GAME: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
CASE: Cosmic Turnabout
CONSOLES: 3DS, iOS
Starting this case, we find ourselves finally catching up with the game's opening. We're seeing the case in which the courtroom bombing actually took place, playing as Apollo right up until the moment of the explosion. The victim is Apollo's childhood best friend, the suspect their mutual hero, an astronaut named Sol Starbuck.
Before long, the inevitable happens. The courtoom is destroyed, Apollo is hospitalised and the events of the first case play out. Now, finally, we are beyond the initial preview and the story is moving forwards. Phoenix and Athena take over the case and mysteries begin to pile up.
Being set in a futuristic space lab, there's obviously more than a dash of wackiness. There are ridiculous anime uniforms, robots and holographic aliens. Beyond an aesthetic, though, this case is actually pretty straight-laced and often dark. Bombings and stabbings, the existential loneliness of knowing how insignificant we are in the cosmos and a defendant who has lost all hope.
At first, I wondered how such an over-the-top theme case could work as the grand finale to the story; it feels much more like a comic relief filler case set-up. Eventually, the dark secrets of various members of this game's regular cast are all teased and it looks like things may be juicier than initially presented.
The investigations, which again are wonderfully streamlined compared to the DS entries, introduce only a few characters and not an overwhelming amount of evidence. The case plays out and the contradictions are all fairly logical. Before too long, the witness is on the ropes, a decisive piece of evidence is presented and it's all over.
If this really were the penultimate filler case we've come to expect in other games, that could very well have been that. Here the alarm bells had been ringing for some time, and it wasn't a total shock when the ending twisted events on their head and we received the big cliffhanger: the client was innocent but it looks like Athena is guilty.
Do you know what? I'm pretty pumped to see this game out. I've enjoyed the fact that most of the cases have been standalone crime stories to be enjoyed as they come, and while I'm sure we'll never repeat the grand familiar drama of the original trilogy, I'm ready for another deep dive into some dark pasts.
A fast-paced case that takes the unenviable task of tying together the circular plot of the game while building to the conclusion, and pulls it of admirably. It feels very much like half a case, though, so it's hard to give a higher score until I've seen if the second part cashes the cheques which this part has written.