Are you able to think about celebrating your twentieth birthday, and somebody comes as much as you and tells you that your nervous, quick good friend/mentee is way more attention-grabbing than you? Effectively, it is Ace Lawyer’s twentieth birthday, and whereas that is not precisely what I am doing (and I will clarify why in additional element in a second), I’ve to say: as an individual who’s performed all the Ace Lawyer video games (aside from the fan translation of Investigations 2), I firmly imagine that Apollo Justice is without doubt one of the finest, regardless that most individuals usually rank it beneath nearly all the different video games.
First off, let me guarantee you: I like Phoenix Wright. In truth, one of many primary 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 by chance 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 is not 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 taking part in.
And that rubbish human seems to be the identical besuited, spiky-haired lawyer everyone knows and love. What a unbelievable twist to start out off the story: to take all the things you understand in regards to the video games, and switch it on its head. It is a intelligent approach 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 count on.
And, after all, in Ace Lawyer model, this rugged model of Phoenix Wright will not be solely disgraced and disbarred, however he is on trial for homicide. Okay, that one’s not likely 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. In truth, the Ace Lawyer collection actually began to lean into making its characters extraordinarily Dangerous Boy Enticing across the time of Apollo Justice, with Edgeworth turning right into a strict, glasses-wearing silver fox within the sport afterwards, and, you understand, the whole lot of Klavier Gavin’s existence.
You is likely to be pondering that this is not actually related to why Apollo Justice is considered one of my favourites, however it completely is — Ace Lawyer has all the time been extremely beloved by its feminine viewers, and each on occasion, a sport will really 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 need 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 will should show by mentioning their nervous tic, as if that might 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 reside sister with the intention to keep watch over you? Precisely.
On prime of the magical bracelet, Apollo Justice additionally introduces a whole recorded reside live performance that you will have to wash round to reply the questions surrounding a criminal offense, a household of magicians surrounded by thriller and tragedy, and a case that includes time journey. Followers, after all, are divided by these gimmicks — and the dearth of Phoenix as protagonist — however I liked all of them, and the time journey case specifically stays considered one of my favourites to this present day due to the way it wrangles a seven-year narrative into various stunning twists.
I believe that one of the best (and generally, 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 will 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 obtained to know Phoenix that deeply, past understanding that he was mates with folks as a child, and will get actually soiled when he is not a lawyer. Apollo Justice, however, has secret household, extra secret household, and a bunch of query marks round his existence proper from the phrase go.
I could not have the ability to persuade everybody that Apollo Justice is one of the best Ace Lawyer sport — and that is okay. The perfect a part of the Ace Lawyer collection is that not one of the video games are missteps, and each single one is somebody‘s favorite — however Apollo will get a variety of flak, and I do not essentially suppose he deserves it. His debut sport 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 mates simply could not be the place they’re at the moment with out Apollo Justice: Ace Lawyer.
However inform me: why do you’re keen on/hate Apollo Justice? Have I managed to influence you with my opinions on the sport? Let me know within the feedback!