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Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice Review

I admit it, I'm a Phoenix Wright fan. Once I rented the first from Gamefly, I could not help but want to play through the two that followed. So, having discovered this to be the fourth game in the series, I'm pretty excited the series seems to still be going strong.

The basic flow of the game involves telling a story. In the courtroom, your primary challenge is in grilling the witnesses' testimony and presenting evidence to find contradictions. On the field, you're tasked with finding clues and talking to the people involved with the case. This is all done with a simple stylus-friendly interface that does not go too crazy with the pixel hunting. As the story progresses, the drama builds, solid writing and likable characters are the core of the game.

One thing always bothered me about the original Phoenix Wright series: the bonus case in the first game had features that none of the other cases did, such as the ability to examine items in 3D or have detailed crime detection equipment mini-games. So it is that I'm rather excited to say that Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has raised the technical bar by having these features in each of the four included cases.

Apollo Justice attempts to take the series in a new direction with a new central protagonist: Apollo Justice, a brash young defense attorney with spiky hair and chords of steel. I was a bit bothered to see the original ensemble of characters brushed to the side because, after three games of Phoenix Wright and his associates, I was always curious to see how their stories progress.

However, by the time I reached the end of Apollo Justice, I felt reasonably satisfied with the treatment of the old characters -- they do have a certain cameo quality, established fans like myself will see some pop up here and there. Without getting into spoilers, Phoenix Wright himself plays a pretty big part in this game.

Though I was originally considering an 8.5, I decided to give it 9.5 because the only reason I can't think to give it a 10 is because it was a little easy. I only had to consult a hint guide once and that was over a matter hardly worth sweating over. Overall, I consider Apollo Justice a success, and I plan to follow the series as long as the talent behind it keeps up the good work.

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