After years out of the spotlight, Phoenix Wright is finally returning to the Ace Attorney series (for the first time on 3DS). I was pretty excited to get my hands on the new Phoenix Wright game, and it certainly didn’t disappoint me.

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While there isn’t a heck of a lot that’s changed here, nostalgia came rushing back to me as I went into the courtroom, heard the witness testify, counter-interrogated, and found the right piece of evidence to make Phoenix yell his trademark objection.

Court proceedings are basically the same as before – which certainly isn’t a bad thing – and I’m pleased to report that the humor and wackiness of Ace Attorney is as present as ever.  Phoenix has returned to the courtroom after his hiatus and, with his first day back in court, he’s starting to feel a bit like a newbie again.

The case in the demo started with you having to defend your client – a friend of your new partner, Athena – after she’s been accused of committing arson. The case goes through the usual patter, except for one thing new to Dual Destinies. Your new partner, Athena Cykes, has an interesting ability; she has a machine that can read the emotions of people.

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Much like the locked answers system in the old games, this ability will open up new possibilities for Phoenix and let him uncover new testimony when he gets stuck. When Athena activates this, on the bottom of the touch screen, four buttons pop up for four different emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise.

The idea here is that when a witness is testifying you can see the emotions they are feeling pop up. If there’s something that they shouldn’t be feeling when they make a statement, you point it out and this gets a new statement out of the witness, allowing you to proceed on with the case.

The whole system is actually pretty interesting, and it’s fun to see the contradictions pop up and try and uncover the mystery of how a witness really feels.

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Of course, the other major change for Dual Destinies is the graphical update. Gone are the 2D sprites of the series past, to be replaced by a great cel-shaded 3D style.

Don’t worry; everything that you’ve come to love about the Ace Attorney series, with peoples offbeat emotions, objections, and everything else, is still here. The new presentation adds some dramatic feeling to the court proceedings.

I was impressed by what I played of Ace Attorney 5, and I can’t wait to be back with Phoenix and the gang again. Ace Attorney fans should be excited for the arrival of the new chapter.

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Capcom also announced a reason for why Dual Destinies is being treated as a download only in west. The digital only distribution was chosen in order to reduce time that the U.S. would have to wait for the game.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney- Dual Destinies will be available for download on the Nintendo 3DS this fall.