Welcome to another Steam Deck Weekly that is earlier (or later?) than expected. Thanks to a very early code from Capcom, I’ve been playing Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy for review and preview on Steam Deck. That’s the highlight of today’s feature, but there has been a ton of news from The Game Awards, and more. There are also quite a few newly-Verified games on Steam for Steam Deck. Let’s get into them.
Steam Deck Game Impressions & Reviews
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Steam Deck Impressions
It took a while after Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy hit Steam and consoles, but we finally have (or will have soon) Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy bringing the remaining mainline games in the series to modern platforms. The first trilogy has made its way to mobile twice now, with the recent release being the current PC and console versions of Ace Attorney 1, 2, and 3. For Apollo Justice, Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice (6), and Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (5), we already have new mobile ports, but Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy feels like the definitive version of these games so far.
I’ve been playing Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy on Steam Deck over the last few weeks, and it is shaping up to be another essential from Capcom for Ace Attorney fans. Before getting into this package and the games, if you’re completely new to the series, the other two collections are better entry points, but you can still enjoy this as a newcomer.
My experience with the series prior to this collection is playing the original trilogy multiple times, playing Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice on 3DS, and nearly finishing Apollo Justice and Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies on iOS. Until now, I considered the iOS releases the best way to play these three games, but this collection is shaping up to be special. I forgot how much I liked the opening bits of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and also some of the over-the-top elements in Spirit of Justice.
I won’t dig too much into the games themselves right now, since we will be doing a review as well, but I wanted to use this preview to highlight the collection and its features. The menus are excellent with smooth animations and great music. You can even jump straight into different episodes and trial segments from each game.
The Museum will be the real highlight for longtime fans. It includes the Orchestra Hall with audio performances of classic tracks, the Art Library (illustrations, key art, character models, backgrounds, and movies), Animation Studio letting you create your own hilarious situations using characters and animations from the games, and the accolades menu that tracks achievements and more.
In terms of PC features, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy has controller support (only Xbox button prompts) and keyboard support. You can also adjust text box transparency, disable screen flashes (thankfully), adjust some text speed related settings, and also enable a Story Mode. This will not let you earn some accolades in-game but it basically treats this like a video and answers questions, presents evidence, and more for you. There’s also the Consult option for the 5th and 6th game letting you consult your partner for help if you fail a segment. On the display and graphics side, you can adjust resolution (up to 4K), window mode (Borderless or Windowed), toggle v-sync, and toggle anti-aliasing. The game is capped at 30fps as expected.
While Shaun will be covering the Switch version, I wanted to test out the touchscreen support on Steam Deck. It works great with touchscreen controls. You can play the whole thing with touch as well so far. When you tap the screen, the button prompts change to keyboard ones, but it doesn’t really affect anything while you actually play. I prefer playing the Ace Attorney games with touchscreen controls. You can even tap and drag evidence around on Steam Deck. It works as it should.
Overall, I can’t wait to dig into Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy more on Steam Deck leading up to its launch on January 24th, 2024 for Steam and consoles. Not only does it look and run perfectly on the system out of the box, but it has been fun revisiting Apollo Justice and also digging deep into the bonus content.
Wizordum Steam Deck Early Access Review
If you remember my boomer shooter articles on Steam Deck and Switch, I’m constantly on the lookout for great games in the genre. Since writing those two features, I’ve been slowly putting together a new feature, but a game I was planning to cover was released on Steam Early Access about a week ago from developer Emberheart Games. That game is Wizordum. A reductive way of describing Wizordum’s aesthetic would be calling it Octopath Traveler for 90s fantasy FPS games. Obviously that isn’t completely accurate, but the more I played Wizordum, the more I adored how it blended modern techniques while still feeling 90s as heck in the best possible ways. It is still in early access, so I won’t be doing a score, but it is fantastic so far.
Wizordum’s gameplay involves multiple melee and magical weapons, solving puzzles, traps, tons of secrets, collectibles, and great levels. If this first episode is a sign of things to come, Wizordum will be special. With a lot of early access games, I’m unsure how they will feel on Steam Deck, but Wizordum plays almost perfectly. I say almost, because some menus require using the touchscreen or mouse using the trackpad. Barring that, the gameplay is great with a controller. I’d recommend using an external mouse for the level editor though.
Wizordum on Steam Deck runs great out of the box barring the few menus that require using the mouse or touchscreen depending on your preference. Right now, the PC poort offers resolution and window mode options with an FOV setting. There is also a lighting toggle, but no other PC-specific settings. It has Steam Cloud support and full 16:10 support as well. I’m hoping the controller support can be improved as it gets more early access updates. I have no complaints with Wizordum at all right now, and it might end up becoming one of my favorite retro shooters if each episode pushes things further.
