App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I was happy to see all of Phoenix Wright's original adventures make their way on to the iPhone, but I was rather disappointed to find that the iOS release was a simple port. But HOLD IT! Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD, is not so simple a port. All three of the original Phoenix Wright games are here, assuming players are willing to fork over $17 to unlock them, with cleaner visuals (i.e. no sprite jaggies) and a UI redesigned for landscape mode. As a trio of fantastic games in HD available for a fraction of their total cost it's a no-brainer. As a freemium introduction to a wacky series about an oddball lawyer and his even more oddball companions, it's also a no-brainer.
The Phoenix Wright series follows the exploits of a fledgling defense attorney as he takes on increasingly bizarre (and complex) murder trials. Players will have to keep their wits sharp as they attempt to press witnesses, present evidence, and otherwise try to find holes in testimonies and prove their client's innocence. The trick comes in analyzing witness testimony and sifting through evidence in order to put together a picture of what really happened on the night in question. In between court appearances players will also often take to the streets as they search various locations for clues and speak to other characters involved in the case. None of this has changed for the HD trilogy and I'm totally fine with that.
I have my reservations about the new visuals, mostly because the redrawn characters look a little "MS Paint" to me (I think it's the shading), but it's still great to see all those familiar faces on my iPhone without all the pixilated distortion. I also really appreciate the revamped UI. Playing in portrait mode with the faux DS screen presentation is nice and all, but being able to turn the device on its side and see everything up close and detailed while still being able to access all the menus is great. It goes a long way towards making Ace Attorney feel at home on iOS. Although even without all the adjustments it's still a collection of three great games in a great series that are well worth checking out in their own right.
I was considering listing the lack of more than two trials as a con, but realistically that's at least a couple hours worth of great entertainment for absolutely nothing. I can't even complain about the price because $17 for three fantastic games is well worth it. Heck, there's even an option to turn off the text sound effects (a constant, droning *beep*beep*beep*beep* as every single character speaks). That right there is more than enough to sell me on Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD.