After several years of languishing in the depths of the “Shit We Don’t Talk About Because We Need To Focus On Re-releasing Our Fighting Games” closet at Capcom, website “My Nintendo News” revealed that the latest issue of Famitsu (basically the premier video game magazine in Japan, and part time Mos Eisley Cantina) features the announcement of the long-awaited Ace Attorney 5, in development for the 3DS. Yup, no “Investigations” spin-off this time, or Layton crossover. It’s an honest-to-goodness mainline installment. This news has me…slightly excited.
We know precious little about the game so far, but there are a few exciting tidbits. According to the site, Famitsu’s article reveals that Phoenix Wright, face of the series and star of the first three installments, will be returning to center stage, pointer finger in tow. There are also screens of a young woman in yellow, who appears to be taking the role of “sidekick” for this installment. No word on what this means for PW Trilogy stalwart Maya Fey. Any unique gameplay enhancements, if there are any, are being kept under wraps for now.
Several of us here at The Wired Fish are known fans of the Ace Attorney series, with I myself arguably being the biggest one. The series’ dedication to great characters, stellar soundtracks, and occasionally silly and muddled, but always interesting, storytelling make the games a hit with the more cerebral breed of gamer. The last game in the series to come to our shores, 2009’s spin-off title Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, was a grand realization of all these traits, and I might argue it was my favorite game of that year.
The most recent game in the series, the sequel to the above spin-off, was released in Japan back in 2010. Unfortunately, Capcom has been dragging its feet with localizing that one, although they have a habit of mentioning it as a “possibility” when asked. We here on the site have discussed our annoyance about this situation on the podcasts. At length. In addition to that game, a crossover with the Professor Layton series is also on the horizon. But still, for my money, you just can’t beat a mainstream installment.
Returning to series mainstay Wright is an interesting, and somewhat wise, decision considering the divisive reaction to the eponymous star of the fourth game, Apollo Justice, whom half the fanbase saw as an appreciable dose of new blood, and the other half saw as, frankly, a bit of rubbish. I myself am somewhere in-between. I liked Apollo as a character, and thought he did just fine in the lead. However, he lacks Phoenix’s quirky, earnest charm and sarcastic streak that made his inner monologues such a joy to read in-game. So the decision leaves me nothing but excited.
Does it make up for the sting of not having Investigations 2 in my hands? Not entirely, as per my fondness for that particular spin-off. But my fondness for the franchise as a whole means that even the existence of a new title, no matter how far in the future (no release date yet) is cause for excitement. Stay tuned to The Wired Fish for more lawyer-friendly newsmongering (^_^d