News Article

ONM Cross-Examines Capcom on Ace Attorney

Posted by Trevor Chan

Gamers get their questions answered

Coinciding with Friday's European launch of the fifth game in the series, a recent ONM Asks session saw Shu Takumi (Creative Director of the Ace Attorney series) and Motohide Eshiro (Producer of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth) answering some questions on the popular quirky courtroom puzzle games.

It's always interesting see when initially standalone titles go on to spawn popular sequels, and Takumi was pleasantly surprised by how the story grew from its initial conception. For a puzzle series that's set in a courtroom, it's no surprise that influence was drawn from classic mystery novels.

I think a good mystery game should allow the player to feel the sensation of solving the veiled mystery little by little, with a dramatic build-up of logic and evidence.

Along with a strong narrative to serve as a backbone, the series also features an eclectic mix of characters and it was important to have them stand out from each other in order make them unforgettable. Such is the problem of losing track of characters that are introduced in mystery novels, Takumi wanted to avoid this issue with the series.

Amongst other talking points was the popular character of Mia Fey. Takumi expresses his hopes to further explore her side of the story, especially how the rookie attorney that appeared in Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations goes on to become Phoenix Wright's mentor.

In contrast to the meticulous work that goes into each of the episodes that generally take three to four months to make, the developers' approach to the evolution of the characters seems relatively relaxed and almost free-form. Careful to keep possibilities as plentiful as he can, Takumi leaves the option of Maya Fey returning firmly open. Eshiro also reveals that the return of Phoenix as a lawyer hasn't been decided yet, so don't give up hope.

From the gist of the interview, it seems likely that Capcom will be making more Ace Attorney games, and we might even get to see Dick Gumshoe in his own spin-off title. Be sure to check out the interview in its entirety over at ONM.

[via officialnintendomagazine.co.uk]

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User Comments (24)

TwilightV

#1

TwilightV said:

Not reading for fear of spoilers, but I caught that last bit, and hope it comes true. Playing as Detective Gumshoe would be awesome. X3

BulbasaurusRex

#2

BulbasaurusRex said:

Awww, when I saw this article, I thuoght they were going to explain why their WiiWare ports are so lazy.

Aviator

#4

Aviator said:

Hmm gee, I wonder why Mia is the most popular character. I just can't see it.
wink wink

Chunky_Droid

#5

Chunky_Droid said:

@Aviator: Teehee!

Also I don't think we're doing animated avatars anymore buddy, the guys in charge have asked we don't use 'em anymore.

Shugo

#7

Shugo said:

@Bass X0: They're lazy because they could've done at least SOMETHING to them rather than just rearranging the UI and straight-porting them to the Wii. Maybe expand the backgrounds to full 4:3? They expanded them for the iPhone version. Maybe fix at least SOME of the very annoying spelling errors? I'm almost done with my WiiWare playthrough of AA1, and it's riddled with just as many grammar mistakes as the original. It's ridiculous how obvious some of them are, and it would've just taken a single playtest to spot and fix each one.

Oh well, though. I guess "the miracle never happen."

Bass_X0

#9

Bass_X0 said:

@Shugo: Yes, that is the end result. But I was asking why do people think they didn't spend time enhancing it? My theory is that Capcom wanted to have more games on the Wiiware guaranteed to sell well but were not able to allocate the resources to produce another game internally (which is quite possible). Which is why they had Dyna Comware (the name you see at the very beginning) to port existing games for them to WiiWare. I would assume this other company was tasked only to do the port and not to alter the text in any way for fear of making grammatical mistakes or something. The people at Dyna Comware probably didn't even speak or understand much English. And in my experience of the series (finished the first game and up to the fourth case in the second), spelling errors were very few. I.E. "Breath" instead of "breathe"? Noticable but hardly worth mentioning.

SherlockHolmes

#11

SherlockHolmes said:

Unfortunately they are never gonna do a game of Winston Payne (if you don't know look at avatar). He's awesome.

Noire

#12

Noire said:

Winston Payne: Fail Prosecutor?

Yeah, I don't see that catching on, dude. :P

Objection

#13

Objection said:

Personally, I'd prefer going back to the main man himself, although new mechanics are always welcome! As are new games! :)

ASDFGHJKL

#14

ASDFGHJKL said:

Maya Fey: Ace Attorney Assistance?

NO! Even better. Francizka von Karma: Ace Attorney. ANd instead of just talking and presenting to characters, you also have the option to whip them.

