Ace Attorney 5 And Its New Emotion Sensing System Is A “Blast”

By Spencer . September 21, 2012 . 10:55am

Capcom brought Ace Attorney 5 to Tokyo Game Show, which begins with the old courthouse getting blown up. The demo showed the culprit, a police officer with strange goggles and a disdain for defense attorneys. Unfortunately, an innocent girl named Shinobu is blamed for the mess. Phoenix Wright steps up in a snazzy new blue suit to defend her “Turnabout Countdown”.


Shinobu is Kokone’s childhood friend. Who’s Kokone? She’s Phoenix Wright’s new spunky assistant.


Ace Attorney 5 has 3D graphics, but Phoenix Wright’s iconic finger pointing and sweat dripping animations look just like the sprites. Capcom changed some of the scene transitions like you walk into court from a first person perspective and the camera spins around the courtroom when the jury chats. Turning the 3D slider on adds depth to the background, but Phoenix’s finger doesn’t point out of the screen.


Winston Payne’s younger brother is one of the prosecutors in Ace Attorney 5 and he asks Barashima Shingo who works in the bomb squad to take the stand. Shingo is as eccentric as any other Ace Attorney character with red/blue goggles that bug out and a wrist computer he uses to talk with. Well, aside from shouting “Objection!” or “Hold it!” Phoenix doesn’t talk either. Ace Attorney 5, at least for the demo, didn’t have voice acting. The Nintendo 3DS game has familiar beeps and bops as sound effects.


Ace Attorney 5 has players press for more information and present evidence to counter contradictions. I foiled Shingo, but the case wasn’t over yet. The proof Phoenix had wasn’t enough so Shinobu had to take the stand.


That’s when Kokone pulled out *her* wrist computer called the Heart Scope. This nifty device adds a new gameplay mechanic to Ace Attorney 5, which lets players see emotions when another character testifies. The Heart Scope can detect happy, sad, surprised, and angry. You can compare the emotions a witness expresses to the ones you expect they would have. If there’s a contradiction you can press for more information.


In the demo, Shinobu should have felt happy or relieved because she wasn’t injured during the bombing, but she was sad. Pointing out this contradiction pushes the demo forward, but the demo ended shortly after that.

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  • Tales_of_Master

    Sounds wonderful. It’s interesting to see that they’re still going with the jurist system introduced in Apollo Justice, I’m interested to see if they’re gonna add any new twist to it.

    The new Emotion system sounds interesting, at least more interesting than the “Perceiving” system from AJ, this one looks more believable. My only wish for the game (other than to come out quickly) is to be longer than the previous games. They said that it’s gonna be comparable to the previous installments, but I’m hoping that Capcom is gonna surprise us with an extra sixth case (assuming there isn’t only 4 cases), just to one-up themselves.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Unfortunately, I get the feeling that they won’t do anything with the jurist system and the jury will simply fill the same role that the judge alone did so far. 

      Which is a shame, beacuse it would be awesome if we had to undergo jury selection. Both the prosecuting attorney and defence attorney would get to ask prospective jurors questions and select them, thus influencing the outcome of the trial.

      • Ibi Salmon

        Well to be fair, they were just trying out the jurist system in that one case. We don’t know if they decided to discontinue it or not.

  • SirRichard

    The Heart Scope sounds like an interesting mechanic, even if it will spawn a dozen “you are so mad” jokes. I wonder; will they always tell you (or hint at, however bluntly) what emotion they should’ve felt as opposed to what they’re feeling now?

    I suppose this is where the wonderful animations can help, actually, look at them as they say it and guess from there? Like a more drawn-back Perceive, perhaps? It’d make for a tense showdown with a guy who’s hard to read and is subtle in his motions (or as subtle as one can be in Ace Attorney) while on the stand.

  • Manny Being Manny

    That sucks to hear the demo didn’t have voice acting. While it won’t be a deal breaker if the finished project doesn’t have it, I would be pretty disappointed. It has a lot of potential to bring the characters alive even more by giving them exaggerated voices.

  • cj_iwakura

    So… Kokone’s from Seven Sisters HS?

  • MrListerTheSisterFister

    I’d much rather have no voice acting. I can’t imagine english voices being good enough to not get annoying during the whole game, plus the blips and boops have grown on me way too much. Also, there would have to be a massive amount of voice acting done, meaning a ton of space on the game card that could otherwise be used for other things.

    • Not with the right people, it won’t. Some good voice acting will give the characters more charm. …but again…with the right people. :|

    • Aoshi00

      I was hoping AA5 to be on Wii U w/ full voice acting, like the TGS 2008 clip they did.  People said it wouldn’t work on a console w/o a touchscreen and now the Wii U does w/ the tablet controller..

      It’s too bad it doesn’t have some voice acting though even on the 3DS other than the usual phrases.. all the trailers for the past GBA/DS titles were fully voiced, just not the games themselves.. maybe AA6 could be on the Wii U w/ more voice acting :)?

