2023 has been an unimaginable yr for video video games, however as I stay up for 2024, there’s one factor I’m notably thrilled about: the possibility for Apollo Justice to, maybe, lastly get the credit score he deserves.
Apollo is like… I don’t know, Rey? In the identical method that following on from bloody Luke Skywalker as a protagonist is just about unattainable, so too is following on from Phoenix Wright. Over the course of three text-heavy video games dense with characterization for its lead, Phoenix stole the present. And that meant, when Apollo arrived again in 2007, he had a mountain to climb.
It at all times felt to me like he by no means fairly managed to summit it, too. Phoenix remains to be an enormous a part of Apollo’s story – a little bit extra rugged and out-of-action, the previous protagonist, now a veteran, trains the brand new. His adopted daughter turns into Apollo’s sidekick, filling within the Mia position. Finally, the primary thriller of Apollo’s first recreation is tied up in studying about what occurred to Phoenix between the the top of his trilogy and the beginning of Apollo’s.
And crucially, by the top of the sport, I bear in mind most followers solely had one query: so, Phoenix is coming again as a lawyer, proper? That precisely got here to cross: the following two video games within the second trilogy, which sports activities Apollo’s title, splits the caseload not solely between him and Phoenix, but additionally between a 3rd up-and-coming lawyer, Athena Cykes.
I actually like Athena, and as a card-carrying fanboy for the unique trilogy (utilizing these phrases, the Star Wars comparability actually does really feel apt), I clearly love Phoenix. However I at all times felt like Apollo ended up greater than a little bit bit short-changed.
Capcom made the suitable strikes with him, with choices that I really feel keen to wager got here from Ace Lawyer sequence creator Shu Takumi. Shu wrote the situation for and supervised Apollo’s first recreation, however not the following two. In consequence, the primary recreation has a extra assured really feel – keen to distinguish itself, keen to make a agency commentary on Japan’s authorized system, and keen to set out the stall of a quite-different protagonist with divergent attitudes and approaches to issues.
The latter video games are nonetheless beautiful, however with out Takumi on the workforce, they undoubtedly really feel extra eager to stay with the established order as established in Phoenix’s trilogy, and get again to the well-known protagonist from the DS days. They’re nice video games, however I want the main target had remained solely on Apollo a little bit longer. By the point you’ve acquired Edgeworth and Maya returning, the video games are to a point simply victory-lapping Phoenix’s previous video games.
However regardless of that, Apollo remains to be nice, throughout all three video games. Athena, too. Each are worthy full-time successors to Phoenix, even when it’s unlikely the sequence will ever proceed with out its originating protagonist. And now that we’re over a decade faraway from the primary releases of Apollo’s first recreation, I’m hopeful that the viewers can step again and reassess Apollo not in Phoenix’s shadow, however as a superb lead in his personal proper.
Gamers will be capable to perform that evaluation quickly. Apollo Justice: Ace Lawyer Trilogy releases on just about each main platform on January 25.