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Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth Review

Genres: Adventure
Year of Release: 2010
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Review Date: 25-2-2010
Review Platform: DS
Review Region: AU Available In Australia
Est Playtime: 18+ hrs
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Review By: Bradley Beeck

Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth with the aid of his friends and assistants must solve a string of murders. All related to a smuggling ring and the Great Thief Yatagarasu. How are these cases connected, and who is ultimately responsible? Using his famous logic to piece together the crime scenes, Edgeworth seeks out the truth no matter the obstacles.

investigations_miles_edgeworth025Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is much like the other games in the Ace Attorney/Phoenix Wright series, even with the shift to investigating. You still press witnesses and present evidence and you still yell ‘Objection’. What’s new in this version, aside from the different protagonist, is the logical deductions Edgeworth makes to advance his cases.

investigations_miles_edgeworth015Ace Attorney Investigations is now a full on adventure game. Edgeworth and his assistant wander around the crime scene, in sprite form, examining evidence and putting together the chain of events. Each piece of evidence they find gets added to an organizer and is then used to point out flaws in a suspect’s story or an investigator’s theory. Characters – suspects and witnesses – are also standing around waiting to be questioned. Things play out linearly, all evidence must be gathered and all questions asked before the game advances. This brings me to the game’s new feature – Logic. Sometimes when examining an item there’ll be an inconsistency, which gets added to the Logic menu. Gather a few inconsistencies and you can logically tie them together to figure out what happened. There’s also a deduce function that works in a similar way but by using evidence from the organizer. A lot of the time these things don’t feel really necessary, the characters could have quite easily figured them out without your input. Although it’s not much of an issue, as the story/cases are the central aspect of this game.

investigations_miles_edgeworth002There are five cases, each taking a few hours to finish and most of them are good and enjoyable to solve. I particularly like the fourth case which is set in a confined area that plausibly someone could have cleverly manipulated in such a way. The cases are easier than previous games, a part from a few spots where the old ridiculousness comes through. Which is having to spot one thing wrong using one piece of evidence when there are a hundred things wrong with a suspect’s story. At times like that it makes me wish there were multiple ways through a testimony so you wouldn’t have to be a total slave to developer logic. This has always been an issue with adventure games but it’s especially a problem in a series that has murders that couldn’t possibly happen in real life, because they’re that convoluted and complicated.

investigations_miles_edgeworth018Edgeworth has multiple assistants, changing from case to case. They act in a similar vein to Maya from the Phoenix Wright series in providing banter. On the subject of banter it’s not as amusing as the dialogue from that series; Edgeworth just isn’t as charismatic, likeable or sarcastic as Phoenix. However fans of the series will be pleased to hear a number of characters from those games make an appearance. Including Gumshoe and our old ‘friend’ Larry.

investigations_miles_edgeworth029The graphics are in the mold of classic adventure games - sprites walking around a pre-rendered environment on the top screen. You can use the stylus to move around but I used the D Pad, either way it was a little awkward. The comical animations these games are known for is still present. Characters react in totally over the top ways when you point out flaws in their story and it’s still charming. There’s some new music and the old music pops up regularly. The new music is almost as catchy as the old stuff, which is quite an achievement because the old music was great.

Ace Attorney Investigations is a worthy installment in the Ace Attorney/Phoenix Wright series. It’s better than Apollo Justice, but not as good as the other three games. Edgeworth just isn’t as charismatic, likeable or sarcastic as Phoenix. The cases are in the main enjoyable to solve, with one being particularly clever. They’re also generally easier than the old cases. The new logic function is used regularly, although it doesn’t feel absolutely necessary. The characters could easily piece things together without your input. Even with this new function, and a new graphical layout, the game plays almost identically to the rest of the series. This is a plus for me, as I loved the series as it was.