Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies
File:Ace Attorney 5 cover.jpg
English cover art, featuring the main characters. From left to right: Phoenix, Athena, Blackquill, and Apollo.
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Director(s) Takeshi Yamazaki
Yasuhiro Seto
Producer(s) Motohide Eshiro
Artist(s) Takuro Fuse
Writer(s) Takeshi Yamazaki
Yuki Nakamura
Hironao Fukada
Composer(s) Noriyuki Iwadare
Series Ace Attorney
Engine MT Framework Mobile
Platforms Nintendo 3DS, iOS
Release date(s) Nintendo 3DS
      Genre(s) Adventure, visual novel
      Mode(s) Single-player

      Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, known in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban 5 (逆転裁判 5?, lit. "Turnabout Trial 5"),[3] is a 2013 visual novel adventure video game published and developed by Capcom for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the fifth main game in the Ace Attorney series, the seventh overall excluding crossovers, and the first in the series for the Nintendo 3DS. The game takes place a year after Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and sees Phoenix Wright return as the protagonist. The game was released in Japan on July 25, 2013, and was released as a digital-only release in North America, Europe and Australia via the Nintendo eShop on October 24, 2013.[2][3] A port of the game for iOS was released in Japan on August 7, 2014, with a Western release on August 14, 2014.[4][5] The game is the first in the series to be given a Mature (M) rating by the ESRB.


      File:Phoenix wright ace attorney dual destinies screenshot.jpg
      Dual Destinies introduces the Mood Matrix, where the player can judge the emotions of the witness and focus their investigation based on these emotions.

      Dual Destinies continues the style of gameplay from previous installments, in which the player must utilize evidence and find contradictions in witness statements to prove their client innocent. Like previous installments, gameplay is split up between Investigations, in which players find evidence and question witnesses, and Trials, where they must use the evidence to expose contradictions. The game now features full 3D graphics and character models, allowing more dynamic camera angles during gameplay, such as quickly panning around the courtroom in the moments before a dramatic reveal.[6][7] The 3D camera also allows investigation sequences to take place in 3D spaces, permitting greater investigative depth, such as being able to rotate around a room to look for clues.

      In addition to returning mechanics, such as the "Psyche-Lock", where the player must present evidence to witnesses in order to unlock secrets hidden within their hearts, and the "Perceive System", which allows the player to detect a witness' nervous habits,[8] Dual Destinies features a new gameplay system called the "Mood Matrix", which gives the player the ability to gauge the emotions of a witness, such as tones of anger when mentioning certain topics.[6][9] If the player notices a contradictory emotional response during testimony, they can point out the discrepancy and press the witness for more information. Other times, where an excessive emotions overrides the system, players must try to probe the source of the emotion.[10] Dual Destinies also introduces "Revisualization", which functions similarly to the "Logic" feature used in the Ace Attorney Investigations series.[11][12] The player is able to review vital facts throughout the trial and form links between pieces of evidence to reach new conclusions.[11] The game includes a new backlog function, allowing the player to review previous dialogue, and downloadable content such as an additional episode and downloadable costumes.[13] It also features a note system during investigations listing what the player must do to proceed as well as a basic overview of the case's facts. A "consult" system during cross-examinations is also introduced, where many misplaced objections during the same testimony will result in the option for the player to ask their partner for advice as to where to present evidence or press a statement.


      Dual Destinies takes place roughly a year after the events of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. The legal system has entered a dark era, filled with false charges and fabricated evidence. The Wright Anything Agency, run by Phoenix Wright, who retakes the bar exam to once again become a defense attorney following the previous game, takes on a newly christened lawyer named Athena Cykes, who specialises in analytical psychology, joining his other young attorney, Apollo Justice.[14][15][16] Working together, Apollo and Athena tackle the case of a murdered alderman, facing up against Simon Blackquill, a fierce prosecutor who is ordered to stand in court despite currently serving a murder sentence (in the game's second case).[14][17] Afterwards, Athena defends her childhood friend, Juniper Woods, after she is charged with the murder of her teacher at a law school, receiving help from prosecutor Klavier Gavin (third case).[8][18]

      Some time later, following a bombing at a space station, Apollo's best friend, Clay Terran, is found murdered. As Apollo and Athena attempt to prove the innocence of their client, an astronaut named Solomon Starbuck, a bomb goes off in the courtroom, injuring Apollo (first part of fourth case). Juniper is accused of the bombing, requiring Phoenix to defend her and deduce the guilty culprit (first case).[16][19] Feeling personally involved in the case, Apollo takes a leave of absence from the Wright Anything Agency to investigate the case on his own whilst Phoenix takes over Solomon's case (second part of fourth case). Although Phoenix manages to prove Solomon's innocence, a new piece of evidence places Athena as the prime suspect (fifth case). Phoenix's investigation brings him to look into an incident seven years ago, in which Athena's mother, Metis, was killed and Blackquill was convicted for the murder. With one day until his planned execution, Blackquill's sister, Aura Blackquill, takes several people hostage, including Phoenix's adopted daughter Trucy, demanding that he hold a re-trial of the seven-year-old case to convict Athena for her mother's murder. With his old friend Miles Edgeworth as prosecutor, Phoenix deduces that another party was responsible for Metis' murder, proving Athena's innocence and overturning Blackquill's verdict. Edgeworth declares Blackquill a free man, and places him back in charge as prosecutor for the case while he retrieves vital information. Returning to the case at hand, Phoenix deduces that the true culprit behind both Metis and Clay's murders was the "Phantom", an international spy masquerading as the deceased detective Bobby Fulbright, that had wanted to steal evidence to conceal his true identity. With the assistance of Edgeworth and Blackquill, as well as Apollo and Athena, Phoenix manages to break the normally emotionless Phantom, causing him to suffer an extreme case of identity crisis, moments before the phantom is struck by an unseen sniper's bullet. After proving the Phantom's guilt and Athena's innocence, Phoenix's team sees Solomon off as he heads back into space, whilst they prepare to bid farewell to the dark age of the law.

