Previous entries in the Ace Attorney series never examined the legal system beyond surface commentary. Apollo Justice came close when it examined the idea and consequences of a jurist system (something Japan was about to re-implement at the time, and an idea disappointingly dropped completely from this installment), and Justice for All posed an ethical dilemma in its final case when Phoenix discovered his client was actually guilty (although the solution to that dilemma was a cop-out). However, these themes and ideas were introduced in the games' final cases, usually brought out as a surprise near the end, and touched upon only briefly.
Dual Destinies uses all five cases to discuss much broader themes that are directly relevant to the real-world legal system. Despite the inherent ridiculousness of the Phoenix Wright series' depictions of a courtroom, with over the top witnesses, constant objections, and streamers and confetti as a verdict is announced, Dual Destinies actually raises some valid questions about the legal process and how our courtrooms work. As someone who has been involved in numerous criminal trials and has been on both sides of the courtroom in murder cases, I've confronted these issues head-on through my own work, and I was pleasantly surprised to see them discussed in an over-the-top fictional courtroom game.
What happens when and if the public loses trust in the legal system entirely? How do you define justice? And, most importantly, what happens when "winning" becomes more important than finding the truth?... read more