Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review

It's hard to take objection to this

Mary Billington

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is also available for PS4 and Xbox One

ESRB Teen rating

Phoenix and gang are back in a compilation of their first 3 courtroom adventures that initially released almost 18 years ago.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy screenshot 1
Phoenix always puts a lot of thought into every decision

In the Phoenix Wright games, you play as the titular lawyer while investigating crime scenes, gathering evidence, and slowly piecing cases together to solve them in a dramatic law court setting. If you're at all interested in investigative or quirky Japanese games then you have to pick this up as the Phoenix Wright games are a perfect mix of ridiculous characters, crazy storylines, and complicated cases that require in-depth sleuthing to find the true culprit.

This collection contains the first 3 titles: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Justice for All, and Trials & Tribulations. In the first game, you're introduced to the main cast of characters. The controls and gameplay structure are quite simple but you're nevertheless given a very brief introduction on how to read through your case materials, present evidence, and press witnesses. Each game starts with a simple case which acts like a brief tutorial-like introduction before you're thrown into a more lengthy case that requires you to strut your stuff in the courthouse but also at the crime scene, in your office, and at many other locales that you may visit during your investigation.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy screenshot 2
If Psyche-Locks were real, I bet most people would have millions of them

In each game, you'll come across many familiar faces that may play a large part in the story. Every single character is exceptionally unique with their own quirky appearances and interesting back-stories that you uncover as you play through the trilogy. Some of them join you at your side when you're presenting evidence in court, providing very subtle hints to help put you on the right track if you're getting stuck. The clients that you represent and the witnesses that you hound with questions all have their own mannerisms that can give you clues as to when they're nervous or hiding something which adds a welcome layer of personality and strategy to every case.

Playing the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy on Switch provides a much smoother experience as opposed to playing them on the original DS. Having a wider screen to work with is appreciated but the more substantial improvement is the visuals complete with detailed characters that make the games feel like they were only recently released.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy screenshot 3
I bet this dude's a proctologist...

The menu system is also improved with an interface that looks like it was made for modern consoles. In fact, the only thing that's missing is the option to have text auto-play like they implement in modern visual novels and investigative titles such as Danganronpa. That would have been a nice bonus but the fact that you can still tap anywhere on the screen to advance the text is a satisfactory alternative. Thankfully, the Switch version also includes touch controls which make it feel very similar to the original DS version.

Another mildly annoying aspect of these original Phoenix Wright titles is when you really have no clue what to do to move a court case along. Occasionally, there will be moments when you read all of the dialog over and over and look through all of your case materials but you just can't figure out what to present in order to continue. It would have been awesome to see some extra hints or something similar to the hint system in The Inner World which gradually reveals increasingly informative hints over time.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy screenshot 4
I think I found out who murdered Phoenix's cold!

It's been a long time since the original Phoenix Wright games released so this is the perfect excuse to play through them again and re-experience the thrill of each case. Also, the updated presentation is handled so well that it feels like a brand new collection of games.

  • + 3 Phoenix Wright titles in one package
  • + Peculiar and loveable characters wrapped in challenging cases to solve
  • + Updated visuals with modern day standards
  • - No way to have lengthy dialog auto-play
  • - Still possible to get stuck without hints and have to revert to a guide
9.1 out of 10
Gameplay video for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy 4:33
Shantae Trivia

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