Ace Attorney 5. I beat it. Here's some stuff about it - not really a review.

I don’t even know if anyone reads this, but this is where I always talked about the games, so it seemed as good a place as any to dump all my thoughts out.

I guess there are spoilers…I’ll mark any big reveals, but some obvious things (or things you learn in like the first five minutes of play) are unmarked.

  1. What’s new about AA5?
  • 3D. The 3D is pretty cool, I guess. It makes some of the courtroom theatrics more dynamic, and it allows us to examine scenes during investigations from several angles. The 3D characters themselves appear to be 2D drawings imposed upon 3D models, somehow; I noticed that the 2D portraits used in the court record are almost identical to the way they look in 3D.

  • New “sidekick”, Athena Cykes. Unlike previous sidekicks who had no business being your sidebar, Cykes is actually an attorney. In fact, you even play an entire case from her perspective, which is pretty cool. As most people probably know, we also play some cases from the perspective of Phoenix and Apollo.

  • Athena’s special ability: The Mood Matrix. This is a computer she uses to read peoples’ emotions during testimony. So, when listening to certain testimony, we look for emotions that exist which shouldn’t, or emotions that don’t register even though they ought to.

  • Anime cutscenes. …They are anime cutscenes. I’m not sure what else to say about them.

  • Tons of little conveniences, such as notes on evidence that say if there are multiple parts or pages to them, a transcript that goes back a decent amount of time, two save slots, et al.

  1. What I liked?
  • Playing from the perspective of many attorneys. It’s cool to play as Phoenix, but I also really liked Apollo and was hoping that, even with so much focus on Phoenix as the main character, Apollo would not be brushed aside. I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case. And, even though Athena is only playable in one case, she is the sidebar in most cases, so she gets a lot of development, in spite of being new and sharing the spotlight with two other lead characters.

  • Development for Apollo, and even Athena. One of the things that made me revile Ace Attorney 4 is that the entire game was about Phoenix. If you’ll recall, the overarching story of AA4 was aboutPhoenix’s disbarment, and his contrived, ridiculously elaborate plan to expose the fact that his disbarment was a setup. Phoenix solves basically every case for you, and you even spend a large amount of time in the final case playing as just him. Apollo is hardly developed at all and frankly doesn’t do shit, which seemed annoying. While Phoenix is a playable character in this game, the story focuses mainly on Apollo and Athena, which I was happy for.

  1. What I didn’t like?
  • Investigations were oversimplified. Only specific scenes can be examined, which means that a lot of the investigation phases were just on-rails reading. We occasionally used Apollo’s “Perceive” ability from AA4, wherein he finds lies in statements based on their involuntary twitches and movements; and Phoenix’s “Psyche-Locks”, hidden secrets that witnesses have, which need to be dug out with evidence; but, there’s no penalty (i.e loss of “life”) for getting the answers wrong on these parts, meaning that we can just cycle through every piece of evidence without having to think much. There’s still no presenting of witness profiles anymore, and the investigations just feel as braindead as the original. I’m not sure yet why the main series hasn’t taken any queues from Ace Attorney Investigations, which actually made the Investigation phases a lot of fun.

  • Too many of the “hype” moments are for Phoenix. I understand that Phoenix is probably the favorite of most people, but to me, his time has come and gone. Instead, he steals the scene any time he’s around. The most awesome (and, conversely, a lot of the most pointless) cameos come characters from Phoenix’s original story arc. I would have liked to see Apollo have some more moments like this. Am I the only one who gets hype for Klavier Gavin? I enjoyed Apollo and Klavier’s courtroom dynamic a lot.

  • The overarching story arc is a tad bit ridiculous. It deals with the current time period, which is known as “The Dark age of Law”. The reason for this “Dark Age” coming about… (major spoilers for AA4 and AA5!) is that no one has faith in the court system, because of two particular cases, and because of these cases, defense attorneys and prosecutors drum up false charges and false evidence to earn victories rather than find the truth. The two cases in question are the case where Phoenix was disbarred, and one a year later involving this game’s Prosecutor, Simon Blackquill, confessing to murder. A lot of it doesn’t make much sense. People don’t trust the courtroom because of fake charges and evidence, and fake charges and evidence are made because no one trusts the system anyways. Or something. It seemed circular. Not to mention, the whole premise behind the game is wrapping up Blackquill’s case, because how could an attorney be convicted for murder? It’s almost like everyone forgot about Kristoph Gavin, and how he, an attorney, was indicted in the place of Phoenix? Why doesn’t THAT matter, but Blackquill’s case does?

