Apollo Justice - thought dump

Last Night, I completed Apollo Justice, the fourth game in the Ace Attorney / Phoenix Wright / Gyakuten Saiban game series. I have some disappointments, but overall I'm quite pleased with the game.

Timeshift (spoiler-heavy)

The riskiest thing about the game is playing as Apollo Justice, 7 years past the previous game. This offers a very healthy restart to the franchise and takes the series in a new direction. Honestly, I think they had exhausted all their options with Edgeworth and the Fey family. It was time for the series to move forward, rather than backward. But I think they put a little too much behind them when making this transition.

Phoenix Wright is in Apollo Justice and is the center of attention, but many of the other characters are gone. Not a single mention of Edgeworth or the Fey Family. No Franziska, No Gumshoe. The only other 'blast from the past' is Ema Skye who was introduced in the DS only chapter of Phoenix Wright 1. She has taken Gumshoe's place as lead detective.

I guess it's assumed that Edgeworth and Maya went their merry way elsewhere. Pearl, too. I'd like to know what happened. Maybe that will be the focus of Gyakuten Saiban 5?

New Main Character (some spoilers)

The thing reminds me a lot of Metal Gear Solid 2. Phoenix Wright is still in the game, but he's like a mentor / background character for the better part of the game. It's not until the final chapter, when you play as him, that his whole story takes center stage and shows exactly how Apollo Justice is caught up in it. Kinda like MGS2. You start off as Snake, but his story is cut short. Then all of sudden, you're playing as Raiden and have no idea why until it all becomes clear in the final act.

I have a feeling Gyakuten Saiban 5 is going to be a lot like MGS4 or perhaps Halo 3, where you have the main characters of the franchise side-by-side using their detective and analytic techniques together.

Perceiving (some spoilers)

Speaking of which.. Phoenix Wright's detection vice was using the Magatama and discovering Psyche-Locks in people. Locks that locked memories from the people view that you can unlock by shoving truth into their faces. Unlocking those memories helped you dig deeper into the truth.

Apollo Justice has a vice of his own, Perceiving, which, just like the Magatama, is integral to his character's story. To perceive, Apollo will feel tension in his bracelet which gives him the idea that this person is lying to him. When perceiving, you look VERY closely at your subject. You search them for a 'tell' or 'habit' they might do when they're lying. Once you know exactly what they're lying about, you can use evidence or coercion to force the truth out of them.

In this game, the only time you perceive is in court. There is never an instance outside of court that the game allows you to perceive. But that's where the Magatama comes into play in the final act when uncovering all the mysteries of the past 7 years.

In the series.. (no real spoilers)

Overall, I was quite pleased with the game. Even though, it missed the mark of the previous characters in the series, it did a great job pulling Apollo Justice and other new characters into the series. I'm still somewhat annoyed at those chapters that aren't relevant to the overall story, though. In this case, the second chapter really had nothing to do with the overall story of Gyakuten Saiban 4. Though, I guess it did bring back Ema Skye and plenty of forensic investigation.

Placing it into the series, though. I would say Apollo Justice is on par with the first Phoenix Wright game. Phoenix Wright 3 is my favorite, whereas Phoenix Wright 2 is my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, Phoenix Wright 2 is essential for the overall story of Gyakuten Saiban, but the music really pulls down the game. You need to play Phoenix Wright 2 to appreciate all the story in Phoenix Wright 3.

Apollo Justice is kind of on its own plane though. You don't really need to play the previous games to appreciate the story. You could start Gyakuten Saiban at Apollo Justice and not be lost or miss anything. All you'd really need to know is that Phoenix Wright is a good, clever lawyer.

Though, if you did start Gyakuten Saiban at Apollo Justice, you'd totally be spoiled by the 3D aspects. I would rather hold Apollo Justice as a treat for playing through the first 3 games, than go start for the desert.

Gyakuten Saiban (no spoilers)

After completing Apollo Justice, I still want more. I love the characters, the story, the humor, the music. The whole domestic version of the Gyakuten Saiban series is fantastic. If you haven't played through them, I ask that you give it another try. ^_^ These 4 games are some of the best the DS has the offer.

Gyakuten Saiban 5 is at the top of my hype-wagon ^_^.

Update

After peering around, I found some news on Gyakuten Saiban 5.

When Shu Takumi was exclusively interviewed, he said that GS5 will still be on DS and it will be the last one for the series. However, it doesn't mean that there will be no new GS games, but rather the end of stories about Phoenix. After that, GS will become a totally new game and have nothing to do with the old series.

He also stated that GS4 was a "test" game. Thanks to the high sale record of GS4, the staff aren't worried about introducing a new story.

However, before the new game series can start, the current GS series must come to an end and GS5 will be the farewell show. GS5 will break the record of GS1's DS remake and become the longest one of the whole series. Almost all the old characters will turn up and some hidden clues in GS1234 will be looked on. Some of the cases which seem to have nothing to do with each other will show a connection. In a word, everything will become clear in GS5. What made the players even more excited, Shu Takumi revealed that the final boss of the all darkness is not a fresh face but someone we are quite familiar with! This person control all in the dark, who can he/she be?

Shu Takumi also said the most of the script has been finished and the game producing is on its way. There is also a piece of news which may let the players down: it's probably the last time that Shu Takumi will take part in writing the script for GS. From now on, other people will take over his work.

It seems like suspicions are correct. Number 5 will tie everything together, but it seems it will also end it all. Oh well. Rather put a definite end to a story rather than dragging it out forever. I can't wait ^_^




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