ASDFGHJKL

#15

ASDFGHJKL said:

@Shugo, not adding something to a game doesnt make a game lazy, just acurate. This IS a port, not a remake. It works fine and fluid, and it gives just as good of an experience. That akes a port adequate. Its like saying that they should have added online leaderboards to Mario Bros. on the VC. Its a direct port, so they didnt mess with the game, just like with Phoenix Wright.

theblackdragonAdmin

#16

theblackdragon said:

@gabe: Mario Bros. was released on the VC, though, not for WiiWare, which is supposed to be games made either expressly for the Wii or expressly to take advantage of what the Wii has to offer in terms of resolution, audio, and controls. barring the occasional point with the wiimote (which doesn't count as it takes the place of speaking into the microphone, since the PW games are a weird mix of the DS game with some of the GBA style one-screen stuff going on), Phoenix Wright does none of the above. it is incredibly lazy for something being presented as wiiware.

Porky

#17

Porky said:

Awaiting an update for the PWAA wiiware games to fix the spelling errors but, that may never happen :(

Bass_X0

#18

Bass_X0 said:

#16: Phoenix Wright isn't the first WiiWare game to be ported from a portable game (i.e. those cell phone games). So the WiiWare's reputation for only catering for games produced exclusively for it has already been proven false long before Phoenix Wright. Except from what I'm seeing, Nintendo Life is coming down harder on Phoenix Wright than games who deserve such criticism. A 5/10 score would make me think that the game is of average fun to play. Having almost played through the two Phoenix Wright on the WiiWare, I can say that is not the case. For nine year old games, they are still as fresh today as they would have been back then. But yes, it is a port. But the point is, it doesn't feel dated at all. It wasn't enhanced because it didn't need to be. As it is, I would still rather play the Phoenix Wright games more than I would many games given higher rated scores. I wonder, would Nintendo Life have also given Symphony of the Night for example which appeared on XBOX 360 an average 5/10 if it was possible to port it to the WiiWare without any alterations. The WiiWare is the Wii's closest thing to the XBOX 360's Live Arcade since the Virtual Console does not support games released after the N64. I think it would be wrong indeed to deny the classic games from that era from Wii owners for a sake of an already tarnished "reputation" the WiiWare supposedly has. Also, you've got to take into account all that shovelware the WiiWare has that is clogging it up, being made especially for the WiiWare doesn't particularly make a game better.

theblackdragonAdmin

#19

theblackdragon said:

@Bass X0: did you miss the part where I said '... either expressly for the Wii or expressly to take advantage of what the Wii has to offer...'? Show me a cell phone game port that didn't at least get updated graphics, if you would be so kind.

Also, everyone keeps coming down on the reviews for not ignoring the fact that they're lazy ports and just praising the games as if they were released for the DS all over again. If you want a review of the DS games, read a review of the DS games. These are the 'WiiWare' versions, though, and they've got to be held up next to every other WiiWare game, including those featuring flawless controls, excellent graphics, good plots, and fun gameplay. If the only thing your game has going for it in those respects is the plot, there's a problem, and there's nothing wrong with it receiving an 'average' score (if you absolutely must focus on that part of a review instead of reading the rest of it).

If you want the best versions of these games and the best overall experience, play them on the DS. If you want just the 'average' experience, play them as WiiWare. How is that so hard to understand that the ratings would reflect this? I don't get it. :/

Ren

#20

Ren said:

I'm a huge fan of the series, but I have to say I really don't want to play it on WW. I can see how it'd still be fun to play as a direct port but kind of misleading for a first time player of Phoenix. Probably still fun but not as awesome as the comfort of the DS. I can see how they would have had to get a small team together to re-do lots of those scenes to get full res images, unless they still have them all somewhere, but it's not like they're complex moving scenes.
I can agree with the reviews here since as a WW release it should NOT have been a direct port (which do have their place but not on WW). They should have either expanded VC to start including portables or something with simple direct ports or done the work to upres it in some way for WW. A WW release implies that it's either an original or upgraded game in some way. The "lazy" is about what it is.

No need to defend it so hard, it's not a slight on the games design overall or the greatness of the series, it's just a disservice to release it this way to so many potential new fans.

As for sequels, they could milk it forever. The possiblities are endless and the format is totally untapped; lord knows why no one else has even tried to make more games that way. It's cheap to make and fun to play. I think Mia should be next but I'll bet they'll do Gumshoe first. Why not just do some single episodes on WW from the ground up for like 600 points? It'd sell like crazy and they could run it forever like a soap opera every month.

theblackdragonAdmin

#21

theblackdragon said:

hell to the yes, i would love to see 'Dick Gumshoe: Ace Investigator' shorts like that. it would be so awesome, and possibly cameo-filled to boot :3

Stuffgamer1

#22

Stuffgamer1 said:

I'd rather the shorts be on DSiWare. Other than that, it's a great idea! Or they could just make more full retail games. Whatever, just as long as the series doesn't end.:D

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