Jay Castello
Freelance Writer
jaymcastello@gmail.com
@jayplaysthings

You Should Play Ace Attorney

I am not usually in the business of making recommendations, because they require many qualifiers about the impossibility of any media to be perfect, but the one series that I would not hesitate to recommend is the Ace Attorney series. (Which is not to say that it’s perfect, but it would take some time for me to replay it all with a feminist lens and see what’s good and bad. That is tempting though.) So why should you play it?

Characters: Do you like nuanced female characters? You’re going to get them in abundance. Women get to be everything from lawyers to police officers to spirit mediums to film directors. Do you like nuanced male characters? You’re going to get them in abundance. Men also get to do a bunch of cool things and close friendships between men and male emotions are normalised. Do you like adorable animals? Ace Attorney has you covered.

Music and sound design: the music in these games is incredible and I want to literally live in the moments where you present the right evidence and it cuts out.

Story: Listen. The Ace Attorney games are weird. (This is a good thing.) You will get invested. There are intense character arcs; great themes of working together and the power of friendship; and plot twists in abundance. It’s well written and localised. (So. Many. Puns.) And if you get through the third game without crying, I’ll be amazed.

Positivity: Okay, the third game is heartbreaking, but in general there’s just such a refreshing theme here and I’m so into it.

Longevity: There are 8 games available in English (one of these is a fantranslation; and there are 9 in Japanese). And another on the way! (19 days!) In many ways (like reducing the number of blatantly fanservice-y outfits, for instance) the series has only gotten better as it’s gone on.

There are a lot more things that I could list but I don’t want to spoil anything. You can technically start anywhere in the series but I recommend playing in release order (though the spin offs, Investigations and Phoenix Wright vs. Professor Layton can really be played any time especially after the original trilogy).

Said original trilogy is available on iOS for £12.99, or you can pick them up for DS/3DS. In fact, they’re currently on sale on the Nintendo eStore until 25 August – for now the trilogy is £12.99 there too, and Dual Destinies is £7.99.

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