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Apollo Justice

Review: A Wright reworking? Objection!

Capcom say: "Apollo Justice is the first ever made-for-DS episode of Gyakuten Saiban"

HOLD IT! We have evidence that contradicts that last statement. NGamer presents Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Sure, Wrights One to Three are glorified ports of Japan-only GBA titles, but you're forgetting the DS sweetener added to the first.

The final case was a DS exclusive, showcasing fingerprint dusting and 3D item manipulation that hightailed it in the sequels.

Ever since we sleuthed through that case we've been fantasising about an outright DS entry. Now that it's arrived, we're a tad disappointed. It seems that Capcom liked that fifth case so much, they decided to replicate all its tricks here.

Tapping dust onto the screen and blowing the mic to reveal fingerprints? Neat, but old. Plucking out one clue from inside another? Tricksy, but old.

If anything has really changed, it's general presentation polish. Sure, you'll recognise some recycled GBA art, but the animated level intros and 3D crime scene re-enactments are new. They bring a twee CSI charm to the proceedings, as their faceless marionettes play out the bizarre scenarios being pitched across the courtroom.

Tell it to the judge

And how does Justice compare to Wright? Not bad, considering he's playing to a crowd of Phoenix fans. Although he's a more na´ve presence than Wright (his assistant Trucy is far savvier - a reversal of Wright and Maya), he brings a new 'perceive ability' to the court.

Used to point out nervous 'tells' to better read the witnesses (ie to spot twitches and tell-tell signs of fibbing), it's a great replacement for the lie-detecting Magatama.

And, of course, a new defence attorney must have a new foil. Just as Godot wows us in Trials And Tribulations, in struts Apollo's nemesis, Klavier Gavin - German prosecutor and part-time rock musician.

His air guitar riffs and German spattered dialogue are the comic cherry on yet another laugh out loud law cake. But it is a cake we've eaten before.

The verdict

Not exactly the dazzling reinvention we hoped for, but Apollo Justice more than holds his own.

Nintendo DS
Sim / Strategy, Point and Click