Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy PS5 Review Capcom PS5 Review

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review (PS5) – Court Is Back In Session

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review (PS4) – Marking yet another collection in Capcom’s famous visual novel franchise, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy marks the entire main Ace Attorney franchise being available on modern systems. And out of all of their compilations so far, this one offers the most compelling reasons for players new and old to jump in and see what off-beat courtroom action lies within.

With slick HD visuals and being packed full of goodies for existing fans to sink their teeth into, this is undoubtedly the definitive way to experience this trilogy of Ace Attorney titles.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review (PS5) – Court is Back In Session

As the name would suggest, this trio of games largely follows the exploits of grassroots lawyer, Apollo Justice, as he moves from lowly apprentice to seasoned defence attorney across the span of three titles. Apollo’s journey is full of intricate and resonant personal struggles that help him to stand apart from the other characters in the Ace Attorney franchise.

Yet despite being labelled “Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy,” this compilation goes far beyond just the one character and spins a story across a variety of new and returning faces to the franchise. The result is a rollercoaster that explores an era of the law defined by under-the-table deals, corruption and misleading information. Gradually learning more about this through various places across the three titles is one of the most engaging parts of the trilogy and makes every victory that much sweeter.

A suite of new faces and returning characters from titles past help to bring this story together as something far greater than just another courtroom outing. To say more than that would really spoil some of the surprises that these games hold, but fans are rewarded handsomely for seeing this entry through.

This collection also includes all cosmetic and additional case DLC for Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice right out of the gate so players are free to see what goodies hide in these exceptionally strange new mysteries. Ever fancied defending an Orca whale for murder? You can now!

Court’s Never Looked So Good

Similarly to the other compilation titles offered by Capcom in previous years, this set of games also sets out to visually refresh these previously handheld exclusive games and the results are staggering.

The 2D-pixel art of Apollo Justice has been faithfully recreated with a high resolution in mind. The new look means that animations come across even clearer and smoother than ever before. There’s always a worry that the charm of the original animations will have been lost in translation but that is absolutely not the case here. Art has been painstakingly brought up to spec and makes for a blockbuster experience.

Jumping from Apollo Justice to Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice, there’s a generational leap into the third dimension. At the time of these games being released, there was a big debate over whether or not these styles worked but Capcom has put in work to make sure that all the eccentric charm that you expect from the series is present and accounted for.

The jump to 3D also allows for more creative approaches to investigations and general environment design, which only helps to make these two entries feel that much more dynamic than their predecessors, especially the original trilogy of games.

Moving to the Big Screen

In the jump from handheld to console, the process of investigation has changed somewhat to accommodate the lack of a touchscreen but these changes are largely for the better and make for a smooth experience that rarely feels like it suffers from losing the touchscreen.

Being introduced in an extra case for the original game, this trilogy features mechanics that amp up the interactivity from the original games. Forensic investigation takes front and centre in a good few of the cases featured here, with players given the chance to dust for fingerprints or spray for bloodstains. These help you to feel like you’re a part of the unfolding mystery, rather than mopping up after detectives.

Additions like Apollo’s perception ability, Athena’s Mood Matrix and the Khura’inese Divination Séance similarly add extra wrinkles to the standard Ace Attorney formula that keep players on their toes throughout the whopping 16 cases on offer here across all three titles and each has been carefully reconsidered for controller play. While I still find some of these features a bit more finicky than the traditional cross-examinations, these small injections of variety help to keep things fresh and invite creative thinking when considering solutions.

Another addition to this title is the so-called “Story Mode.” This transforms the game from an interactive story into literally just a visual novel and for people who might struggle with particular puzzles, this is an elegant option that protects new players from searching for a guide online and being spoiled. This mode was introduced in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles in 2021 and was a fantastic addition, so seeing it here is hugely appreciated. While I had no need to use it for this review, more options are always nice.

Treats for Returning Fans

While the original Ace Attorney trilogy offered nothing in terms of additional content for returning players, Capcom has included an extensive catalogue of development materials that delve into the processes behind some of the most iconic characters in series history. For fans who have enjoyed these games for a long time, these new glimpses into the development of Ace Attorney will be a treat.

A fully equipped media player also allows players to listen to tracks and watch cutscenes from across the series whenever they want to, instead of scraping certain cases for their favourite moment. In an age where soundtracks and cutscenes are distributed online and easy to access, this feature may fall on deaf ears but was still a neat addition that allows people to appreciate these fantastic soundtracks in the best way possible.

Tracks from the recent Ace Attorney symphonic orchestra shows also make their official debut here for all to listen to, a really pleasant surprise for someone who wasn’t able to see it live!

These are small compared to the other stand-out feature of this mode and that’s the animation studio. This brand-new addition allows creative players to put characters in all sorts of weird and non-canon scenarios that would never appear in the main game. And this (quite bravely) includes a greenscreen feature. For those who like to make their own scenarios and content out of Ace Attorney, this is a veritable goldmine of opportunity and contains every possible animation you could need to make your own scenarios work.

I anxiously look forward to seeing what the community will end up making with these new tools on offer and the decision to include this amount of supplementary material should be commended.

A Grand Celebration

My overwhelming impression from this compilation is one of celebration for a series that has come so far in the over 2 decades since its inception. So much heart and soul has been put into a collection that could have quite easily cut corners and just given us these titles at a strictly higher resolution.

The decision then to go as far as they have should be commended and has paid off in this case. The amount of detail put into this collection is nothing short of exhaustive and should be considered the gold standard going forward for similar releases from other publishers.

For diehard fans of Ace Attorney, to people who have yet to experience these games, there is absolutely reason to pay attention to this collection from Capcom.

The defence rests its case.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is due out on January 25, 2024 for PS5 & PS4.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy sets the gold standard for game compilations going forward as it brings all three of these well-loved titles under a single banner. Both newcomers and veterans have every reason to keep their eyes on this trilogy; with a bounty of extra features to dive into, this is far more than just a port of three visual novel adventures. This is a love-letter to the Ace Attorney community that should be enjoyed by all.