ByYaw Amanquah, writer at
freelance game designer | |
Yaw Amanquah

Ace Attorney is one of those rare video game franchises that has kept a very consistent level of quality. However, since series creator Shu Takumi took a step back to work on other projects the Ace Attorney series has been going in the wrong direction. This belief mostly stems from how disappointed I was after playing Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.

Replacing Apollo Justice

My main problem with Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is how it's not a follow-up to Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. After playing Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney I was under the impression that this was the start of a new trilogy of games starring the titular lawyer as the protagonist. However, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies resets almost everything from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney in favor of a completely new cast of characters. This becomes a problem with the narrative because many developments established in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney do not pay off in Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.

Now, this is just speculation but I think Apollo Justice wasn't as popularity as Phoenix Wright so instead of creating a sequel Capcom rebooted the series with Phoenix Wright once again taking the role of the protagonist. This isn't hard to believe considering that Ema Skye was originally going to be the protagonist of Miles Edgeworth: Investigations but was replaced by the more popular Miles Edgeworth.


However, what bums me out even more about the Ace Attorney series is how some of its games never get released outside of Japan. Gyakuten Kenji 2 was the first Ace Attorney game to miss localization and with the recent reveal of Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice it seems Dai Gyakuten Saiban will be the second. To me, this is even more disappointing than Gyakuten Kenji 2 because Dai Gyakuten Saiban marks the return of series creator Shu Takumi since Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright.

It even features fully animated 3d models and the juror system from Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright. Unlike most games that didn't get a worldwide release, this is most likely not due to poor sales. In fact, I think the reason Dai Gyakuten Saiban isn't getting localized is because of how inherently "Japanese" the game is. Unlike the rest of the Ace Attorney series, Dai Gyakuten Saiban wouldn't make much sense if it was set outside of Japan so it is likely Capcom didn't think it would be received well internationally.

From the looks of the Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice trailer, it looks more like Dual Destinies sequel than an Apollo Justice sequel. Things don't look all bad, though, the new character models look pretty snazzy and I would be lying if I said I wasn't hyped for the return of Maya Fey. Though, no matter how Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice turns out I can't help but think of what could have been.


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