Earlier this week, Phoenix Wright fans got a sneak peek at the newest entry to the fan-favourite Ace Attorney franchise. In an interview with Famitsu, series creator Shu Takumi and producer Shintaro Kojima shed some light on the upcoming 3DS title The Great Ace Attorney, and why the development team approached the game with a fresh pair of eyes.
Among the most immediately notable changes to the formula is the game's setting, a radical departure from past entries: protagonist Ryuunosuke Naruhodou will battle alongside partner Susato Mikotoba in 19th century Japan — the Meiji era. According to Takumi-san, the change of scenery helped the developers keep focus on the key component of any Ace Attorney title: solving a good mystery.
When we first started this project, we thought about all kinds of ways as to how we could make it different from the main games. At first, we thought about having civil trials, but that would have made it difficult to show a decisive victory or defeat. That would have made things about compensation instead of guilt and innocence, so in the end, we thought that [having them say] ‘court established settlement!’ would have been a bit too much. In the end, we kept the focus on the mystery part of it, and thought that simply changing the era would be good enough.
Takumi-san noted that his childhood love for classic mystery novels also influenced the decision to move the series back into the past, the intent being to keep the series as fresh with new ideas as possible. After Capcom expressed interest in the development of a new title, he brought on Kojima-san to produce the game — which will also be his first time behind the wheel of Ace Attorney. Kojima-san explained his philosophy on approaching the beloved series alongside its creator:
We talked about the challenge of taking on a new Ace Attorney game that is not part of its main numbered series. The base of it is still Ace Attorney, but I was interested in the new possibilities and approaches, so I decided to join. I’d like to make an environment that would allow director Takumi to think of all kinds of ideas in full-swing. While it is an Ace Attorney game, it’ll also be a new project, so while we would naturally want Ace Attorney fans to find it interesting, I also believe that it will be important to show its charm off to those who’ve yet to play an Ace Attorney game.
Needless to say, The Great Ace Attorney already has fans clamouring to return to the courtroom. What do you think of Takumi-san and Kojima-san's fresh approach to the franchise? Are you excited to hear the gavel come down once more on your 3DS?