Soapbox features enable our individual writers and contributors to voice their opinions on hot topics and random stuff they've got on their minds. Kate would like to point out that two of the Ace Attorney games really should get a nice new remake some time soon...
The Ace Attorney games, in which you play as a lawyer who is kinda bad at his job but manages to win every case through charm, trial and error, and sometimes ghosts, are extremely popular. Sure, we're not talking mid-2010s Call of Duty popular, but for a game series that's largely about reading, 8.9 million sales worldwide is not bad at all...
...Which is why it's so surprising that two of the games are about to be locked away in the inescapable prison of the Nintendo 3DS eShop when it closes down in March 2023. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice, the fifth and sixth mainline games in the series (sorry, Miles and Prof. Layton) were released in the West in 2013 and 2016 as digital-only, 3DS-only games. When the 3DS eShop closes, those games will be harder to access.
And yes yes yes yes yes, I know, Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice are available on iOS and Android. Of course I know! I downloaded them both already, despite already owning them on 3DS, because I keep telling myself that if I keep investing in Phoenix Wright, one day we might get another new game. But it's still a tragedy that these two games — which, by the way, are both really good — are digital-only, and soon to be mobile-only. They deserve so much better than that.
For a while now, there have been rumblings of a second Ace Attorney Trilogy, to follow the first one, which included the first three games. The next three games in the series (not counting Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, the Japan-only Investigations 2, and the crossover game Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) are Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Dual Destinies, and Spirit of Justice.
Unlike Spirit of Justice and Dual Destinies, Apollo Justice came out on the regular, non-3D DS, but it did receive a lightly polished-up re-release on the 3DS eShop (and iOS and Android). Physical copies are hard to get hold of, unless you want to spend twice the retail cost on eBay — which I'd say puts it in the same boat as Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice, too.
A second trilogy would make sense, because the story of the first three is neatly wrapped up at the end of Trials and Tribulations, and a whole new plot arc begins in Apollo Justice and carries through onto Spirit of Justice, making them a great candidate for another stand-alone trilogy release.
[Warning: It's going to get spoilery from here!]
Where the first trilogy dealt with Phoenix's rise as a lawyer, the death of his mentor, the blossoming friendship with his mentor's sister, Maya Fey, and the angsty sadboi feelings of everyone's favourite prosecutor, Miles Edgeworth, the second trilogy deals with Phoenix's fall, Apollo's rise... and, eventually, his fall, too.
It is a much darker set of games than the first trilogy, even though the first trilogy had murder, kidnap, and a lot of familial infighting — but the second deals with events spread over many, many years, most of which are unavoidably interwoven with Apollo and Phoenix's own lives, and Apollo's tragic history.
In Apollo Justice, which is set seven years after the events of Trials and Tribulations (the third game in the series), Phoenix has been stripped of his badge, and now he has stubble. And a hat. Apollo is basically a baby, tasked with taking up the reins that Nick once held, and gradually becomes more confident as the game goes on.
Throughout Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice, we see Phoenix restored to his former title, but we also see that he is a permanently changed and even damaged man because of it. Apollo, meanwhile, develops from an eager puppy of a lawyer to a grizzled veteran of the law, and we get to witness his entire family tree unravel before him.
(A quick aside: We've got basically zero information about Phoenix's family or upbringing, except for the fact that he went to school with Larry Butz and Edgeworth. We don't even know if he has siblings. Apollo's family history, on the other hand, is so well-documented that I could probably tell you his blood type.)
The first trilogy remastered the DS games, with HD visuals replacing the original sprites, but a second trilogy would be more difficult. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is more or less done in a similar style to the previous two games, with flat sprites, which were upgraded to HD art with the 3DS eShop and mobile re-release — but Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice are done with 3D animation. This would make any remastered visual style inconsistent across the three games, unless they massively upgrade Apollo Justice's graphics, or downgrade Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice.
But I am sure that Capcom could manage it, or at the very least, I could deal with the inconsistency. After all, the relatively-recent localisations of The Great Ace Attorney games were absolutely stunning on Switch, and packed with all sorts of fascinating extras, from the musical insights to the concept art. Maybe they've even set the bar too high, and that's why it's taking so long... if it's in development at all.
It's been 6 years since Spirit of Justice came out — but the original Ace Attorney Trilogy didn't come out until 2012, 8 years after the release of Trials and Tribulations. At the risk of sounding like a little whiny baby, I don't want to wait another two years to see the next Ace Attorney remasters — and I really, really hope that they won't be lost to the sands of time, or more precisely, Nintendo's draconian refusal to archive or preserve games.
