The Ace Attorney series of DS games is one of my absolute favorites.  Great storylines, gameplay that actually requires you to think (shocking!), memorable characters, healthy doses of humor – they’ve got it all.  Needless to say, I’m more than a little displeased with the current situation of the latest game (i.e., its lack of a US release – more on that in a bit).  After all, the most recent game in the series to receive a US release was Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, and that was over a year ago.  I’m growing quite impatient. 

Anyway, after doing a bit of research, I found that there actually quite a few Ace Attorney-related projects in various stages of development.  Here’s the rundown:

Gyakuten Kenji 2 (aka Ace Attorney Investigations 2)
This one really pains me.  Gyakuten Kenji 2 was released in Japan on February 3rd, but thus far there are there aren’t any plans for a US release.  Capcom has elaborated on this, explaining that this lack of a US release is due mainly to high localization costs.  Now, this doesn’t mean GK2 will never ever be released in the US, but it certainly isn’t looking like we’re gonna get it any time soon.  For those of you who dislike waiting (in other words, everyone), there is a fan-translation in the works.  Yay!  And of course for those of you who already speak Japanese (you lucky bastards), you can always purchase the Japanese version (which is, of course, rather expensive), or better yet offer your services to the fan translation. There’s also an ongoing petition for the game’s localization, but I seriously doubt it will accomplish anything.

While most of the gameplay in GK2 is similar to that of the first game, there is a new element called “Logic Chess”, which seems to be somewhat similar to Phoenix Wright’s Psyche-Locks and Apollo Justice’s lie-detecting bracelet thingy (sorry, I can’t remember what it’s called, and I’m way too lazy to look it up).  Basically, whenever Edgeworth is questioning a particularly stubborn person, the game goes into a chess-match mode, where at various points the player will be given two options as to how to question the suspect.  When the suspect says something suspicious, a chess piece icon will appear next to one of the possible options, marking it as a critical move.  Making a critical move at the right time will knock out one of the suspect’s chess pieces, but making a critical move too early or too late will result in a deduction from your time limit.  Did I mention there’s a time limit?

To avoid major spoilers, I’m not going to give a full description of the story, but here’s a nice spoiler-free summary, courtesy of the Ace Attorney Wiki:

“In the opening case, Edgeworth is summoned to Gourd Lake, the scene of one of his darkest moments to date, to investigate the assassination of the president of Zheng Fa, Teikun Ou. As time passes, the president's bodyguard, Manosuke Naitō, tries to stop Edgeworth's investigation. In later cases, Edgeworth becomes the next target of a so-called "Prosecutor Purge", a judicial program designed to weed out and replace incompetent prosecutors.  Judge Hakari Mikagami is sent to observe Edgeworth during his investigations and attempt to replace him with another prosecutor, Yumihiko Ichiyanagi. Edgeworth risks his badge to continue his quest for the truth. Meanwhile, Edgeworth faces a personal conflict when he meets Tateyuki Shigaraki, a defense attorney who used to be an assistant to Edgeworth's father Gregory and has taken over his office. Shigaraki offers Edgeworth the chance to change sides, to become a defense attorney like his father.”

Worth noting is that Judge Mikagami is the first female judge to be featured in the Ace Attorney series, which is actually pretty exciting.  Character designer Tatsurou Iwamoto said that he wanted Mikagami to be an older woman who he could look up to.  Pretty cool, huh?
Judge Mikagami
Oh, and as far as timelines go, GK2 seems to take place about ten days after Turnabout Ablaze, the final case in the first Ace Attorney Investigations.

The more I research this game, the more desperate I am to play it.  If only I could speak Japanese…


 Official Site (Japanese):

Layton-kyōju VS Gyakuten Saiban (aka Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright)

The title is pretty self-explanatory.  Layton-kyōju VS Gyakuten Saiban is an upcoming crossover game for the 3DS in which will feature both Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright. 
The story will revolve around a mysterious place by the name of Labyrinth City, which is located in a world that is separate from that of both the Professor Layton series and the Ace Attorney series.  Somehow Professor Layton, Luke Triton, Phoenix Wright, and Maya Fey all find themselves in this city, and then shit goes down.  Apparently Labyrinth City has a bit of a problem with some creeper called the Story Teller, who can make stuff happen by writing about it.  I’m assuming that he’s the main villain of the game.
The gameplay will be a combination of both Professor Layton-style puzzles and Ace Attorney-style trials. While Professor Layton busies himself with solving all of the town’s strange mysteries, Phoenix Wright will be defending a girl who’s been accused of witchcraft.  Basically, it’s the best of both worlds. 

So far, there’s no release date (Japan or US) for Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright, so it looks like we’ll be waiting for awhile.

Official Site (Japanese):

Gyakuten Saiban 5 (aka the next game in the main Ace Attorney series?)

This one is the trickiest, since there’s really no evidence to actually support its existence. While in the past Capcom has referred to a new Ace Attorney game, it’s now looking like they were talking about either GK2 or Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright, not GS5. Ace Attorney series creator Shu Takumi has previously expressed interest ending the series (or at least his involvement with the series) after Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, but apparently us fans may be causing him to rethink that decision. So basically, we just need to keep pressuring him until he’s creeped out enough to make us another game. Sounds like a plan.

I’d be really heartbroken if the Apollo Justice saga ended after just one game. I really wanted to see where the series would go. Also, I want to know if there’s any truth in the rumors about who Apollo’s father is. You can read about the rumors here, but beware, they’re full of spoilers for Apollo Justice. But seriously, if you’ve already played the game (or if you don’t care about spoilers) read up on the rumors. They’ll blow your brain into a million tiny little pieces. I promise.

All in all, it looks like we'll be waiting quite awhile for a new game.  I guess I'll have to go replay all the others to tide myself over.

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