      An additional downloadable episode covers Phoenix's first case after regaining his lawyer's badge (chronologically taking place between the game's second and third cases), in which he must defend an orca that has been charged with murder, as well as the orca's trainer, of the owner of an aquarium.


      Dual Destinies was produced by Motohide Eshiro and directed by Takeshi Yamazaki, with music by Noriyuki Iwadare. Series creator Shu Takumi had little involvement in the title due to him focusing on Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.[19] According to Eshiro, the development team intended to continue the story of the previous game in the series in every way with Dual Destinies.[20]

      When writing the cases, Yamazaki would usually come up with the twist of the case first; he would think of something shocking or surprising event, and then figure out how it could logically have happened. He said that this was the most compelling method, story-wise; if it were done in the other direction - starting with how the case would work logically and then adding a twist - he found that it would not not "ring true". The game features several returning characters from previous Ace Attorney games. The development team knew from the start that they wanted Phoenix Wright to return as the game's main character, since they had hinted at it at the end of the previous game. Additionally, they wanted to retain Apollo Justice as an important character. Since several characters "come in sets", other characters were decided to be brought back as well; for instance, Eshiro considered Apollo and Trucy one such set. They also felt that Phoenix needed someone to play off of, so they decided to bring back Miles Edgeworth as well. They did however not want to bring back old characters just for the sake of bringing them back, so they made sure that everyone had an important role in the story.[20]

      Dual Destinies is the first game in the main series to feature full 3D graphics.[19] Eshiro said that various tricks were used in order to translate the previous games' 2D animations to 3D, such as using different character models for different angles depending on details.[21] The game features fully voiced animated cutscenes produced by Bones.[22] It does not reuse the voice clips from previous games in the series, since the Nintendo 3DS system supports higher quality sound than the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. For the new voice clips, Capcom has hired professional voice actors, while some smaller roles may be voiced by Capcom staff, as opposed to previous games where all the voice acting was provided by Capcom staff.[23] Some notable voice actors are Sam Riegel as Phoenix Wright, Yuri Lowenthal as Klavier Gavin, Kyle Hebert as Miles Edgeworth, and Wendee Lee as Athena Cykes.[24]

      The game was first announced in May 2007, a month after the release of the previous game in the series.[25] In January 2012, almost five years after the game's original announcement, Capcom revealed the game's logotype during the celebration of the series' tenth anniversary. In September 2012, it was revealed that the game would be released on the Nintendo 3DS, and that a demo would be available at Tokyo Game Show 2012.[19] Around the same time, Capcom announced that the game would be released in North America and Europe;[3] at the time, they had planned that for about two years.[26] Capcom USA Senior Vice-President, Christian Svensson, stated that the sales forecasts for Dual Destinies were high compared to how well the franchise has performed commercially in the past, which was necessary in order to get it released in the West.[27]


      Dual Destinies was released in Japan on July 25, 2013,[14] and on October 24, 2013 in North America and Europe. The American and European releases are available through the Nintendo eShop, and a physical version of the game is not planned for those territories.[28] Capcom USA Senior Vice President Christian Svensson stated this is due to a lack of retail support for previous iterations.[29] According to Producer Motohide Eshiro, the development team also wanted to reduce the delay between the release of the Japanese-language product at retail in Japan and the English-language localized version in the West.[30] Two additional episodes, "Turnabout Reclaimed" and "Quiz Turnabout Deduction", were made available as downloadable content shortly after the game's Japanese release.[31] Turnabout Reclaimed was released in Western territories on November 21, 2013,[32] but Quiz Turnabout Deduction will not be released in the West, as it is dependent on "an in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture."[33]

      Downloadable costumes for Phoenix Wright, Athena Cykes, and Apollo Justice were made available for download upon the game's release. These costumes were available for free until August 15, 2013 in Japan, and until November 7, 2013 for the English versions, after which they were available for purchase.[14][34] A limited edition version of Dual Destinies was also released in Japan, which included a Phoenix Wright figurine, a Phoenix Wright-style Nintendo 3DS pouch, and stickers.[35]

      Dual Destinies was released on iOS on August 7, 2014 in Japan and on August 14, 2014 in North America and Europe. The game's first episode is available for free, with additional episodes purchased separately, either individually or as a set containing the main episodes (the special episode and costume DLC can only be purchased individually).[4][36]


      Aggregate scores
      Aggregator Score
      GameRankings 82.43%[37]
      Metacritic 81/100[38]
      Review scores
      Publication Score
      Destructoid 9.5/10[39]
      EGM 7/10[40]
      Famitsu 37/40[41]
      Game Informer 8/10[42]
      GameSpot 8/10[43]
      GamesRadar 4/5[44]
      GameTrailers 7.3/10[45]
      IGN 7.2/10[46]
      Joystiq 4/5[47]
      Polygon 8/10[48]
      The Escapist 4.5/5[49]
      God is a Geek 9/10[50]
      Metro 9/10[51]
      Hardcore Gamer 4/5[52]

      The game has received positive reception from reviewers. Famitsu gave the game a score of 37/40 out of four scores of 10, 9, 10 and 8.[41] The game debuted at the top of the Japanese charts with over 250,000 copies sold in its first week.[53] The game was awarded 2013's Best 3DS Adventure Game by IGN.[54]

      According to Capcom, the projected sales of the game "were basically achieved".[55]


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