Reviews: Ace Attorney Investigations Miles Edgeworth

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Eureka! The ideal spin-off!
Taking the best parts of the main series games and choosing not to rely on old triumphs yet making sure they don't release a comparatively "lesser" product, the Ace Attorney Investigations games are very much the ideal end product of what all spin-offs should aspire to become. Based around the titular character (who pretty much all playing the main series game became attached to in some way), the duology explores more facets of his personality and continuing struggles with an f-ed up legal system and his very own motivations for doing what he does. Edgey being a little more, shall we say, "intellectually precise" in his approach to law makes for a refreshing change of pace from ol' Phoenix.

This is not to say the games ain't suffused with that wacky humor that gives Ace Attorney its appeal; far from it. It sacrifices some of the truly big laughs from the main series in order to achieve a higher level of balance between comedy and drama, but it works just fine. Miles getting another classic spunky sidekick sweetens the deal considerably.

Unlike the main series has gone on to do, however, they don't experiment too much with the gameplay formula. The first game introduces us to the Investigations series' distinctive concept of "no trial sequences", and seems to stick with just that. The sequel has question branching segments in the form of "Logic Chess", that in the end just becomes repetitive, less intuitive versions of the Psyche-Lock sequences of earlier times.

The first game suffers somewhat from being just a little forgettable, and after an endgame that long overstayed its welcome, it ends up feeling a bit too impersonal and inconsequential for its own good. The sequel, however... oh boy! Lemme just give a quick shout-out to the brave guys 'n' gals that ensured the rest of the world would be able to experience one of the most tightly woven narratives in Attorney history with their ingenious fan translation. Oh, uh, I guess I kinda already outlined its awesomeness right then, huh? Oh well.

Investigations refuses to get stuck in the shadow of its main series cousins, and at times even outshines its roots. Capcom made a dick move by not localizing the sequel, but thanks to industrious fandom, it's fine. Those lads might've very well beaten the localization team at their own game, after all.
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