As its title suggests, Ace Attorney Investigations puts you in the shoes of Miles Edgeworth, Phoenix Wright's biggest rival prosecutor in the courtroom. This game, however, features no courtroom action but instead has you play the role of detective while pointing out contradictions in the testimonies of parties involved with every case.
Rumored to originally have forensic scientist Ema Skye as its main character, Ace Attorney Investigations is heavily reliant on the investigation phases that gave the series its humorous interactivity. Ace Attorney Investigations is the first game in the series that is played from a fully third-person perspective. Previous games required players to simply point at specific and suspicious places to get information on them. Now players can use the stylus or directional pad to actually have Edgeworth walk or run around the scene to examine key areas. The result is a game that makes it feel like more of a game, rather than just a point-and-click novel.
Nuances in the game include the feature of using Edgeworth's logic to connect possibilities in each case and form facts, which you can use against case witnesses who may have contradictions in their testimony. Logical possibilities are obtained as you converse with witnesses in each scene, and incorrectly connecting some logic will lead to a depletion in your health bar.
While there is no actual courtroom action in this game, the fact that you can go up against witness testimonies leaves things as a good substitute. Testimony phases are done the same way they were played in courtroom turnabouts in the previous games, so this is all still reliant in your ability to point out contradictions in testimonies using evidence in your database. Miles can still press witnesses, forcing them to sometimes add key components in their testimonies to make it easier to point out contradictions.
The lack of court cases isn't a huge problem, but it also gives the game a bit of an empty feeling. Ace Attorney Investigations is still as hilarious and captivating as the rest of the games in the series, but having the ability to take control of Miles Edgeworth isn't fulfilled without actually being in the courtroom. Ace Attorney loyalists who have played through the entire series should remember having the ability to take control of everyone's favorite prosecutor in Trials and Tribulations, but this game doesn't have the same rush the previous games held. Maybe it's because there isn't a stupid Judge, but either way, it would've been so much cooler if we could prove people guilty in the courtroom going against defense attorneys, including the likes of Mia Fey or even Phoenix Wright.
Other than the fact that the game is now in third person, not much has changed visually. The artwork has remained superb while the old-school anime sprites for each character remain quite lively. Active character sprites during investigation phases have a miniature look, but they're just as lively as the visages in the every dialog scene in the game.
The seemingly untouched soundtrack has become so much of a mainstay that excellence is expected, and the fact that gamers now have new phrases to yell ("Eureka!") will only add to the comedic and memorable flair that the Ace Attorney games hold.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is a game that anybody can enjoy if they had the time to play, but it is an experience best had by those who have gotten through all of Phoenix Wright's chapters in the first three games in the series. Whether you're an Ace Attorney fanatic or not, the game features hilarious and witty dialog and a colorful cast of characters that makes it easy to pick with an engaging story, but this game really could've been so much more.