Right now, even as an early access game, Wizordum has tons for the player from its superb gameplay in the first main episode, level designer, and more. I love the aesthetic, music, gameplay, and premise. Wizordum is the real deal, and I can’t wait to keep revisiting it as it gets updates over time. It looks gorgeous on Steam Deck as well, and really makes me wish I had a Steam Deck OLED right now. I urge you to download the demo and see how good it is for yourself.
Wizordum Steam Deck review score: TBA / Early Access
Coral Island Steam Deck Review
The more I saw of Coral Island pre-release, the more excited I got. I usually avoid playing early access games unless I’m specifically covering said version for work, so I was looking forward to the 1.0 launch to see how Coral Island played on Steam Deck, and also how it felt on console. I’ve been playing it since launch on both Steam Deck and PS5, and have come away impressed with many aspects of the life sim, but also disappointed in others.
After spending a few hours with it, Coral Island kept reminding me of Stardew Valley in a new perspective. Don’t raise your pitchforks, because I’ve played every single Story of Seasons and Rune Factory game since 3DS till date, but Coral Island specifically feels like a take on Stardew Valley rather than the Story of Seasons games. I have no problem with that, but Coral Island feels unfinished in parts that become obvious as you go deeper into it. I feel like it left early access a bit too soon to hit consoles and ship before the holidays. Since the game is considered 1.0 and is being sold as that, this is a scored review, but I will definitely revisit it in 2024 once the promised updates hit.
Coral Island takes place in a fixed camera perspective with 3D visuals bringing a plethora of colorful characters, life simulation elements, loads of customization options, a decent farming implementation, fishing, and more. It also has diving and mining. I initially thought diving would be the core draw, but balancing both is important to the flow. Speaking of the flow, there are many accessibility options and the ability to change how fast in-game time moves, letting you tweak the experience further. I love stuff like this. The asking price seems low given the massive production and polish it has in many areas, but it is still a bit buggy, more so on console, which is something to keep in mind if you are planning to get it on PS5 or Xbox Series X rather than playing the PC version on Steam Deck or your gaming PC.
When I started unlocking and seeing more of what Coral Island offered, I was surprised at how much it includes right now in almost every area, and almost feel like some things should’ve been cut for updates rather than having so many in-game systems and mechanics that aren’t all fully realized. Either way, Coral Island is polished, memorable, and gorgeous even on lower settings playing on Steam Deck compared to PS5. The customization and freedom you get in-game make this the perfect game to chill with after work or any other intense game. I’ve been enjoying dipping into it as a break from everything else I’ve been playing over the last month.
On Steam Deck, Coral Island has some trouble running at a locked 60fps even on the lowest preset. I ended up trying the medium preset with some tweaking, and still had drops from 60. Going for 30fps is much easier with dramatically better visuals. The load times are good on Deck though. I’d also recommend using the font size modifier and HUD scale options for playing in handheld mode. On PS5, Coral Island isn’t perfect, and it has some frame pacing issues. Other than that, it plays great and runs well.
The PC port lets you adjust resolution, frame rate cap (30-unlimited), toggle v-sync, anti-aliasing, temporal upsampling, texture quality, shadow quality, post-processing quality, effects quality, view distance, plants, ambient occlusion, motion blur quality, and more. On the controls side, it has support for controller and keyboard & mouse inputs. I was pleased to see the option to force PlayStation button prompts when playing on Steam Deck. It even has Switch prompt options if you prefer those in addition to the usual Xbox prompts.
There’s clearly a lot planned for 2024, and it will be in a much better place by then. Coral Island has the potential to be one of the best in the genre, but right now it still feels like it has a bit more to do to feel complete. It may sound like I’m down on Coral Island, but I genuinely love what I played despite the issues. Coral Island could’ve been a home run that feels like a fantastic genre addition for fans and newcomers, but the state of some elements means there are caveats to the praise.
Right now, Coral Island has a fantastic base to build on, but it feels lacking in ways that become obvious as you play more. I know it left Steam Early Access to hit 1.0 and launch on consoles, but it still feels like it needed a bit more of its roadmap before I can recommend it without caveats. The asking price is lower than I expected given everything it has right now, and if you’re ok chipping away at it slowly and taking your time, you will find a lot to love here. Despite the few technical issues, it is a joy to play on Steam Deck, but I feel like it left early access prematurely.
