There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive, and shelf space can come at a premium. Every Wednesday Hardcore Gamer picks a premium collectible from our cavernous swag vaults and tells you whether it’s worth a spot in your Collector’s Cabinet.
I’ve made no secret of my love for the Ace Attorney. In fact, much to the chagrin of my podcast co-hosts, I never shut up about it. I’ve bought every entry in the series since its inception on the DS, and I may or may not know more about the games’ timeline than should be expected of any sane human being. The Ace Attorney games are one of the highlights of my game collection, so when I heard that Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies would only be getting a digital release stateside, I rushed to import a physical copy from Japan. And since I was paying out the nose anyway, I doubled down and bought the e-Capcom-exclusive special edition. And what a special edition it is.
On top of the obvious inclusion of the game, this package is built around two very desirable items: a 3DS XL carrying pouch adorned with the colors of Nick’s suit, and a 1/10 scale figurine of the ace attorney brandishing his infamously dangerous pointer finger. There were actually three editions of the game available – one containing only the pouch, one containing only the statue, and one containing both – which is a nice concession for collectors who only want one or the other. All of the editions came with a few nice extras – a sheet of stickers and some alternate covers – but the pouch and figurine are clearly the main attractions.
The statuette of Phoenix is of a similar make to the Miles Edgeworth figure included with special editions of Ace Attorney Investigations 2. Both figures are set on classy bases designed to resemble the tiles of a courtroom floor, and they’re both molded from quality plastic with seams that are only apparent if you look for them. However, several factors distinguish the Phoenix figure from Edgeworth. Nick’s paint job is a lot more detailed, and his vest shows realistic gradients instead of just looking like a chunk of colored plastic.
More importantly, Wrighto’s objection pose is far more dynamic and interesting than Edgey’s sulking. Instead of simply copying the iconic straight-armed pose from the games, the figure’s sculptor has given Phoenix’s arm and wrist a slight bend and rendered his suit jacket whipping around him to suggest motion. Wright is captured here the second before voicing his objection, something we don’t see in the games, and that coupled with the raw intensity on his face is quite arresting to behold. Figures packed with games are typically very bland and unimaginative compared to pieces sold on their own, but Capcom has gone the extra mile with this one and the effort is appreciated. Dedicated collectors will want both figures, of course, but only Nick works as a standalone showpiece.
The carrying pouch is a classy number with a leather face based on the same design as the rad 3DS case that Capcom put out earlier this year. The exterior is very durable, with a thick polyester cover and a heavy-duty zipper that make it an easy match for any high-grade pencil case – it won’t fall apart on you any time soon. The pouch has a soft microfiber interior so as not to scratch your console or anything else you might put in it, as well as a pouch to hold extra game cards (or any other accessory you might want to have on-hand). When in the pouch your handheld will be a little too bulky to stick in your pocket, so while the space for extra games makes this a great accessory for any con, gamers who walk around without some sort of bag will find it ill-suited to everyday use.
It’s worth noting that the pouch pairs fantastically with the aforementioned case thanks to their similar designs. If you can get your hands on the wrist strap that was handed out at PAX last year, it’s possible to adorn your 3DS entirely with Ace Attorney regalia – a feat that I feel should bestow some sort of stat bonus in real courtrooms. If you’re a series devotee, this entire package is a must-have. Otherwise, you may be better off picking up the statue on its own.