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North America

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

by Neal Ronaghan - February 16, 2010, 8:59 am PST
Total comments: 3

8.5

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8.5 9 8.5 9 8 8.5
Graphics
8.5

The art style is great as each character oozes personality. The animation is marginally better than previous games, though it is still limited to a few frames at a time.

Sound
9

The music is great background noise as you try to work out the game's mysteries, with appropriate parts filled with suspense, sadness, or victory.

Control
8.5

The only bad thing about the controls is the awkward touch screen-controlled walking. Aside from that, they're simple and easy to use.

Gameplay
9

This awesome graphic text adventure never lingers too long on one section, and is well-paced with enough gameplay variety to keep it fun. Veterans of the series won't find anything surprising, but the game mixes it up at times, so it doesn't feel like a retread.

Lastability
8

With five cases that will last you anywhere between 10 and 20 hours, Ace Attorney Investigations boasts a good deal of content. There's not much reason to go back through it, but the first ride is long and enjoyable.

Final
8.5

Ace Attorney Investigations is quite possibly the best entry in the series, as it changes up the tried-and-true formula enough to keep it fresh, while retaining the style and witty dialogue of the previous titles.

Summary

Pros
  • Funny dialogue
  • Good additions to the gameplay
  • Wonderful art style and presentation
Cons
  • Some minor control issues
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

StratosFebruary 16, 2010

I'm glad I started checking out this series on WiiWare and I like the sounds of the changes this game makes to the series. I will definitely be checking this one out once I finish playing the WiiWare re-releases.

Just finished playing through this game. Overall I agree with Neal (of course). I'd still argue the first Phoenix Wright game has the best localization and humor, and the third has the best overall plot, but this is definitely a solid Ace Attorney game. I've never really liked Franceska much--too much of a one-trick pony--and her notable presence drags the game down ever so slightly imo....

Anyway, there are lots of call-backs and potential spoilers in this game, so I definitely encourage everyone to play the first and third games first. (The second one isn't bad--it's just riddled with that foolish Ms. von Karma.)

StratosMarch 01, 2010

I'm almost done with the second WiiWare game so I'll be picking this up once I finish the third one.

There is a demo up on the Nintendo Channel if anyone is interested in trying out the game.

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Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth Box Art

Genre Simulation
Developer Capcom

Worldwide Releases

na: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Release Feb 16, 2010
PublisherCapcom
jpn: Gyakuten Kenji
Release May 28, 2009
PublisherCapcom
Rating12+
eu: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Release Feb 19, 2010
PublisherCapcom
Rating12+
aus: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Release Feb 18, 2010
PublisherCapcom
RatingParental Guidance
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