And what would Ace Attorney be without some strange new gimmick to get at the truth? For Phoenix it was Maya’s magatama which showed the locks on peoples’ hearts formed by their lies. Apollo had a bracelet that let him know when someone was lying, allowing him to perceive their tells. Now Athena has a computer system named Widget which can analyze audio patterns in a person’s voice for their emotions. When you see a strange reaction to a particular statement, you press on it and eventually clear up their testimony by reducing the discord in their heart. I like the system more than Apollo’s if only because it has more of a pseudoscience explanation behind it. It was kind of hard to swallow a magic bracelet that tightened when people lied. The magatama isn’t much more plausible, but at least it was given to Phoenix by a spirit medium; the bracelet is from Apollo’s mom who’s a decidedly non-magical <SPOILER>.
The art in the new game is phenomenal in comparison to previous titles. Never before has there been an Ace Attorney game with 3D character models, but all the characters made the transition well. Everyone looks great static, but even better when animated since there’s actual movement and not just jumping pixels. The art style is about as close to the original pixelated style as they could get and it comes off great. And fully animated and voiced cutscenes are also spliced throughout the game to convey story when the character animations won’t cut it. The music is also impeccable, meeting a relatively high standard from fans of a soundtrack that fits the drama of the court. All Ace Attorney soundtracks can be measured by their take on Pursuit Cornered, the track that plays when you’ve got the crook on the ropes, and AA5 holds up well. Nothing beats Ace Attorney 2’s version, but 5 gets close. (Quick side note, I just checked a poll on GameFAQs and it turns out most people most people
disagree with me are wrong.)
Hearts. It’s one of the few series I support in every form I can. From figures to shirts to imported movies to the musicals and beyond, I’m a fan to my core. Though that usually bodes well for a series, this case is a hard one. After being scorned for so long from Capcom, this game had to not only meet the standard, but exceed it just to get a passing mark. Luckily, they did just that with wonderfully updated graphics, a quirky new investigation system, overhauling the frustrating parts, and bringing back characters we love without destroying the wacky continuity we’ve also grown fond of. If you’re new to the series, you may want to go back and play the first few games before getting started on this one (or at least Ace Attorney 4), but if you’re a fan of the series wondering if it’s worth the hype – it is. It so is. Trust me, once you nail your first ne’er-do-well in a lie and this song comes on, you’ll agree.