Are you able to think about celebrating your twentieth birthday, and somebody comes as much as you and tells you that your nervous, brief good friend/mentee is far more attention-grabbing than you? Nicely, it is Ace Lawyer’s twentieth birthday, and whereas that is not precisely what I am doing (and I am going to clarify why in additional element in a second), I’ve to say: as an individual who’s performed the entire Ace Lawyer video games (apart from the fan translation of Investigations 2), I firmly consider that Apollo Justice is among the finest, though most individuals usually rank it under nearly the entire different video games.
First off, let me guarantee you: I like Phoenix Wright. The truth is, one of many essential causes I am keen on Apollo Justice is as a result of of Phoenix Wright.
At this level, we have gone via three video games with Nick as both a chaotic junior legal professional who retains forgetting the names of his shoppers, or a comparatively confident Edgeworth-botherer who unintentionally stumbles into after which solves varied chilly circumstances that stretch again lengthy earlier than his profession even started. In the beginning of Apollo Justice, there isn’t any Nick to be seen — as an alternative, we get a time-skip of seven years, and we meet this dishevelled weirdo who’s into back-alley playing and unhealthy piano enjoying.
And that rubbish human seems to be the identical besuited, spiky-haired lawyer everyone knows and love. What a incredible twist to begin off the story: to take every little thing you already know in regards to the video games, and switch it on its head. It is a intelligent method to sign that Apollo Justice — and the video games from this level on — will not be afraid to play with conference, to subvert what folks have come to anticipate.
And, after all, in Ace Lawyer type, this rugged model of Phoenix Wright shouldn’t be solely disgraced and disbarred, however he is on trial for homicide. Okay, that one’s probably not a subversion — that is Ace Lawyer storywriting 101.
However I’ve to make a small confession, right here: I like scruffy Phoenix. He is cute. The truth is, the Ace Lawyer sequence actually began to lean into making its characters extraordinarily Unhealthy Boy Engaging across the time of Apollo Justice, with Edgeworth turning right into a strict, glasses-wearing silver fox within the recreation afterwards, and, you already know, the whole thing of Klavier Gavin’s existence.
You could be considering that this is not actually related to why Apollo Justice is one in all my favourites, but it surely completely is — Ace Lawyer has at all times been extremely beloved by its feminine viewers, and each every so often, a recreation will truly recognise that, and the artists will lean into drawing via the lens of the feminine gaze. We have sufficient beefy lads who do not know methods to discuss their emotions; I would like extra well-dressed lads who learn books.
I promise I do not simply love the sport for the hunks, although. Apollo Justice introduces a brand new, Magatama-style mechanic within the type of Apollo’s magical bracelet that tightens when somebody’s mendacity — which you may should show by mentioning their nervous tic, as if that may arise in courtroom. It is goofy, sure, however Ace Lawyer has by no means actually shied away from the ludicrous: Keep in mind the witness who was a parrot? Or all of the instances you have been allowed to name literal ghosts to the stand? How about the truth that your murdered mentor retains inhabiting the physique of her stay sister with a view to keep watch over you? Precisely.
On high of the magical bracelet, Apollo Justice additionally introduces a whole recorded stay live performance that you will have to clean round to reply the questions surrounding a criminal offense, a household of magicians surrounded by thriller and tragedy, and a case that entails time journey. Followers, after all, are divided by these gimmicks — and the shortage of Phoenix as protagonist — however I cherished all of them, and the time journey case particularly stays one in all my favourites to this present day due to the way it wrangles a seven-year narrative into quite a lot of stunning twists.
I believe that one of the best (and typically, most complicated) circumstances are those that implicate the solid themselves — I do not essentially imply “oh no, Maya’s been accused of homicide once more”, however the ones that define the characters’ backstories. Discovering out about Edgeworth’s dad (and ensuing trauma), Mia and Maya’s mom, Dahlia’s betrayal of nearly everybody, and the shared childhoods of Larry Butz, Phoenix Wright, and Mile Edgeworth fleshes out the folks that you’re going to meet time and time once more, making them extra than simply your rivals and assistants.
Apollo Justice takes that one step additional, with each single case being intricately tied to the unusual and enigmatic Gramarye household, Phoenix and his disbarment, Phoenix’s thriller youngster, Trucy, and Apollo Justice himself. Though earlier Ace Lawyer video games have sometimes dabbled in backstory, we have by no means actually bought to know Phoenix that deeply, past figuring out that he was buddies with folks as a child, and will get actually soiled when he isn’t a lawyer. Apollo Justice, alternatively, has secret household, extra secret household, and a bunch of query marks round his existence proper from the phrase go.
I could not be capable to persuade everybody that Apollo Justice is one of the best Ace Lawyer recreation — and that is okay. The perfect a part of the Ace Lawyer sequence is that not one of the video games are missteps, and each single one is somebody‘s favorite — however Apollo will get loads of flak, and I do not essentially assume he deserves it. His debut recreation was a tentative step in a brand new course for Ace Lawyer, one which’s outlined most of the newer video games, particularly Spirit of Justice, and Phoenix and buddies simply could not be the place they’re as we speak with out Apollo Justice: Ace Lawyer.
Ensure to take a look at our user-generated rating of the Ace Lawyer video games, particularly in the event you agree with me — poor Apollo is lagging behind.
However inform me: why do you like/hate Apollo Justice? Have I managed to influence you with my opinions on the sport? Let me know within the feedback!