A Long Overdue Port of the Trilogy Boosts Fans’ Hopes
In an exciting turn of events, the trailer for the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy has finally been released, bringing with it a confirmed date of availability. This comes mere months after Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, a game made by the same creators as Ace Attorney, was also ported to Steam, making it more accessible to the masses. Could the renewed fervor in the Ace Attorney franchise spark hope for a brand-new installment in the series?
A Brief History
Ace Attorney, as one may surmise from the title, is a series of games that are all about the courtroom. The series began in Japan in 2001, with the US version of the first game released on the Nintendo DS in 2005. The original trilogy focuses on defense attorney Phoenix Wright and the cases he solves alongside his assistant, Maya Fey. Against him is famed “demon prosecutor” Miles Edgeworth, who has never lost a case and never intends to. The Apollo Justice trilogy began soon after, though games were released between installments of the trilogy. Spin-offs like Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth and its sequel, as well as The Great Ace Attorney duology and a crossover between Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, continued the expansion of the cast of characters. When its traditional consoles, the Nintendo DS and 3DS, began falling out of favor with the general public, efforts were made to port the games to mobile, with additional versions of the main trilogy coming to Steam and Switch over the course of a few years.
Though the franchise seemed to quiet down in the late 2000s, with its only releases being updated versions of the original trilogy, 2021 brought with it The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, which was translated and released on Steam over the summer. It was an overwhelming success, with over 500,000 copies sold in nine months. In June of 2023, during Capcom’s Showcase, it was announced that the Apollo Justice Trilogy would be brought to Steam and consoles in early 2024. On September 21, 2023, it was finally given an official trailer, complete with a release date: January 25, 2024.
A Plot Overview
The Apollo Justice series takes place a few years after the end of the original trilogy and focuses on protagonist Apollo Justice, a rookie defense attorney in the middle of the “dark ages of the law.” By his side is mentor Kristoph Gavin and, later, the disbarred and disgraced Phoenix Wright. Though it tells the tale of Apollo’s growth and maturity, it also gives Phoenix a downfall and subsequent redemptive arc. A thrilling blend of old and new faces, as well as a diversity of game mechanics, adds a fun and fresh twist to the familiar formula that has been established. Each game is broken down into four or five separate cases, which grow in length and complexity as the player progresses.
As with previous installments, the witty banter, character dynamics, and unmistakable sexual tension between defense attorney and prosecutor dominate the series, making it an enjoyable experience even if the clues are sometimes esoteric and far-fetched. The cases, while at first seemingly separate from one another, all culminate in a shocking final case that brings all the threads together and ties the subtle, overarching narrative into a big bow. If you’ve never played the games before, be sure to keep away from spoilers as much as possible – it will make the final twists that much more surprising!
Fun New Features
Along with all of the main cases of each game, the DLC from both Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice will also be included, allowing those who didn’t purchase it on the Nintendo 3DS E-store before it closed the opportunity to experience the fun bonus stories. There are also DLC outfits for a few of the characters. The updated 3D models of the characters show real polish and poise, correcting some of the jankiness of the original transition to 3D graphics. Prosecutor Klavier Gavin’s model was most targeted for those types of complaints – from the trailer, it seems as though his issues have been resolved.
Hopes for the Future?
With how much success the Ace Attorney franchise has been garnering with its most recent releases, as well as the warm reception of Ghost Trick, it leaves fans hopeful for the future of the series. The Capcom data leak back in 2020 had indicated plans for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles as well as an untitled Ace Attorney 7. While the first prediction certainly came true, albeit quite a bit behind schedule, fans continue to believe that a new Ace Attorney title could be in production. While no news has actually confirmed such an intention on Capcom’s part, plenty of articles have speculated what a seventh game in the main series might look like. If the trilogy ends up doing well, perhaps more news will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, be prepared to purchase the trilogy on PC or console on January 25, 2024!
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (2024) Nintendo Official Trailer