Let me know your thoughts on the mythical second Ace Attorney trilogy in the comments! But if anyone tells me that actually the Ace Attorney games are on iOS and Android like I didn't mention that multiple times, I will point at you until you feel very silly.
Thought you were done taking shots?
Here’s another one! 👉
THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG!
Seriously though, I only just got into Ace Attorney last summer with the Turnabout Bundle on the eShop and I've been desperate to see a continuation to Phoenix's story, along with finally seeing what the fuss about Apollo Justice is. I'm currently playing TGAA so I'm not in too much of a rush right now (Herlock my beloved) but a 2nd Trilogy needs to happen. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts.
It's at this point wishfull thinking that the're developping a brand new game. It could have so much potential with de hardware from the switch in comparison with the 3ds.
Dual Destinies has DLC too…
3DS eShop will close down, archive org will not.
@CowCatcher Man, that's harsh, they've got their good points...
...but no Dick Gumshoe...
...never mind, I agree.
At this rate just call the site Ace Attorney Life and be done with it!
I bought the four 3DS attorney games last spring (including Apollo and professor Layton) out of fear that the shop would be closing soon, as well as edgeworth on iOS, and am currently in Spirit of Justice.
I really enjoyed Apollo, Dual, and the professor Layton. Miles is kind of a slog, but it’s nice to see characters that are missing from the second trilogy.
They don’t quite reach the highs of trials & tribulation — which is a very perfect game. But they’re well worth it.
I would rather they put this overrated series in that folder with wave rave, fzero etc. etc. etc.
I started Justice for All for the first time yesterday, and I'm enjoying it after the first two trials. I'd like to see another collection with the other games come out for sure!
I think if Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Darkstalkers can return in the year of our lord 2022, the sky’s the limit for Ace Attorney.
Such a nitpicky thing, but you used “travesty” when you meant “tragedy.” “Travesty” means something is being unfairly and falsely characterized or represented. Two words sounding similar don’t mean they have the same meaning. Edgeworth out.
Capcom seems one of the least averse to remasters, collections and ports as publishers go, so it feels like a matter of time. But they did bump the fourth game to 3DS relatively recently, so don't shoot the messenger, Kate, but you may well have to wait a couple more years.😅
But again, we ARE getting a new Ace Attorney game, that much has been official for years. Yes its public presence has walked the path of SMT5 and Bayonetta 3 ever since, but these are the days we live in - and we eventually got news/releases for both of the latter, so there's little to be a downer about. Personally, I still have the end/DLC of SoJ and both GAA games to beat (and the Layton crossover, too).
@CowCatcher fanon discontinuity is the fandon's business and the fandom's problem, don't bring it into objective matters here.
This article makes complete sense. I'm sure a fair few in the comments sections of other Ace Attorney games' articles have asked for such a trilogy too.
Well, I just completed Miles Edgeworth:AAI, so frankly I'd rather have a translation of AAI2. I will however be picking up the major DLC for the 3DS releases.
Some of these comments are a disgrace. Spirit of Justice is a top 3 Ace Attorney game.
Anyway, realistically, it seems likely that Capcom will port the second trilogy before long, so Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney is going to be the main casualty of the eShop closure.
I'm down for the remastered 2nd trilogy. I liked Apollo Justice 2 so much!! And they can include AAI2 while they're at it...
I’m literally playing Apollo Justice on my DS Lite right now. I bought Dual Destinies years ago and started it, but didn’t recognise the characters from Apollo Justice so put it off until I’d played it first. It’s only taken me 8 years to get around to it! Thoroughly enjoying it, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the Ace Attorney games. I’ll probably go back to Dual Destinies straight after.
I’ll definitely be buying Spirits of Justice before Nintendo ban us from their shop. Hopefully I’ll get around to playing it in less than 8 years!
Currently Sega, Square Enix, Namco, and Capcom are doing their best to jam everything from 30 odd years of Japanese gaming onto the Switch and make a profit doing it. I can’t believe we won’t eventually get Ace Attorney collection 2 at some point, but my guess it needs to be far enough away from the last collection and not too close to a possible AA7.
All 3 are absolutely worthy of a remaster. Given how the original trilogy is at this port available on just about everything, it continues to baffle me how the latter 3 games only ever got mobile ports.
On a side note, Phoenix Wright v Proffessor Layton is on my to-buy list before the eshop goes down. I've been looking out for it for years, but physical versions go for silly money
@Ralizah Don't consider Spirits of Justice or Dual Destinies top tier, but they definitely had top 10 cases, 5-DLC and 6-2 are a testament to that, 6-2 especially has one of the best culprit's in the entire series.
