Phoenix is all set to come back this year in Ace Attorney:Duel Destinies which is great because the whole Hobo Phoenix affair was kind of weird. Speaking of Hobo Phoenix,there was a multi-year gap between Trials and Tribulation(T&T) and being a genius hobo. What was Phoenix doing that time...heck if I know. However thanks to Investigations we know a little bit about what Edgeworth was doing so let's talk about that.
Investigations is a sub series fro the Ace Attorney series featuring Miles Edgeworth and the more likable members of the Prosecutor's office plus with new characters thrown in. The cases all revolve around a smuggling ring and a murder case know as KG-8. The game manages to shake up the stranded Phoenix formula with some heavier adventure game elements and different character dynamics. So lets talk about some Edgeworth goodness.
When I said a "little bit" in the intro up there I really meant little,the whole game takes places over the course of a few days(barring a flashback case), a month after T&T. The story is a solid and tight with some nice twists along the way. The cases are all pretty standard for an Ace Attorney game which is fine as they all are still pretty creative. However as a solid as the story is,it still feels a little like high class fan fiction. One would think the smuggling ring would have been able to stop Edgeworth before he nabs their leader. Also the last case drags on longer than need be,filled with so many big damn hero moments that it gets tiresome. Still satisfying when you do take down the ringleader due to his awesome freakout. Plus takes too long to get to said case with everything else just feels like biding time.
All the characters are really great from returning characters like Gumshoe to new ones like Agent Lang He works as a great rival to Edgeworth with some decent development that elevates him from jerk to a great guy. Shame he's only in two cases with a cameo in a third. The other major new ally is Kay Faraday,who is not Maya. She's a thief not a medium and has a dead dad instead of a disappeared mum. Joking aside I actually do like her even if her and Edgeworth relationship is akin to Phoenix/Maya with less romantic overtones. Gumshoe gets special mention as his own brand of weirdness plays well with Edgeworth's seriousness. Edgeworth is what holds this game together with a much cooler head than Phoenix and takes the stick in the mud tendency up to eleven. He is fun to play as and it's always funny to see him defend his screw ups as something he meant to do.There are also quite a few cameos from minor characters such as Lotta Hart and Winston Payne and call backs to previous cases in the main series.
Game play remains mostly unchanged from the previous games with a couple of new twists. Little Thief which is a weird little mechanic that let's you recreate crime scenes,mostly used to extend investigation segments.While Logic is sort of like combing items in an adventure game but instead of items it's lines of thought. It usually revealing a new idea or updating some evidence. You rarely have that many to connect and brings up a minor problem with the game,it's difficulty or lack their of. It's a very easy game with every contradictions being glaringly obvious. It's like your case 1-1 of the original game extended to hell and back. Mind you the games have never been that hard but they at least tried to challenge you. There are a couple of hard sections but more due to moon logic and misinformation than actual difficulty. That's all I can say,so let's move on to something else.
The art here is on par with Apollo Justice having come out after that game with addition of actual character models as opposed to just portraits and it is really weird at first. The models do look nice and add a nice touch. The music is probably some of the strongest in a series with already stellar soundtracks. Lying Coldly is one of the best tracks and up their Cornered in terms of songs to get you pumped up.
So is Investigations worthy of your time:Yes. Though if you are new to the franchise then you'll probably be lost with all the cameo's and references but be able to follow the main story just fine. It's a great game either way and well worth seeking out for any fan of the franchise. Also if you buy it maybe it'll help get the second game localized and maybe i'll lactate live birds.
Till next time:Stay Positive