Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies Review

Hi. I’ve been very remiss to do this review. This game broke my heart. I’m keeping this review spoiler free, but if you’ve played the game and you read this review you’ll understand why. Here it is, my Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies review.

Dual Destinies Box Art

Console 3DS
Compared to other games in the series: Dual Destinies is the best, it’s so good
Best Character: Without a shadow of a doubt, Detective Fulbright… I love him.

Right, I do honestly think that Ace Attorney is my favourite game series. So I was really excited to play this game.

For those who are new to Ace Attorney, here is what you can expect:

  • Witty dialogue
  • Well written characters and scenarios
  • Actually having to think
  • A game that makes you feel real emotions
  • Puns

That didn’t really explain it. OK. You play as a young attorney… or three.

Red: Apollo Justice. Blue: Phoenix Wright. Yellow: Athena Cykes.

Red: Apollo Justice. Blue: Phoenix Wright. Yellow: Athena Cykes.

Phoenix Wright is the “original” attorney. His story spans 4 games thus far. In the last game we learned that he had been stripped of his attorney’s badge, and that’s when we got introduced to Apollo. In this game, Phoenix is a new lawyer for the second time and has picked up a third new lawyer – Athena.

Your job is to defend you clients and to find the truth!

Truth finding is made a little easier because each lawyer has a… (wait for it) …special ability.

Special Power One: Breaking the locks on someone's heart

Special Power One: Breaking the locks on someone’s heart

Phoenix Wright is in the possession of a magical maguffin that allows him to see when people are keeping secrets. This has been around since the 2nd game in the series.

Seeing really well and spotting people's tells

Seeing really well and spotting people’s tells

Apollo Justice has a bracelet that vibrates when someone is “showing a tell”. He also has really good eyesight that allows him to spot these tells – for example, if someone is unconsciously thinking about something or specifically lying about something, they might touch a certain place on their face or look towards something. This has been around since the last game.

Analysing peoples moods

Analysing peoples moods

Athena Cykes possesses really good hearing, and by listening to the tone of their voice she can hear their “inner voice” and determine any moods or emotions relating to what they’re saying. She also possesses the technology to better analyse contradictions between speech and mood.

You get to use all of these things as well as more traditional “talking to people and pointing out they’re lying” to solve cases.

There are two parts to this game

  • Investigating
  • Trial

During and investigation, you talk to your client to get an idea of what happened, try to gather clues and speak to other people who may have had something to do with the incident.

I feel like the “investigation” segment of Dual Destinies was significantly shorter than it had been in previous games. It’s a mixture of “good” and “oh”.

Good because in some of the earlier games (the first one comes to mind) the investigation segments are really long, and there is a lot of “move character from point A to point B” and it’s sometimes really boring.

However, I say “oh” because I feel Apollo Justice really made the investigation segments fun, with the addition of things like fingerprinting and other forensic science. I get that it doesn’t make much sense for the attorney character to do that stuff, and without Ema (the detective that wants to be the forensic scientist) as your detective, it really doesn’t make sense to be shoe-horned in.

In spite of that, the investigation segments are now… a lot better presented than before.
This comes from two things

  • This game is in 3D and the graphics are NICE
  • The game puts a tick/check next to an area you’ve already investigated
  • More camera angles to view scenes from
ohhh nice 3D graphics...

ohhh nice 3D graphics…

Let me talk about the 3D graphics. One of the weirdest things for me was seeing Phoenix Wright in 3D.

In 2D

In 2D

In 3D

In 3D

It was a very sudden change, and I wasn’t sure I liked it, but… I love it. The 3D graphics are still fun and cartoony like their GBA/DS predecessors but they are really sophisticated and nice.



I was very impressed.

Anyway. The next section of the game is “trial”. This is the bulk of the game, and I think…quite rightly. Here is where you listen to testimonies and theories put together by the prosecution and hopefully save your client’s ass by disproving them. You disprove them either by answering questions with the correct deduction or by shoving opposing evidence in the prosecution/witness’s face.

I don't think the case is clear at all, Prosecutor.

I don’t think the case is clear at all, Prosecutor.



My #1 favourite addition to this game is a feature that is used sparingly. It is close to the non-magic power in Ace Attorney Investigations, when you had to connect Edgeworth’s thoughts together.

Thought process!

Thought process!

As someone who works in Digital, my thought was “WOW! Nice UI!!!” haha…

The best reason to play this game is the story due to how well written, funny and genuinely moving it was.

When I was about to finish the game, Jo brought me loads of sweets and chocolate because she had played it before me and advised me to “eat my feelings”. The end of the game broke my heart. I’m not going to say anything else.

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