  • DoSHachiko

    This alone seemed a bit more interesting than just poking out various ticks in GS4 with the Perceive system. <3 Besides, I didn't really mind the fact that there's no voice acting here… they're going to have some of it in Layton vs Ace Attorney anyways, so it's pretty fine if there isn't any here. 

    • Aoshi00

      I don’t like the VAs in Phoenix x Layton though, that ver. uses the live action movie actors’ voice like in MvC3 Ultimate (sounds very amateurish).. unlike the TGS 2008 short clip which was voiced by the original voice actors.. thank god they didn’t replace the original voice in the canon AA5 (well, we only have the stock, Objection, Hold it, etc though)

      Was hoping they would take it to the next level w/ full voice acting.. maybe AA6 on the Wii U? I think it would add a lot to the atmosphere.

      • DoSHachiko

        I didn’t mind the voice actors in the Phoenix v. Layton version, because of the fact I know the potential of the actors outside of the series. Otherwise, I can’t  imagine anything good coming out of the U.S. port. 

        I would like to see that as well in AA6, however I would love to see a mute button, since not all of us are into the whole fully voiced game. I mean, it does get tedious hearing someone talking for so long, and I would rather skip the whole thing than hear someone chat for so long. 

        • Aoshi00

          I prefer professional voice actors though (those who are regulars dubbing either anime or Hollywood movies).  Otherwise you could just tell they sound very inexperienced and amateurish, like Narimiya Hiroki here, his voice in MvC3 really bugged me.. Also I was used to the original Phoenix voice for so many years..  Ooizumi You (Layton) has a very unique voice and presence though as Layton, and he is Layton’s voice for the last 5 games.  I just think having a different Phoenix voice makes it even more obvious as a spin-off..  at least they didn’t use Narimiya Hiroki’s voice in AA5. I just like the consistency of one character being voiced by the same actor if possible (like Kevin Conroy’s Batman)

  • XiaomuArisu

    No 3d finger…How about 3d “Objection!”Hold it!”Take That!”XD
    Phoenix ftw!

  • Blowing up a courthouse in real life will land you terrorism charges and a life sentence in most countries. (Death Penalty if your killed anyone in doing so).

  • Barrylocke89

    I was thinking about the lack of full voice acting, and I can’t decide if it’s good or bad when I also think about this emotion sensing system. Think about it: the voice actors would most likely be voicing testimony lines, and the system revolves finding contradictions between the words coming out of their mouths and the emotions that the witnesses are giving off.

    Now with voice acting, this could potentially result in a really cool layer of depth. The emotion cues could not only involve visual tics (say, a small smirk when the witness finishes his testimony by saying that it’s such a shame that the victim died), but also odd vocal emotions that contradict the actual words being said (in the example above, maybe Shinobu could voice her “relief” about escaping injury in a voice that sounds like she’s about to cry).

    If done properly, with excellent voice actors, a system like this could easily make for some of the most intense courtroom battles in the series yet.

    …Ooor, the game could get second-rate voice actors, or even good ones that aren’t quite able to nail the emotion that’s needed for the statement given, which would not only result in a poorer quality game, but could actually cause players to lose points on their bar because they sensed a vocal discrepancy that wasn’t meant to be there.

    And there’s also cultural differences that would have to be ironed out in localization too. I know that the 4 possible emotions (happy, sad, surprised, and anger) are generally said to be universal for all people, but I could easily see the way these emotions are emitted to be somewhat cultural. This is even more true for voice inflections, so the hypothetical English Voice Director would HAVE to make sure that they fully understand the scenario of the scene, so that they could possibly direct the actor to sound a bit different if need be. It’s either that, or have voices that sound overly angry/sad to the point of being obvious and hammy.

    Wow, I just somehow made myself even more interested in this new game than I was before. Hope it lives up to my hype.

  • Rolling Guy

    This sounds really interesting. Not to mention easier. Unless there are characters in game who can hide their emotions really well.

  • Sperium3000

    It’s too bad the game won’t have voicework. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for it.

    Also, I’m glad they introduced a new mechanic for the courtroom sections, but I hope the magatama is still usable during the investigation sections.

  • idofgrahf

    Good to see Phoenix is getting another game. Now I’m waiting for a person to play this game and use Wrights tactic in the real court room…it may make the news. (after he or she gets arrested for contempt). On a more serious note, I hope they explain what happened to Maya.

    • miju

       And hope that Nick told Apollo and Trucy before anything silly happens.

  • What I really want to know about this game is if the Magatama’s “Psycholock” mechanic will return. It’s one of my favorite parts in the first trilogy and it would look really awesome in 3D!

  • Testsubject909

    So, from the power of opening up people’s secrets with a Magical Bead, to being able to see people’s twitch reaction with Super Sight, to just plain using Miles Edgeworth’s brain for Logical conclusions… To using some gadget to determine a person’s emotion.


    The odd thing here? I’m not complaining. It sounds like fun.

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