Coral Island Steam Deck Review score: 4/5
There’s almost too much news, so I’m going to focus on my favorite announcements since the last feature. The biggest news was Capcom revealing the sixth mainline entry (going by the logo etc) in the Monster Hunter series with Monster Hunter Wilds. Monster Hunter Wilds is coming to Steam and current consoles in 2025, and you can watch the trailer below. I’m looking forward to putting thousands of hours into it.
House House, the developers of Untitled Goose Game, announced Big Walk for 2025 release on Steam. Big Walk lets you explore with friends to solve puzzles and more as you try and communicate as a group. It looks super funny, and will be a rare co-op multiplayer game I try day one. Watch the trailer for it below:
Don’t Nod announced Lost Records: Bloom & Rage for consoles and PC with a late 2024 release window. This is a new story driven universe from the team behind Life is Strange set in 1995. I love Don’t Nod’s games, and will be playing this one for sure.
Sega revealed a new trailer for Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth focused on Kazuma Kiryu. This trailer titled the Bucket List trailer showcases Kiryu meeting old friends and more. I can’t believe we are a few weeks away from the newest mainline Like a Dragon Game.
SEGA actually had three sets of news at The Game Awards. The first is a new initiative for its classic IP bringing back Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Shinobi, and more through new games. More details will be shared soon, but this is exciting news.
Sega and Atlus showcased a new trailer for Metaphor: ReFantazio, the newest JRPG from the Persona 5 team and also featuring Koda Kazuma (NieR: Automata) as concept artist and Ikuto Yamashita (Neon Genesis Evangelion) on mech designs. Metaphor: ReFantazio looks like it has a combat system inspired by Falcom’s Trails into Daybreak which is great to see. Metaphor: ReFantazio launches Fall 2024 on Steam and consoles.
Sega and Atlus’ final reveal was a new Persona 3 Reload trailer. I’m very excited for this remake, and it keeps looking incredible. Watch the new “Meaning of Life" gameplay trailer for Persona 3 Reload below:
If you’ve been reading the site for a few years now, you know how much we love Thumper. The developers of Thumper are back with a new cosmic racer Thrasher. Thrasher debuts on VR in 2024, but will see non VR versions later on. It looks superb.
In a bit of a surprising announcement, Xseed Games has gone and updated its amazing PC version of Falcom’s classic game Ys Origin. Ys Origin now supports English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish with the new update. This is an amazing entry point into Falcom games, and a brilliant action RPG.
The recently released brilliant action game Ghostrunner 2 was updated with hardcore mode and its first DLC in the Ice Pack a few days ago. This is sold separately or included in the Brutal Edition and the Season Pass. More packs are coming through 2024.
505 Games announced a surprise remake of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Suns for Steam and consoles coming February 28th, 2024. This remake is in Unreal Engine 5, and it looks as stunning as you’d expect.
Warframe had a huge announcement at The Game Awards 2023 with the cross platform save account finally being added to the game. This is a part of Whispers in the Walls arriving beginning December 13th. I’m looking forward to merging my Switch, PS5, and Steam accounts for playing and then eventually picking up on iOS as well.
EA revealed a new colorful action adventure game about reclaiming your father’s spirit in Tales of Kenzera: ZAU from Surgent Studios. This was one of the highlight announcements from The Game Awards. I likely will play this on Steam Deck and Switch.
The final bit of news is that Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty will get its final DLC tomorrow in the form of Upheaval in Jinxiang. I will be reviewing it in the near future on Steam Deck. This DLC includes a new location, demons, a new weapon, a new divine beast, and more end game content. Wo Long is definitely a game any action game fan should try and it is Steam Deck Verified as well.
New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week
New Steam Deck Verified games for the week
- AOISHIRO HD REMASTER – Playable
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy – Verified
- Dungeons 4 – Playable
- Fate/EXTELLA LINK – Playable
- Flashback 2 – Playable
- Forgive Me Father 2 – Playable
- Iron Marines Invasion – Playable
- Knuckle Sandwich – Playable
- Metal Gear Solid 2 Master Collection Version – Unsupported
- Metal Gear Solid 3 Master Collection Version – Unsupported
- Mosa Lina – Playable
- Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics – Playable
- NARUTO X BORUTO Ultimate Ninja STORM CONNECTIONS – Playable
- Ray’z Arcade Chronology – Verified
- The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Playable
- Tormented Souls – Verified
- Twinfold – Playable
- Under The Waves Steam – Unsupported
That’s all for this week’s early edition. There’s more Steam Deck coverage happening this week since I skipped last week. As usual, you can read all our past and future Steam Deck coverage here. If you have any feedback for this feature or what else you’d like to see us do around the Steam Deck, let us know in the comments below. I hope you all have a great day, and thanks for reading.