Monday, 10 January 2011

[MINI REVIEW] [DS] Apollo Justice - Ace Attorney

A very quirky title that very nearly strikes the balance between a humourous, over-the-top storyline and engaging, challenging gameplay.

Graphics are stylish and appropriate, the music is suitably atmospheric and the sound effects do add something to the experience. The plot is like something out of a soap opera, with a whole host of likeable and not-so-likeable characters that give you a small sense of satisfaction as you try to fathom out their true motives.

The gameplay shifts between searching for clues (point-click), questioning witnesses (not much freedom here, just gathering information) before going to court and cross-examining witnesses. This is where you are required to take charge, but even though some of the twists are cunning and give a sense of satisfaction when deduced, others require a bit of a stretch of the imagination. This can mean that you are selecting all possible options fruitlessly in order to work out how to proceed. Another point where detective work becomes defective work is the "sixth sense" sections. In these, your character must pick up on the contradictions in a testimony by looking for tells or twitches showing their guilt. Although this is a great idea, some of the tells are very difficult to spot and you cannot quickly repeat sections of the testimony to double-check, meaning that these sections can take ages to get through.

All in all, apart from a couple of parts where the game is a little cryptic and subtle for its own good, this game is a vibrant and engrossing affair which has a story that keeps you interested, audiovisual detail that complements the tone perfectly and gameplay that ties it all together pretty damn well.

Overall score - 78% - Let down by minor points but still well worth a play through.

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