Objection! Actually no, wait, I don’t object at all. That would imply that I’m less than excited by Capcom’s news on Wednesday that Ace Attorney 5, the previously announced but un-detailed sequel to Shu Takumi’s long-running series of absurd lawyer adventures, will be out on Nintendo 3DS in 2013. That’s not true! Indeed I am very excited.
Capcom announced the deets in this week’s issue of Japanese gaming mag Famitsu (via Siliconera). Phoenix Wright, the spiky-haired bad ass star of the original Ace Attorney games, returns as the lead character. The fourth game in the series, 2008’s Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, starred a young turk named Apollo Justice but he proved less popular than his predecessor so Capcom’s bringing him back. The game’s first case, or Turnabout for any nerds reading, sees Phoenix defend Shinobu, a young lady accused of blowing up a courtroom. A new assistant will replace Phoenix’s gal Friday, Maya.
The first 3DS entry in the series will introduce some tweaks to the usual crime scene investigation and interrogations that make up the bulk of Ace Attorney games. One screenshot of the game in the article shows Phoenix’s collection of evidence, but rather than simple examination commands, there are four emoticons on the screen, suggesting things can be examined from different mental perspectives.
The staff heading up Ace Attorney 5 is a little concerning. Series creator Shu Takami is sitting this one out as he finishes working on Capcom and Level-5’s collaboration Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. Takeshi Yamazaki, planner on the original Ace Attorney, Apollo Justice, and director Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, is writing the story for 5. His production partner on that game, Motohide Eshiro, is producing Ace Attorney 5 as well. Yamazaki is talented but Investigations lacked much of the wild drama that made the original Ace Attorney games so memorable. It’s been eight years since the last Ace Attorney game starring Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney 3: Trials and Tribulations for Game Boy Advance, so Yamazaki and Eshiro have much to live up to.
The whole Ace Attorney series is going through a renaissance. Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney will be out in Japan this Novemeber. Capcom also recently announced that its remastering the series for iPhone and iPad as the Ace Attorney HD Trilogy, sprucing up the old DS versions with new art.