Gender: None specified
Rank: Ace Attorney
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:22 pm
Revising my opinions for this game that I had never played myself until now and hadn't been close to since 2013 when I watched a playthrough.
I'm not really a hugh fan of the more cartoonish and anime-esque feeling of the storytelling and visual style, especially with the cutscenes... can't stand those cutscenes. I refuse to see them as canon, but rather some hammed-up and overdramatized re-telling of how it actually went down. It also suffers from some clumsy writing.
Other than that, I think my biggest problem with Dual Destinies is that they tried to do everything at once, and as a result it's all over the place but only halfways there. I get that they want a new beginning - it's a new console that calls for a new visual style, 3D and animations rather than sprites. So we have a brand new story, a new protagonist, prosecutor and detective. Problem is, we just recently (in terms of the main titles) had
a new beginning with Apollo and the cast that followed. So he's involved as well, leaving his character in an odd position fluctuating between important and pushed aside, focusing mainly on Athena and Simon. And while large chunks of AJ is dismissed, people like Trucy and Klavier can't be, so Trucy ends up being put in a flanderized corner and Klavier in a mock mock trial. But not only that, we also
bring back Phoenix as a prtagonist and playable lawyer, starting his story anew and calling for some familiar faces to be dragged all the way from the trlogy-era. Which turns into a peculiar situation where three kinds of "eras" in a sense, each represented by a playable character, end up co-existing, but not on equal terms seeing as Athena & co. end up being the main focus for the most part (while still leaving her behind in terms of character development and moreso development as a lawyer), leaving the others more or less in the shadow and bloating the cast. Long story short, it gets confusing. If you have a string and you try pulling both ends at the same time, the thread won't move in any direction. And that's kinda what happened here. (Following that analogy, SoJ would be a situation where you keep pulling the strings from both end and the string break as a result, but now the halves can go in either direction. Wait, that actually makes sense...)
I actually liked the thing with different cases featuring different lawyers, but I do have a problem with the discrepancy between when you're playing as one of them vs playing as someone else and seeing the same person from the outside. To me it feels like the writers molded the characters after what the plot and/or thirst for drama needed in any given situation without taking the character's personality into account. For instance, 5-3 needs Apollo to guide Athena through her first case, so suddenly he becomes a level-headed mentor as compared to when he was the lead attorney,or later on when he needed to be dark and edgy.
And the too easy, hand-holding gameplay, but that has been touched upon time and time again so I can't say anything abut it that hasn't already been said, and better, by other people.
This doesn't at all mean that I didn't like the game, though, but it's easier to pin-point wht dragged it down for me than saying exactly what I liked about it. I mean, it's a good game. All AA-games are, in my opinion. It was entertaining and engaging to play. I really like the thought route (it would be fun if there was like one or two wrong routes you could follow and come to a wrong conclusion, but it's fine as it is), it is very satisfying and has good music and design. Same goes for Mood Matrix; the music is great and I really like the testimony-illustrations. I can agree with Hugh that it is rather violating of people's privacy to dig into their emotions, throw them out for everyone to see and question them like that, but from a gameplay perspective, it was fun and added a new dimension to testimonies.
The cast is nice, although Athena's role was pretty so-and-so; I found her overused as an assistant and underused as a lawyer/playable character and she enters the game as a newbie and leaves it only slightly less a newbie, compared to Phoenix and Apollo in their respective first games. Love Simon. Really like some one-case-characters too. I can't think of anyone I absolutely couldn't stand, even Phineas Filch got better during the case he was in. Although I did feel that with the options available for lawyer-assistant/aid combinations, it could have been used better to create more variety and different character dynamics. I would have preferred:
5-1: Athena playable through the entire case, with Phoenix coming in as he did but as an aid (and I saw no point in not having Athena as Junie's lawyer from the start since Apollo was gonna faint anyway)
5-2: As it was, or possibly Apollo-Trucy for the first investigation, introduce Athena a little later and have her assisting the second part.
5-3: As it was.
5-4: Apollo alone for the whole case. Which would require the case to look really different, but I think it could be nice. Probably a little darker which would help set it apart from 5-5. And we could get more of his experience with losing his best friend. His suspicions of Athena would have to be stated or at least hinted, but I don't think it would suffer from that.
5-5: As it was.
DLC: Phoenix with Apollo as the assistant. Or all three of them hanging out. Simon was perfect for this case, I think, still a DLC with no ties to the main story feels like a wasted opportunity not to change things up (Klavier...!).
Overall plot was... fine. Not the best AA has had to offer, but I liked it. I only wish we would have been able to see Clay alive as an adult (and how Apollo interacts with non-job-related friends). Having him appear like oh look, little Polly's friend, whoops he died would have been to cruel, but they could have talked about his death in the first case (which was related to the trial of his murder anyway), and then we'd see him in 5-3 because even more power of friendship and it's so bittersweet since we already know his jig is up.
Cliché and cheesy as it was at times (well, a lot), I still get the feeling that the creators felt for the story, and enjoyed making it. It's not the strongest entry in the series, but on its own merits, it's nice. I liked many of the characters and I laughed a lot as well. And felt joy. And sadness. And anger. And maybe a little surprise, too.
(......Ack! I've run out of snide comments!)