The latest entry of Capcom’s Ace Attorney series has arrived on Nintendo DS. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth released on February 16, 2010, and looked to steer the series in a new direction.
If you aren’t familiar with the previous Ace Attorney titles, they are heavily text-based games that take place in various areas, but usually in the courtroom. You interrogate, press for clues, and present evidence to shut people (usually liars) up. Every so often you go out to the scene and gather information through some point and click mechanics. They are all pretty great games that have already brought the series this far. So, how does Miles Edgeworth stack up?
Miles Edgeworth departs itself from the previous titles, but not by much. The first noticeable difference is the fact that you play with Miles Edgeworth instead of Ace Attorney poster boy, Phoenix Wright. The game also removes itself from the courtroom and mostly takes place in various crime scenes.
New gameplay elements are introduced with this go around in the world of Ace Attorney. “Logic” mode allows you to combine two pieces of information to create a new piece of information to move forward with the crime. For example (and this is not an in-game example for the sake of spoilers): You combine “the window is broken” with “there is a brick next to a broken window,” so therefore “someone broke the window with a brick.” Of course, they’re a little more difficult to connect than that, and if you mess up you take a hit to your “truth” meter or health bar. It is a new and refreshing feature for the series, and makes you feel like you’re pretty darn smart.
Another new element is the way you go about investigating the crime scenes. A refreshing thing to see in an Ace Attorney game is the ability to walk around. That along with pointing and clicking various areas, and examining objects embodies the investigative aspect of the game. The previous Ace Attorney titles were very much just dialogue progression with some pointing and clicking. With Miles Edgeworth you feel much more involved, which is definitely a good thing.
With all that said, the core gameplay is very much the same, with very much the same flaws. Miles Edgeworth may have moved out of the courtroom, but only in setting alone. You interrogate people, find flaws in their testimonies, and present evidence when needed. The whole system is based on trial and error. For each line of text in a person’s testimony you can: ignore it, press for more information, or present evidence. You’re allowed to press as much as you want, but not presenting evidence, which is usually the necessary step to stump the guy/gal. You end up losing part of your “truth” meter, and this one of my main issues with the game. Something that makes perfectly sense to you can be the total opposite direction the game is going. You present evidence that can make sense, but because the game isn’t in line with your thought process you’re going to be punished for it. You just have to start guessing and hope it’s a hit rather than a miss.
I consider the testimonies half, if not most, of the game. For it to be almost exactly the same as the previous titles is a huge letdown. The formula is very linear and very frustrating. The new investigative aspect of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is great, and steps towards the right direction for the series. But the Ace Attorney series needs a serious reboot.
Title: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo DS
Release Date: Available Now
Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers Inc by the publisher for reviewing purposes.