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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney ds Game Reviews
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Critic Score
Metascore: 78 Metascore out of 100
User Score  
7.6 out of 10
based on 48 reviews
Read critic reviews
How did we calculate this?
based on 13 votes
Read user comments
Rate this game

This is the fourth game in the series and the first developed specifically for Nintendo DS and sees a change of direction for the story line with the introduction of new defense attorney Apollo Justice and a host of new characters. Players star as rookie defense attorney Apollo Justice as he visits crime scenes, questions key witnesses and collects vital evidence before stepping into the courtroom to prove his clients' innocence. Facing Apollo across the courtroom is the highly talented and flamboyant prosecutor Klavier Gavin who, in addition to being a legal genius, is also lead singer with Gavinners, a highly successful rock band with a string of hits to their name. He may be young and inexperienced but Apollo's confident manner and passion, coupled with his unique ability to uncover witnesses' lies by studying their body language, will prove invaluable assets in the courtroom as he pleads the case for the defense. Thankfully, Apollo is not alone and is aided both in and out of the courtroom by his assistant Trucy, a mysterious female magician. Apollo also receives invaluable advice from his mentor the ultra-cool Kristoph Gavin, elder brother of Klavier, whose perfect logic and natural instincts have won him numerous cases and the respect of his colleagues. [Capcom]

PUBLISHER: Capcom Entertainment
DEVELOPER: Capcom Entertainment
GENRE(S): Adventure
RELEASE DATE: February 19, 2008

What The Critics Said

All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...

Despite fears that a new stable of characters would prove less interesting than the established cast, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney manages to hold up to its predecessors in nearly every way.
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With hilariously well-written dialog, brilliant court cases, DS-specific features, pulse-pounding drama, catchy and moody music, and four cases, you will not want to miss this game.
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To put it simply, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney takes everything that works about the Phoenix Wright series and then adds more. Longtime fans of the lawyer series will not be disappointed with the newest installment, but there’s so much fresh content that newcomers can jump right in and not feel overwhelmed by the game’s history.
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Cheat Code Central
A long game coupled with the fact that it's incredibly immersive and addicting; excellent storylines really keep you playing.
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All in all, if you've followed the series, there's no point in stopping now. Capcom has the formula down by this point, and they will only improve upon it as time passes.
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Electronic Gaming Monthly
As much as I adore the gameplay, the story is by far the best reason to take this case. [Apr 2008, p.81]
Pelit (Finland)
Quotation forthcoming. [June 2008]
Apollo Justice carries on the addictive game play of its predecessors. It is suited well to those who enjoy watching the many different crime and courtroom shows that are so popular on television these days, and also to those who enjoy a good story-based game that requires concentration and awareness.
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It's more of the same, then, but it's great.
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Gaming Target
Fans of Phoenix Wright can rest assured that Apollo Justice more the lives up to the role as an Ace Attorney.
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The localization team at Capcom should be commended for writing dialogue that is genuinely funny. Basically, if you're a fan of the earlier Phoenix Wright games, you will laugh...a lot. Couple the comedy with Justice's engrossing story and you have a case that would be criminal not to take.
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n-Revolution Magazine UK
Surprisingly ace. [Issue#21, p.80]
Apollo Justice surprised us. This may just be yet another of Capcom’s infamous rehashes, but it’s so much more enjoyable than most that it’s extremely hard to ignore.
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Gamer 2.0
Despite what may be setbacks with the lack of true blue changes to the graphics and sound, Apollo Justice looks to be everything the Phoenix Wright trilogy was and more.
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A worthy successor to the Phoenix Wright series, even if the first outing seems a little too eager to hold on to the characters from its predecessor.
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Official Nintendo Magazine UK
As great as it is, we can't believe we've waited two years for this. [June 2008, p.80]
If it's engaging storytelling on a handheld scale you're after, Apollo Justice serves up another ace for Capcom’s line of courtroom sims.
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Even though it still relies on a lot of the tried and true mechanics of the Phoenix Right-titles, Apollo Justice manages to add enough new DS-related features to keep this package feeling fresh while adding a great and engaging storyline to the mix. This is the best offering so far for newcomers, and fans of the Phoenix Wright titles are going to appreciate the improvements to the formula.
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However, the sharp writing skills shine through once more, with a script full of intrigue, humour and mystery.
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Although the game has been made especially for the DS, not enough DS specific gameplay elements have been put into the game.
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It's filled to the brim with brilliant ideas, and then barely uses them.
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Overall, though, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has enough refreshing content and "legal good times" to keep you happily satisfied, with its well-integrated storyline, characters and touch-screen tools.
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Since Apollo's adventure builds upon the Phoenix Wright trilogy and the original remains the best, playing the Ace Attorney series in order remains my recommendation.
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The only severe flaw is that it ends too soon with only four cases and no option to download new ones. Still, it's a legal champion.
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The new DS-centric controls add a lot to the formula, though some other cool new features, such as forensic videos, are too sparsely used.
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Nintendo Power
With that said, the latest Ace Attorney game is an excellent continuation of the series, featuring more compelling mysteries to unravel and lots of memorable characters. [Mar 2008, p.86]
Games Radar
Apollo Justice delivers the same winning formula we've come to expect, throws in some refreshing new twists, and leaves us satisfied yet still eager to see where the story will go.
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Game Informer
It’s funny, unique, and breaks up the text scrolling with more varied activities. Even so, Apollo still has room to grow, and I’m looking forward to seeing what case he takes next.
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Video Game Talk
Apollo Justice delivers an evolved version of the Phoenix Wright titles, but the overall experience has been shortened dramatically.
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Games Master UK
Not the leap in features we'd hoped for, but a fantastic debut for Justice nontheless. [May 2008, p.72]
NGamer UK
Not exactly the dazzling reinvention we hoped for, but Apollo Justice more than holds his own. [May 2008, p.55]
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While it may seem like Capcom's diving back into the well of a successful franchise, Apollo Justice is the first Ace Attorney game built from the ground up for the DS, and it succeeds in delivering just enough legal shenanigans that are serious enough--and silly enough--to entice both fans and rookies alike.
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Apollo Justice is a likeable guy (because he is just a carbon copy of Phoenix Wright, to be honest) and even four games into the series, this still remains fresh, thanks to the clever writing and plots.
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Worth Playing
A great entry point for novice attorneys, thanks to a new cast of vibrant characters.
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The Onion (A.V. Club)
The latest chapter in the Ace Attorney series comes with fresh characters and an absorbing plot—as well as all the same old objections.
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Phoenix Wright fans who loved the past games and want nothing more than another docket of crazy cases to tackle will no doubt love Apollo Justice. It's a solid distillation of the franchise formula and if you haven't yet had your fill, I wholly recommend the game, because you will no doubt enjoy it. But I personally couldn't get over how derivative the game felt.
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Fans of the previous Ace Attorney games will appreciate the new touch-screen mechanics and improved presentation, but these changes don't do much to spice up the series' often slow and tedious pacing.
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As much fun as Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is, it's just not the big leap forward that the series should have taken, as a number of little niggles conspire to lower the score slightly.
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Another solid entry, but the series probably needed more then solid. Weaker characters are offset by new novelties, but it will still be worth a go for fans of the idea.
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Despite these small problems, however, this is still essential playing for long-time fans, and for new entrants: buy this game, play it, and then get the others.
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Adventure Gamers
Despite the mounting criticism, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is a decent enough game in its own right, and fans of the series can expect much of what they enjoyed in previous offerings.
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Had Capcom pout a little more effort into overhauling the gameplay and graphics, while also preserving the magic of the original cast, Apollo Justice would have been more than just another sequel. [May 2008, p.116]
My Gamer
Apollo Justice, while staying true to an original, winning formula, has some pitfalls that prevents me from recommending it to people not familiar with the series.
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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is not a typical DS game. However, those gamers who also enjoying burning away the hours with a good book will find plenty to like in this courtroom drama.
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Edge Magazine
Yes, Justice’s new shriek adds a new trick to his repertoire, but besides this and a few new touchscreen forensic gizmos, this there is little change from the GBA ports. [Apr 2008, p.95]
Pocket Gamer UK
Melodrama isn't enough to carry Apollo Justice, a game that feels considerably more weighed down by dialogue and little actual gameplay to speak of than its predecessors.
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Game Revolution
Phoenix Wright: You still have a lot to learn, kid. If you’re going to make it in this world, you have to pave your own path.
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Play Magazine
Plead nolo contendere, Apollo. [Mar 2008, p.65]

