Lawyer up! Phoenix Wright comes to, er, everything

Cross-examining Capcom's legal eagle's upheaval of evil inveiglers

“Hold it"! "Objection"! Er, "The following prospective jurors are excused!" It's the thrill-a-second world of court! Yes, Capcom is finally bringing the first three games in its fan-favourite Ace Attorney series to all formats. PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch will be the gleeful recipients of its enthusiastic adjudication-based fun, at last able to stop leering jealously at priveleged 3DS owners and get down to some investiga-tastic lawyer-bobs of their own.

Taking control of defence lawyer Phoenix Wright, you'll have to prove your clients' innocence through careful investigation, well-applied logic and the presentation of decisive evidence. Prosecutors like Miles Edgeworth and the mysterious Godot stand in your way, not to mention all manner of colourful and bizarre characters to help or hinder your legal travails.

The series began on Game Boy Advance, before graduating to Nintendo DS where it made its Western debut with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, a superb visual novel with adventure game elements. That said, the gameplay doesn't really gel brilliantly; that's not to say it isn't good, but you have your text-based narrative/dialogue segments and you have your courtroom logic puzzles and never the twain shall meet. This means the gameplay feels disjointed - you'll always have an investigation phase followed by a courtroom phase - but rather than hurting the experience, it results in a pleasingly episodic story to follow, with natural breaks, cliffhangers and care put into the structure. You'll never sit down, play for an hour and experience nothing much of consequence. Progress is constant, and there's a lot to love about the core game.

Diminishing returns set in to a slight degree with the less graceful sequels Ace Attorney: Justice For All and Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, though they too have a great deal to enjoy. At least one "case" (episode, basically) in each game is notably weaker than the others, but none of them are even within reach of being outright bad. The loose thematic trilogy of those first three Ace Attorney games successfully tells a compelling, emotional story, with plenty of memorable characters and good laughs along the way.

Besides higher resolution graphics and a reworked interface, the three games included here appear to be unaltered from their 3DS release. If, somehow, you haven't yet made time for Phoenix Wright's most excellent series, court will be in session on April 9th.