The Average Gamer

E3 2013: Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies Preview

Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies Athena Cykes

After five long years, we’re finally getting a new Phoenix Wright. Dual Destinies sees the return of Wright, his apprentice Apollo Justice and a new rookie, Athena Cykes. In the 10-minute demo playable during E3 I was shown Sykes’ special power/minigame; she can sense people’s emotions.

Acting as an extension to Wright’s cross-examination in court, Cykes uses her holographic analysis tool to show people’s emotions. During the witness testimony, a series of face icons light up to show their emotions at the time. Find the emotion that doesn’t correspond and Got It! There’s your inconsistency.

Here’s a quick hands-on gameplay video I took at the E3 demo that shows it in action.

It’s not complex but then again, the Phoenix Wright games never were. Solving the courtroom drama is fun but occasionally brain-bendingly frustrating, thanks to localisation ambiguities. The appeal for me has always been the slow unravel of the stories, the madcap characters and poor Wright’s charming internal monologue. You’ll see familiar prosecuting attorneys like Payne, though there was no sign of Miles Edgeworth in the demo. The judge is his usual slightly-detached-from-reality self, while the courtroom…

The courtroom is actually imposing for the first time in the series. Dual Destiny continues the Ace Attorney series’ art style of cel-shaded characters on top of beautifully hand-drawn backdrops and it’s an easy transition to 3DS. Witness perch on their stand, surrounded by the eyes of the court while the judge looms over everything from his bench. The demo didn’t show an gameplay enhancements that used 3D but it’s a nice addition.

Between the recent release of Animal Crossing New Leaf and this upcoming Phoenix Wright, I may finally get myself a 3DS.