What Our Users Said

Vote Now! The average user rating for this game is 7.6 (out of 10) based on 13 User Votes
Note: User votes are NOT included in the Metascore calculation.

Ady gave it a10:
Great game, Great storyline what more is there to say? GET IT!

Wocky gave it a9:
I don't know what people are talking about! This game was really good! GRAPHICS: The graphics have had a little bit of improvement/ change through the previous series such as "real" 3D animations or miniclips. The graphics are an outstanding work of art. Overall: 10/10 AUDIO: Sweet heaven! The audio could really make your ears bleed, (especially Gavin's theme). The theme songs become repetitive and make your ears bleed near the end of the game. Overall: 7/10 STORY: The story has gone from ridiculous to....ludicrous! Whoever thought that a doctor would be dragging a noodle stand down a park while a "gangster" comes up and pumps him full of lead? However, these cases can be solved, you don't need to compulsively save (as P W states it). Just use your brain! Overall: 9/10 GAMEPLAY: I see Capcom has brought back the old functions that were lost in PW1. Such as the fingerprint system and the luminol system. They also added more functions such as having the ability to reenact a crime scene and having the perceive system or the jurist system at the last chapter. However, the Psycho-Locks from PW2 and PW3 have been removed but who cares? You also can't present people profiles as evidence anymore. Overall: 10/10 The score I give for the game overall is 9/10

Gerkuman gave it an8:
Personally, I don't think P W (the commenter before me) really understands the main point of the AA series, which is that it's mostly story based, so it doesn't NEED to change much. That, and I personally don't see how the penalty system gives the game a two, but meh. On with the mini-review! Firstly, the new system in the game actually adds a bit to the story. It's sort of like the Magatama, but mixed with spot the difference. Personally, I think it's quite good, although a tiny bit infuriating; but in the end, some challenge is good. On the story front, it's pretty good as well, although it does have some plotholes, and some people won't like how a character or two has changed. As for what P W said about the penalty system, the whole point of AA is to catch peoples contradictions. And, for the most part they're not too hard to spot as long as you think about it. Of course, you could start objecting to random statements, but that won't help you much and the penalty system is to stop that. So, my opinons of the game. It's a worthy sucessor to the series, and is one of the best out of them. But of course, it all depends on your P.O.V.

P W gave it a2:
This game is literally more of the same. There is literally one new feature: one of the most obnoxious minigames ever to disgrace gaming. The concept is that you have to discover some hidden animation. The segment is timed, of course, something that's inexcusable for a game of this genre. Other than that, if you've played the original DS Phoenix Wright, you've played this game. There's nothing new. Sadly, this means that the pointless and worthless penalty system is back, meaning that you get to re-page through 15 minutes of text if you fail to guess what the writers were thinking. You can work around that by compulsively saving, but you shouldn't have to - there should be no penalty system in the first place.

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