How can you object to a game this good?
Since being brought to North America in 2005, Capcom's Ace Attorney series has seen four DS releases and three recent/upcoming WiiWare re-releases. Over the course of these titles, the core gameplay didn't evolve too much. With the latest game, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, the formula is still recognizable, but there are enough changes to make the game feel fresh.
Ace Attorney Investigations features the series' trademark over-the-top style and humor with a bevy of new and returning characters. The story is entertaining, with a good deal of mystery and intrigue mixed in with snappy, witty dialogue.
The biggest difference between Ace Attorney Investigations and the rest of the series is the fact that the majority of the game takes place outside of the courtroom. You control Miles Edgeworth, a prosecutor who was Phoenix Wright's rival in past entries, as he unravels five different cases that may or may not be linked together.
Each case is broken up into a series of Investigations and Rebuttals, with a few wrenches thrown in for good measure. The Investigations put you in direct control of Edgeworth as you walk around crime scenes, searching for evidence and talking to witnesses or suspects. You'll also stumble upon bits of logic, which reside in Edgeworth's brain until you go and try to connect two pieces together. For example, [spoiler]you find a gun that has fired only one bullet, and you notice that two bullet holes were found at the crime scene. You can connect those two pieces together to determine that there must have been two guns[/spoiler].
The later Investigations give you the ability to reproduce the crime scene using holograms, updating it whenever you uncover new evidence. It's handy as it makes contradictions more apparent, but it feels gimmicky when worked into the gameplay.
After you sufficiently examine the area, you'll move into the Rebuttal phase, in which a witness or rival provides their take on what's happening, challenging you to poke holes in their story. This is very similar to the Cross Examination phase of the previous games, as you have to press witnesses and present case-winning evidence to get closer to the truth.
You can use the touch screen or buttons to control the game, and both methods work fine for the most part. The main issue is that controlling Edgeworth with the touch screen is awkward and imprecise. It's basically a D-pad on the touch screen that is reminiscent of the weird thumb strap control method in Super Mario 64 DS. Luckily, you can just switch to the D-pad and control him that way with little to no problems.
Unfortunately, the game still retains some of the series' problems. When you're in the Rebuttal phase, a lot of the solutions are binary and you must present evidence at a specific point, even though it might make sense in other parts. It doesn't detract too greatly from the experience, but it can get annoying when you're presenting the same bit of evidence repeatedly, trying to figure out the correct time to show it in order to progress.
Ace Attorney Investigations is a fantastic game for fans of the series. It expands the mythos, features a novel take on familiar gameplay, and stars a fan-favorite character. If you're new to the series, you would be better off taking a peek at the WiiWare releases of the Phoenix Wright games, but Miles Edgeworth's debut adventure wouldn't be a terrible place to enter the series, as it is quite possibly the best entry.