Should I Buy? – Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

That’s right folks, it’s time for another Ace Attorney review. This time round I’ll be looking at the Gaiden game Investigations. It’s a change for the series, not only does it put you in the shoes of the eponymous Prosecutor, it also switches the focus of the action from the Courtroom to the crime scene.

And yeah, it’s great. It’s Ace Attorney, what did you expect? The new 3D environments make the investigation sections able to deliver a lot more than the previous 2D point-n-click backgrounds. The new system does a lot to keep things fresh, which is a good job because there isn’t quite the same momentum to this game that the first three games had.

Through a series of seemingly unrelated incidents, Edgeworth gets swept up in investigating a case concerning a smuggling ring. Along for the ride are his loveable sidekick Detective Gumshoe, Franziska von Karma, the confrontational Agent Lang and your new companion, the spunky young Kay Faraday. Returning players Gumshoe and Franziska are pretty much playing exaggerated versions of themselves, and new stars Lang and Kay pretty good, if a little hard to take seriously at times.

The story jumps around its own timeline, which can make things a bit confusing at times, but the chronology holds up. The side characters are pretty forgettable, though the last case does throw up a truly great villain. In the end, well crafted as the plot is it falls into the same problem that Apollo Justice does, in that the protagonist has this huge battle to struggle to a conclusion, but there’s no real emotional weight to it. Others have one, but they’re out of focus and it’s all down to Edgeworth, whose internal struggle is ideological.

It’s still better than Justice For All and Apollo Justice.

This game’s unique trick is Edgeworth’s Logic skill. That’s right, no magical powers for Edgeworth, just thinking things through. You gain loose nuggets of information and you can try to piece them together to form new information. Sometimes it’s annoying that you have to piece some very obvious stuff together, but for the most part it works well. It even gets a few dramatic uses that’re a great twist on it.

As great as all the new investigation stuff is, this does mean that the cross-examinations (now called arguements) suffer. Not that they’re objectively any worse, it’s just that with the focus drawn from them they’re no longer the area of big resolutions and revelations. It makes a more even pace, but loses the momentum these sections previously had.

As for the looks, script and music, it’s Ace Attorney. Ergo, it’s the best the DS has to offer. Slick, characterful design, the best localisation of any series and some amazing tracks like Speak Up Pup and Great Truth Burglar.

Luckily, playing this won’t spoil any other games and can be played independently of the others without being locked out by the existing continuity.

Price: (CEX) £15


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