Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth gets a lot of things right in its new take on the Ace Attorney formula. With a great cast of characters and an enjoyable story, you’d think it would represent the epitome of the series. Unfortunately, it falls short of Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations for that title due to the lack of tension and drama.
In AAI, as a prosecutor and crime scene investigator, you have the powers of Logic and Deduction at your disposal. This allows you to take seemingly disparate clues or discrepancies and unite them into a single deduction that becomes part of your evidence in finding the guilty party. This works very well in practice, except for those rare times that you have to pixel hunt for a clue or discrepancy to continue in the game.
The biggest difference between Ace Attorney Investigations and previous Ace Attorney games is that you can now walk around to explore the crime scenes. This does, for the most part, eliminate the sometimes tedious pixel hunting in crime scene investigations, along with providing for larger and more detailed crime scenes to investigate. Unfortunately, it also means less of those nice, detailed portraits of everyone you talk to that were present in previous games. They are still there during testimony and cross-examinations, but are otherwise absent from the game.
The story is great and on par with the wackiness of the previous games, with a number of returning characters that you’ve grown to love or hate already. The locations are more detailed than in previous games and the songs are high quality, but obviously remixed songs from the previous games.
Unfortunately the great story of Miles Edgeworth feels less compelling than the stories of the Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice games because of the way the game plays out. You will never find yourself on the prosecutor’s side of the courtroom. The entire game is based around questioning witnesses and investigating crime scenes. While this works great by itself, it loses some of the drama and tension that you were faced with in the Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice games. You will never feel like you are on the verge of losing the case, even when you are. At the same time, I don’t see any way to have worked such sequences into the game without destroying the flow of the rest of the game.
Like the previous Ace Attorney games, there is very little in the way of replay value in Ace Attorney Investigations. And by very little I mean zero. There is nothing to unlock, no alternate endings, not even a secret episode to unlock.
In the end, Ace Attorney Investigations is a great new take on the Ace Attorney formula with a witty and wacky story to enjoy. If you enjoyed the previous games, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. If you’ve never played one though, I recommend waiting on Miles Edgeworth and picking up one of the Phoenix Wright games first.
Plays Like: Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice games
Pros: Walking around is a great new mechanic; Logic and Deduction are worthwhile replacements for previous Phoenix Wright abilities
Cons: No courtroom drama; No replay value