Following the Ace Attorney Trilogy on mobile has been quite a journey since we had the Ace Attorney Trilogy HD hit iOS back in 2013 globally. If you’re not familiar with this release at all, Capcom’s Ace Attorney series has mostly amazing games, memorable characters, great music, and superb courtroom cases spread across multiple games on different platforms. Mobile has been lucky with the full set of mainline games available, while current consoles can play the first three and the newly-released in the West set of two games that are only available in Japan on mobile in the form of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Last week, Capcom delisted the Ace Attorney Trilogy HD and released the new and improved version in the form of the Ace Attorney Trilogy ($19.99) which is out now as a premium release. For this Ace Attorney Trilogy iOS review, I’m going to try and compare all the versions I can as always with these reviews of ports, but I am also going to cover why despite all the improvements, this might not be for you.
The target audience for this new version of the Ace Attorney Trilogy is split up mostly into two groups. The first, is those who have never played these games before on any platform. They will be wondering if this release is worth getting in general, and whether it is good on iOS. The second group is those who already owned the original Ace Attorney Trilogy HD on iOS, and they are likely wondering if the premium priced purchase is worth it with no upgrade path or save data transfer. The answer to the former is easy, while the latter has some big caveats. Let’s get into it.
The Ace Attorney Trilogy includes Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations. This is the complete first trilogy with proper widescreen support, improved audio, and more over the original release on iOS. The individual games are worth playing for the investigations, characters, music, and story. They involve courtroom cases, deductions, some light puzzles, and point and click adventure-like segments. If you enjoy those kinds of games, the quality on offer here is immense, but the port has a few issues right now.
If you’ve never played the Ace Attorney games before and don’t own the console or PC versions, this is worth getting even when the launch discount is over with one caveat. Capcom isn’t the best at supporting iOS releases longterm. If you aren’t concerned with what might happen to the Ace Attorney Trilogy on iOS 17, you can safely buy it now and enjoy dozens of hours you will not regret.
If you do own the original on iOS, there is one notable downgrade. You can’t actually skip to any case of the three games from the start like you could in the original iOS HD version. This is exactly like the console and PC version where you can pick one of the three games, but not skip over cases if you wanted to pick up the iOS or Android version to continue a specific case. The improvements are big though with it looking and running very nice on modern displays albeit without proper fullscreen support. Expect black bars on modern devices with no banners or artwork to fill up the empty space.
If you own the Ace Attorney Trilogy on PS4, Xbox One, Steam, or Nintendo Switch, this is the exact same game without controller support. Yes, this port of a console and PC game has only touchscreen support. This might not matter to most given the genre, but why would Capcom remove a feature that they already added? This makes me recommend the Nintendo Switch version above the rest for offering full controller and full touchscreen support without issues.
Barring not having controller support and not being fullscreen, the one area this port did surprise me is with its cloud save backup feature on iOS that worked well and near instantly moving from my iPhone 11 to iPad Pro and back. Long story-driven games like this definitely are something I don’t want to be stuck on a single device for with a universal iOS release.
In our original review from 2013, we praised the source material, but hoped for more effort into the port. That holds true even for this new 2022 mobile version of the Ace Attorney Trilogy. Even some recent Square Enix games feel like better conversions for mobile than this. The bare-bones conversion of the Ace Attorney Trilogy is carried by the original games and the original console version being great.
While the other platform versions of the Ace Attorney Trilogy will end up costing a bit more than iOS, I’d say the Nintendo Switch version is the best way to experience this trilogy right now. Having played it on Nintendo 3DS, iOS (original), the new iOS release, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Steam, the Switch version remains the most feature-complete thanks to offering both touch and button control options with its hybrid nature helping out even more with flexibility in playstyles. I’m hoping controller support and some wallpaper options can be added to fill up the black bars, because a premium priced release shouldn’t feel like bare-bones console to mobile conversion.