Apollo, and Dual Destinies were great.
Spirit of Justice sucked, but it’s still sad to lose it
Would've soooo rather had an Ace Attorney 4-6 collection than Great Ace Attorney honestly. Been meaning to replay Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice for awhile now.
@SlowPokemon YUP YOU ARE RIGHT thank you nit-picker
The Ace Attorney games were one of my favourite series on the DS (and yeah, I know they were GBA first, but not over here they weren't), and I'd love to be able to have them all available in one legitimate place.
The main problem is that Nintendo doesn't want us to buy them. They're still full-priced, selling for 29 dollars each. The Switch version of the Ace Attorney trilogy is 29.99 and it has been on sale (some times) for something around 20 (for 3 games). Definitely, they don't care if we buy these 3DS exclusive games or not
Shin Megami Tensei IV used price almost doubled the day the 3DS eShop closure was announced, really hoping Atlus ports SMT4, SMT4A, and Soul Hackers to PC and console. Scalpers will buy and scalp copies out of mere speculation. After the Wata games scandal everyone has their own get rich quick scheme that ruins gaming. I fixed my Xbox 360 disc drive recently for legal game rips on the Xenia emulator, but if that failed, there was always an alternative...
I DESPERATELY want the second trilogy on the Switch/PC/PS4 already. Apollo Justice is actually my favorite of the AA games, and I really would love to play it on my TV, and have another go with Dual Destinies in the same way.
On the final case of Spirit of Justice and I'm really enjoying it, but I just want to be able to play these games on my Switch and maybe see if I can get my dad interested.
@Ralizah Definitely the minority here but I preferred Dual Destinies to Spirit of Justice. I found the overall arc a bit more compelling plus the final case twist in DD is fantastic.
If memory serves me well, I think the Layton and Phoenix game was the announcement that made me buy 3ds day one. It took years to actually be released though, but hey, still got me some great 'ambassador' stuff, like the free games, and an early N3DS as well.
@CowCatcher Nonsense, they are fantastic in their own right.
I played through the first two games from the original trilogy and am currently on Trials and Tribulations. I definitely will get the next three games soon--even if they weren't about to be banished to the mobile-only realm (or non-3D DS, in the case of Apollo Justice).
P.S. This also meant I couldn't read the entire article due to spoilers, sadly. But thanks for the spoiler warning, @KateGray!
@sakuraprisma Apollo Justice is my favourite too!!
@KateGray AJ is pretty unappreciated, it easily has the best first case in the series, in my top 5 cases of all time.
I’m glad I was able to get both of those games on the 3DS. Although I’m sure Capcom will make a 2 trilogy release for 4-6.
I would like to see the second Trilogy on switch just to have them all on that system. But I do have the full series on 3ds.
@nessisonett You prefer DD. Some people prefer AJ. I happen to think Turnabout Big Top isn't a bad case. We all have our weird opinions.
@Ralizah Turnabout Big Top
@NF6429 Honestly, every AA game has at least one really good case. Even Apollo Justice, which peaks with an unexpectedly amazing tutorial case before going downhill quickly thereafter.
@Ralizah the worst case IMO is Turnabout Storyteller. I’m not Japanese so much of it was lost on me.
@Bass_X0 Turnabout Storyteller is everyone's least favorite case in that game. With that said, some people think it's actively bad, whereas I happen to think it's a passable filler case mixed in with a bunch of actively good to fantastic ones.
T&T, widely regarded as the best game in the series, even has two merely passable filler cases.
I just wanted to say the animation on the 3DS menu for Dual Destinies is the best of those little animations... Sometime I just go to the icon in the menu to see those cute little lawyers..
AMEN. I'll one-up you and say SoJ might be a top 1 game for me.
It's just so ridiculous, it's clearly having fun with how silly it is. And the plot twists, especially in the huge finale cases, are just extravagantly mind-blowing, and surprisingly emotional.
Moreover, the seance vision mechanic, whatever it's called, is a lot of fun and paints your clients into worse and worse-looking corners as the game goes on.
Someone should make a Roger Rabbit style animated short film showing trapped 3DS, Wii, DSi ware, region locked (Sorcer Striker on JPN PSN, Aleste Collection on JPN eshop,etc), Wii U, and other digital games pleading for their lives like Toons do in Roger Rabbit while Sony, Nintendo, et all are killing them by dropping them in the "dip" (the way Toons are executed in Roger Rabbit). It could even portray hackers liberating the Toons/digital games and reuniting them with adoring players.
