Uh, this is for a Capcom franchise, not a Nintendo franchise. So why is it here instead of the Other Video Game Discussion sub-forum?
Game is done.
I have mixed feelings about the ending. On the one hand, Apollo having his own office in Khura'in does show how much the character has grown so it's a fitting ending for him. On the other hand... First off, I don't like saying goodbye to characters, particularly major ones. I don't want this to be the last we see of Apollo nor of the Wright Anything Agency (which is why it's a slight relief that his deal seems to be temporary, although he's likely to be there for at least a few years still), but the only way to do that would be to have cases in both countries again, which was already odd in this game...
Confession: I don't really like the political and international angle Yamazaki's games (I.e. The Investigations, Dual Destinies and this) have taken in the end. It's what made me wary of this one at first, only until after California was revealed to be half the game was I more confident about the game. Part of the reason I prefer the filler is because I like the idea of Ace Attorney being what it was like in the first couple of games - a story about the cases an ordinary law office took. International stuff feels too grand, and had Apollo simply been elsewhere in America I likely wouldn't have been so uncomfortable with the idea.
Similarly, I liked the way we caught out the queen - I think she was pretty obvious as a villain though, and I'm not sure whether I would prefer this over Dual Destinies' final showdown which I did find disappointing in hindsight. The last case with its usage of channeling and twist about channeling was as inventive as heck though.
Those end credits though. What a tease. Part of me wishes they would've actually done something with that part of Apollo's past and his feelings about that. The whole revolutionary thing again feels a bit too large scale for me.
So, overall thoughts:
Favourite case: Case 4 - Turnabout Storyteller
It's perhaps short, but that's almost a blessing - it doesn't really have the high stakes 2, 3 and 5 has and it didn't drag either. It had fun twists on the standard mystery tropes of DID (with the personalities not actually being dangerous here) and food as a murder weapon (with allergies to complicate it). Also, Blackquill being the assistant here was really fun, it's certainly gimmicky to have a prosecutor fill that role but considering his and Athena's dynamic it certainly paid off.
Favourite major new character: Rayfa
She seemed like a spoiled brat at first, but that's what made her character arc satisfying, as in case 3 she began learning the problems with what was going on and became more responsible, reflecting the themes of the game (which rather than propaganda seem to be family and succession). Having her be a semi-assistant in case 3 was also nice since it gave us some downtime as such to get used to her.
Favourite minor new character:
I can't decide between Betty and Bonny, Uendo and co, or Sarge as said before. There not much time for most witnesses to develop so there's no arc as such to be invested in for the cases individually, so I'll go with the witnesses I found most fun.
I don't really know! I have difficulties with that. I liked the ending of case 3 not having a real villain though, Beh'leeb and Tahrust weren't really murderers as such and the whole problem in that case stemmed from the risk from the DC Act, which I guess was a decent way of showing the problem with it in only one case?
Good points of the game:
- Again, Rayfa's arc. Very satisfying and something I wasn't expecting from this character.
- The murder mysteries were also very good, having twists, turns and cleverness without being overly complex.
- Alhbi is also as cute as heck, and I liked seeing him.
- Motives actually matter again, a complaint I had in Dual Destinies.
Meh points of the game:
- Nahyuta. The stuff that happened around him in the final case was neat, but for most of the game his character just felt kind of stagnant, and his base personality wasn't one I really cared for.
- Whilst I like gimmicks in Ace Attorney games, Psyche Locks, Perceive and the Mood Matrix all feel underused, even more so than in DD. Forensics are a fun idea although again underused and the rotating part of fingerprinting felt clunky. Divination Seances were alright although I wouldn't miss them.
- There were the right number of cameos and I liked the characters they picked, although there are two things: I'm not sure if Edgeworth specifically should have returned (I didn't see that character as that necessary tbh), and maybe it would've been nice to see one more character we haven't seen in a while. (And yes, I know about the DLC)
- The overarching revolution plot. It was fun to solve and I liked the revolutionaries as characters, but at the same time I'm just not a fan of the wider scale recent games have been taking.
- The ending, as said before. Makes sense for Apollo's character arc, but at the same time it's heavily marred by said international scale having a permanent effect now, and also because I was iffy on adding yet more to his backstory which I wasn't sure was necessary.
The bad points of the game:
- The pacing. Apart from case 4, it can get so so slow, to the point of exhausting me. Part of this is the one day trials, like in case 2, so a lot of stuff is shoved into one trial and one investigation even though the case itself is as long as it was made of two of each. The other is that there is some stuff that should be shorter than it was, like the looking for and being in the cave stuff in case 5.
- The witness cast was tiny in this game, even if the witnesses themselves were pretty fun. There were only a couple per case, which made the game as a whole feel a little empty since the cast was so small, and made the culprits too easy to find.
Overall, I wouldn't say it's a bad Ace Attorney game, but it's far from being my favourite as well. The fact that most cases had slow pacing and high stakes really diminishes its value to me personally - I like to dip into cases for fun, and only case 4 really lets me do that. I wouldn't not recommend this game, but I feel like it's far from the series' best.
I'll be sticking around for the DLC, though - I wonder what that will be like?
Isn't there a possibility of Reus being Apollo's father? It seems unlikely now that I know he's Retinz, but he was a member of Troupe Grammarye so I guess he fits the criteria. I can't remember what information we were given about Apollo's dad (did he leave the Troupe before Trucy was born? In that case it can't be Reus because he left 13 years ago) in AJ though so maybe he can't've been.