Overall, it was a pretty good game, and the individual cases were fun. I just really hope the next AA game gives some more TLC to Apollo and Athena.

I’m at the beginning of case 3 now and I quite like it so far. I didn’t mind the oversimplified investigations at first (especially not after replaying AA2 and 3 in the past month and was reminded of the existence of psyche-locks…), but I agree they’re a bit too “on-rails”. (although I just re-read your paragraph about it and see psyche-locks will be back at some point, ugh) What I like, though, is that you can go to any location from any location, haha. You always had to go through a specific route in the previous games and that got a little annoying sometimes.

Anyway, I’ll finish the game first before commenting any further. Is it just me, though, or is the script full of typos?

I was happy to see Klavier Gavin making a comeback too. “No, the defense is not ready to rock.” That made me laugh, for some reason.

And I love Taka’s face when Blackquill slams his desk. So cute.

I don’t even feel like I’m the type of person to notice typos, but there are not only a ton of them, but there’s also ridiculous grammatical errors (later in the game, someone says “right this instance” instead of “right this instant”…what in the hell). I enjoyed AA2 and AA3’s investigations the best because of Psyche-Lockes, though. Without them, the investigations feel a bit…brutish? Psyche-Locks at least gave you some incentive to not just try and progress by presenting everything to everyone. Worse yet, AA5 have that notepad feature or whatever, that tells you EXACTLY what to do next to continue the investigation. I’d have thought that by now, the AA series would take some cues from Ace Attorney Investigations, but I suppose not…oh well.

I was falling asleep in my chair when I wrote that original post, but I think the gist of how I feel about the game is…the individual mysteries themselves are extremely good. The overarching story and drama, on the other hand, are a bit ridiculous and contradictory. I always feel like there’s this dichotomy between me and other fans of the series, where they love the drama and stuff (“oh my god, who’s Godot, and why does he like coffee so much and like Phoenix so little?” Who_fuckin’_cares???), and I just enjoy the procedural, whodunnit aspect. That’s probably why I liked AA2 the best - the cases were the hardest in the series to figure out, and finding out who the killer was, was always exciting.

I’ll read this after I’ve bought and finished AA5. It’d be a shame though if the translation is careless this time since the localisation has always been the strong suit of the series. The fan translation of Edgeworth 2 is still not done; the first Edgeworth game was so good (after that first case) that I was quite disappointed the sequel didn’t make it to the West.

I had a lot of fun. I just wish the end villain was not Bobby Fulbright. I thought he was such a great character, I didn’t feel as bad they didn’t keep Gumshoe. I was looking forward to seeing him in future AA games . Its unfortunate they didn’t bring back Maya though. I never really liked Trucy.

In Justice I trust!

I also always forget Iwadare did the music for PW/AA

Wow, a new thread. About games.

Yeah, and with only 5 to 10 days between each post!

And it’s not even an RPG.

Nick’s hair could easily star in its own rpg series.

Necromancy and double post!

It only took me close to a year, but I started playing AA5 and finished it. I liked the howdunit aspect of the cases (since the whodunit was mostly obvious with the exception of the final cases, I liked Athena, that Apollo wasn’t as much of a cipher and that it looked like Phoenix was actually running an agency this time. I also liked how Edgey-poo was still all business and was going places. The third case was great and I liked Simon even though I’d have liked more variety in prosecutors. Character design was considerably less cringeworthy than usual (apart from the bomber and the astronaut with that sigh, who resembled the old friend of Phoenix and Edgey) though maybe a bit tame at times. Cosmos and Aura were great.

I didn’t like that some cameos felt inconsequential Maya>Trucy and Maya>Pearls, who’s apparently meant to be 17? and apparently AA1 spoiler Manfred von Karma’s murder didn’t count wrt Dark Age of the Law shenanigans? Also, I liked Bobby but Gumshoe will always be the best, you know pal? I heard the localisation people had limited time, but there were a couple of obvious mistakes.

All in all I stayed up until stupid o clock to see the last case through, so I liked it and hope new AA come to the west.

Also, AA Investigations 2 just got a fan patch for all the cases! Haven’t played it yet, but looking forward to it.

Yeah, I’m actually in the beginning of the last cast on AAI2. I’ve really, really enjoyed it; a surprise, since I wasn’t a very big fan of the original.

Be sure to play the bonus case for AA5, too. It’s pretty damn good.

Yeah, I will. Might get AAI2 with me on a weekend trip - I loved the first game (despite its terrible first case).