I don't really think this is a serious issue, but I would prefer to have easy access to digital games, old dead cell phone games, old tablet games that disappear, etc.
@BLD It's peak AA, IMO. I also liked how the game actually utilized the supernatural aspects AGAINST the player in court via the Divination Séance. The new setting was well-realized and did a great job of making the series feel fresh again. The game introduces several really memorable and likable characters. I enjoyed the turbulent political conspiracy that winds its way through the game. Unlike many, I actually had no issues with the new prosecutor (he's no Godot or Edgeworth, but I liked him more than Blackquill). And yeah, to say the game nails its 11th-hour plot twists would be putting it lightly.
I enjoyed Apollo in this game as well, which surprised me, since I didn't think much of the character in previous games. Really enjoyed how they fleshed out his character arc and gave him a proper send-off.
The presentation is a subtle but noticeable improvement over DD, which much more expressive character models. Same with the OST, which is one of the best in the series (both new tracks as well as remixed older ones, like the way it dramatically livens up Athena's objection theme from DD with superior instrumentation).
I agree, this trilogy needs to happen. And since everybody else is saying theirs, Dual Destinies is the best game in this trilogy and 5-DLC is the best case. 5>6>4
Luigis mansion is on 3ds port 1&2 together and all 3 are on 1 system. Heck I’d pay £50 each for the games on switch, direct port too
Yeah, bad title there, since they're not "trapped" on 3DS (and the article even says so so, err... what now?).
Anyway, I thought the trilogy package with these 2 + Appolo Justice had been rumoured to come in that old Capcom leak, the one that had so much stuff turn out true in the end, like the Great Ace Attorney duology coming out on Switch and other platforms?
It may just be a matter of time and I guess they're spreading these out so people don't get too burned out on the franchise. If so, I totally agree, I like these but wouldn't feel like playing them all back to back, I like to vary what I play as much as possible. These 2 games and Apollo Justice already exist in HD for mobile, they don't need an any more substantial visual overhaul to be enjoyable on Switch, just release them with proper controller implementation, that's all they need really.
TBH I'd rather see Gyakuten Kenji 3 and an official Western release for it and GK2. It was a more novel direction for the series to take rather than "more of the same, but with new levels" seen in mainline GS games that seemingly tried to rival Call of Duty in recycledness (plus the one case in Dual Destinies that got copied from AAvsPL) by putting out new games that were mostly the same games (don't get me wrong, I loved the Poh'kemon gag and the final revelation of Apollo's origins, but AAvsPL did a lot more to shake up the formula).
Investigations, however, had a lot of new mechanics, new perspectives and yes, more von Karma goodness!
I read up until the spoilers bit. The fact that there may be a second Ace Attorney Trilogy coming to the Switch is why I have yet to pick up any of these. I did look into getting Apollo Justice, but used copies were ridiculously inflated even before the pandemic affected the market.
I'm patiently waiting, but I might cave if we haven't heard anything out of Capcom right before the eShop termination date.
They’d be great on the switch!
The very first Ace Attorney game I played was Dual Destinies in 2015 as it was on sale and seemed interesting. Then I loved it so much I went crazy and played Apollo Justice immediately then played the original Trilogy. And of course I played Spirit of Justice the day it came out. I do think the first 3 games were better but I would love to play 4-6 again as I've only played them once. Playing the Great Ace Attorney games recently reminded me how amazing the series is.
I bought the trilogy on switch and I loved the first game, the second one seems alright but it just seems like a downgrade so far honestly.
I love AA on the 3ds. The graphics are not as good as the Switch, but the 3ds/ds is just so much more portable and pocket sized while still delivering a console-like experience.
Interesting to hear so many different opinions on which games were good and bad. I'm with @BLD - Spirit of Justice was the best of the whole series. Trials and Tribulations had a terrific story, but the gameplay was way too easy, to a degree that I found frustrating. Spirit of Justice is the whole package: great gameplay and I was on the edge of my seat through the whole story. And it has an excellent ending, unlike Dual Destinies and Professor Layton vs., whose endings I hated so much that they soured me on the whole (otherwise excellent) games.
It’s weird why some hate Spirit of Justice so much for its gameplay and not the original trilogy. The level of supernatural detective work is comparable to the originals. The Fays were all over it. Since, the game is set in a “foreign” land, I don’t think we will get the same game mechanics again. Each of the second trilogy has a different system. The least appealing of which was the reading of emotions by some high tech gizmo in my opinion. That wasn’t my fave in the second trilogy.
the biggest loss here is the dual destinies DLC case
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