A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, like the earlier games in this series, will expose players to mature topics like murder (by shooting and poisoning), crime scenes, and the odd bloodstain in photographs. Nothing is overly graphic thanks to a cartoonish and tasteful art style. The game is text-driven and requires above-average reading and comprehension, as well as critical-thinking and observation skills, to fully appreciate it. The 3DS remaster of the game also includes the full Japanese version, which reveals some minor changes made because of cultural differences.
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What's it about?
With the release of APOLLO JUSTICE: ACE ATTORNEY, Capcom has shaken things up in its hit Ace Attorney courtroom simulation series. Set about seven years after Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, defense lawyer Phoenix Wright has been stripped of his attorney status for reasons that aren't immediately clear, leaving players to step into the shoes of 22-year-old rookie lawyer Apollo Justice. The dialogue-heavy, menu-driven game spans four cases divided into the investigation phase -- where players interview witnesses, gather evidence, and search the crime scene -- and the courtroom phase, where testimony is heard and evidence is presented. The 3DS release of the game includes new, remastered visuals and sound, as well as enhanced options for examining evidence. The 3DS version also includes the option to switch between the localized release and the original Japanese version of the game.
Is it any good?
Designed from the ground up for the Nintendo 3DS, this court drama boasts impressive audio quality and crisper graphics to draw you into the legal drama. You can now explore crime scenes in 3D, rotate and zoom in on pieces of evidence, lift fingerprints and boot prints, and use Apollo's special powers of perception in court to tell if a person is lying through body language. It's best to think of the Ace Attorney games as serialized novels, so if you haven't played the first three games, chances are you'll be rather lost among all the in-jokes and references to past characters and events. Even so, there's enough exposition in the game to help explain things while still providing a fresh start for newcomers to the franchise.
The game's updated 3DS release adds some new improvements to the classic experience. For starters, the visuals and audio have been remastered to stunning levels, making the game look and sound more polished than the series has ever been. Capcom also tweaked the controls a bit on the 3DS, with evidence examination feeling a bit more intuitive and detailed. It also includes the full Japanese release of the game, to which players can switch back and forth. This is more than just a change in dialogue, though, as minor tweaks were made to bring the adventure stateside due to cultural differences. Keen-eyed players and hardcore fans of the series will enjoy picking apart the two versions to find their unique differences. No matter which version you play, though, the final verdict leaves Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney even more polished, intriguing, and entertaining than any of its predecessors, and one of the best games in the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the similarities between this type of text-driven game and a book or TV show. Which medium does the best job of telling a story?
Do you think Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney accurately represents the job of lawyers? Do you think you might have what it takes to be an attorney? What makes being a lawyer seem fun? What doesn't appeal to you?
The character of Apollo can tell when someone is lying -- have you ever been able to do that?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: November 21, 2017
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violent References
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.