Ace Attorney 6 Hands-On Preview – Rumble in the Legal Jungle [TGS 2015]

The sixth installment of the Ace Attorney series was playable on the TGS show floor this year. Capcom‘s popular puzzle/visual-novel hybrid series follows the adventures of Phoenix Wright as he improves his skills as a defense attorney and brings justice to victims of an inept and often cruel criminal justice system. But Ace Attorney 6 has Phoenix doing his lawyering in the country of Kline—a land where the courts are essentially run by the dead.

Phoenix Wright’s adventures take him to a beautiful, foreign land that is mysterious but also very primitive.

“Oh noes! The people have unusual rituals and culture! Their courts don’t permit legal defense and are instead verdicts are decided by a spirit medium!”

But, on the other hand, the switch to an “exotic” location seems like a nice excuse for the series to take a detour into a new setting, get unusually fancy with environment design, change up the types of crimes and motives being presented, and to show that people around the world are fundamentally terrible at justice when Phoenix Wright is not around. Especially fun are the repurposing of characters like the judge and the tutorial prosecutor into creative, yet instantly recognizable new designs.

Basic Ace Attorney gameplay is back, but comes with a new way to examine witnesses’ testimony. This time, the kingdom’s princess, who is also some type of spirit medium, calls the dead to project their final moments and thoughts into the courtroom. These testimonies from beyond the grave appear as short video clips, with words occasionally flashing across the screen, and players must pause the clip and point to inconsistencies with the highlighted witness statement. It seems like this could be frustrating in complicated cases, depending on how time-sensitive the clues are within the videos, but the video shown in the demo was easy to process, and the playback controls make repeated rewinding and jumping back and forth fairly painless.

Ace Attorney 6 has been sentenced to release sometime in 2016.