1. Dual Destinies
While very tough to decide, Dual Destinies stands for me as the best Phoenix Wright game. This game was made with a purpose, not unlike Trials and Tribulations. In fact, this game was made a long time after Apollo Justice, and so the team really wanted to make this something special, and once again, they succeeded.
If Trials and Tribulations was about the past, present, and future of the franchise, and Apollo Justice was about revitalizing the franchise, then Dual Destinies was there to show why the games were still relevant, and arguably, still needed.
In the game, the focus is not just on the characters, both old and new, but on the justice system itself. Dubbed the “Dark Age Of The Law”, the very essence of the system was under attack. As lawyers and prosecutors were caught up so much in winning cases, that they would go to extreme lengths to get the verdict they wanted. Including, breaking the law themselves.
Enter Phoenix Wright, who had retaken the bar exam and was once again a proud lawyer. Teamed up with Apollo Justice, and new partner Athena Cykes, the trio set out to fix the system the only way they knew how: by defending the innocent.
Over the course of five very tense cases, the trio worked hard to keep justice pure and true and take down those who would corrupt it.
To me, Dual Destinies stands as what the game was always meant to be. Full of life, passion, and new things. This was the first game to have voice acting, outside of the “OBJECTION!” and other such callouts. It was the first to have fully animated cut scenes, quite a few in fact. Also, as this was made on the 3DS, it was the first time full-on 3D models were used for the characters and environments. Though the change was noticeable, it still reeked of pure Phoenix Wright charm, and it was a very welcome addition to the franchise.
Then, of course, there was Athena Cykes, a very welcome addition to the team. Her personality was a perfect blend with Phoenix and Apollo, and her “emotional therapy” sessions in court were actually rather fun. She is easily one of the best additions to the series bar none, and she did really well here in Dual Destinies.
That’s of course barely touching the story, which twisted and turned until the very end. From a criminal prosecutor to the truth behind two very personal deaths for the team, and more, it was a very powerful story rendered through great cut scenes and court trials. Just when you thought one was done, or the murderer had been revealed, something happened, and the case was once again turned on its head.
Also, though, Dual Destinies had the first ever downloadable case with “Turnabout Reclaimed”, adding even more, fun and goodness to the game.
Dual Destines was the best selling game of the franchise, despite it only being a digital release. It did far greater than Capcom or Nintendo expected, and no doubt because of the success it had we’re getting Spirit of Justice.
There are games for everyone, it’s just the way it is. While it may be true that the Phoenix Wright series isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly for a lot of people. Ones who enjoy fun, wacky, yet surprisingly serious stories, characters that’ll make you smile, and gameplay that’ll make you think hard, these games are fun. We’re really looking forward to Spirit of Justice, and we hope you are too.
Do you have an “OBJECTION!” to my list? Do you see your favorite game in a lower spot and have the need to shout, “HOLD IT!”? Let us know in the comments below!