It worked for SEGA and the Yakuza series I suppose, so now Capcom is jumping on the bandwagon of time-leaping a game with a modern setting deep into Japanese history. The next Nintendo 3DS Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game will be taking the beloved lawyer franchise back in time over a hundred years to Meiji Era Japan.
For those not up to speed on Japanese history, the Meiji Revolution occurred roughly the same time as the American Civil War and put an end to the age of the samurai. Following the Tokugawa Shogunate’s defeat, Japan adopted more Western ideals, policies, and most importantly, laws over the following 60 years.
Which is why this setting makes for a lot of great drama in the Ace Attorney series. Phoenix Wright’s ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, will be forced to tackle with a budding law system that has not yet been perfected or put to the test. Some could argue that Ace Attorney‘s law system is about as far from perfect as they come, but that is besides the point. He is bound to cross a few crazy criminals and witnesses stuck in the old ways of doing things, not yet used to this new Japan.
So far, the game’s title is listed as Dai Gyakuten Saiban, roughly translating into The Great Ace Attorney.
Call me excited, but also consider me skeptical as to whether or not we will ever get to play this in English. Capcom has sometimes leaned away from localizing games revolving around Japanese history, for example some DLC content in the previous Ace Attorney game was left out of the West with Capcom stating that an intimate knowledge and context of Japan would be needed to understand it.
It’s not like we’ve ever gotten translated versions of the history themed Yakuza games either.
It also throws a wrench in the gears of the English localization which states that Phoenix Wright is an American in the first game, not Japanese. Later games lean away from putting a nationality on the character, but this real world element could add a lot of confusion to the mix.
At any rate, all we can do is hope that Capcom brings this game to us. I was surprised when the previous Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies game got the greenlight for American shores, so who knows what to expect?