It's not all bad news, though. The developer has finally added some new forensic investigation mechanics that take advantage of the touch screen. Many of these were found in the last case of the first game, which was created specifically for the DS, but they've been MIA ever since. The new features will let you inspect and rotate items in 3D, dust for fingerprints, spray evidence to find traces of certain liquids, make plaster casts out of footprints, and even isolate music tracks with a mixing board. Many of the new mechanics are really neat, and they do help break up the monotony of investigating, but they're used too infrequently to have much of an impact. Like Phoenix, Apollo has the power to sense when someone's lying, though his ability is used only in court. Thanks to Apollo's magic bracelet, you can perceive when a witness is hiding something by zooming in on the witness and looking for a twitch or other slight movement. Unfortunately, perceiving when someone's lying involves some guesswork and a lot of tedious trial and error when you're hearing the same testimony over and over looking for a tiny, almost imperceptible movement.
Another benefit of having the game designed specifically for the DS is the improved presentation. There are a few nice-looking full-motion video sequences, character sprites are larger and more detailed, and the courtroom, lobby, and detention center have finally been redrawn. None of these improvements drastically enhance the way the game plays, but when you're genuinely excited that there's a new piece of artwork in the defendant's lobby, you know it was time for a change. Apollo Justice's music isn't quite as catchy as the music in previous games (admittedly the bar has been set pretty high), but it's still enjoyable and fits each character well.
If you've played and loved all of the previous Ace Attorney games, you'll be able to once again look past the series' inherent flaws and will love what Apollo Justice has to offer. If you're someone who feels that the franchise is in need of an overhaul, you'll likely be disappointed at how little things have changed. Problems and all, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is a good game that's worth playing.