It’s no wonder the Gyakuten Saiban/Phoenix Wright directors keep bringing Noriuiki Iwadare back. Iwadare (who composed the music for Gyakuten Saiban 3/Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, Gyakuten Kenji 2, and some of Gyakuten Kenji/Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth) is extremely talented in juggling genres while maintaining his own style. Between all the tense and triumphant courtroom songs, Iwadare constantly switches between traditional Japanese music, baroque music, and 50s American rock ‘n’ roll.
There are two clear factors of Iwadare’s success. One is his amazing bass work, which really is unfortunate, as you usually can’t even hear the bass unless you’re wearing headphones. Even when you’re just listening to the provided samples, please use headphones. If I had played the game once with headphones on, I never would have stopped. The bass parts are that good.
The other is the energy in his music. With such dark themes like murder, emotional abuse, and the “Dark Age of Law” that is the theme of Dual Destinies, there needs to be some sort of comic relief to relieve the tension. The game does this by creating ridiculous characters, such as a journalist living in a box and a samurai-obsessed convicted prosecutor, each with their own dramatic theme songs. When demons run amok in a village, wham! The Amazing Nine-Tails and his dramatic theme song, “Go Forth! Great Kyubi” comes out of nowhere! Whenever you need to investigate the crime scene, wham! In comes the groovy “Ban Gozo ~ The Secret Word Is Justice!” The writers and Iwadare are nothing less than masters of timing.
For long-time fans of the Phoenix Wright series, Dual Destinies includes new renditions of familiar tracks, such as the themes of your favorite characters like Apollo, Edgeworth, and Trucy, as well as various courtroom songs like “Suspense 2013.” For both old and new fans of the Phoenix Wright series, there are plenty of brand new songs: themes for all the shiny new characters like Athena Cykes, Simon Blackquill, and Yuri Cosmos, as well as the tense song that plays with the new mechanic of the Mood Matrix.
As my first Phoenix Wright game, the music of Dual Destinies satisfied me. Iwadare does an amazing job matching the atmosphere, both tense and light. I stressed, rejoiced, and laughed, and the music was right there with me.