small evolutions
Replay Moderately Low