Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney quickly found a fanbase with its clever writing and unique courtroom setting. This week Capcom is released the next installment of the Phoenix Wright series entitled, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All with a slightly more mature lawyer. Minae Matsukawa the producer of Justice for All and Janet Hsu explain what is new in the sequel and speak about the game’s localization.
In “Justice for All”, Phoenix is a seasoned lawyer. What has changed between the events in the first game to now?
Minae Matsukawa (producer): Various things happened between the two games, but nothing important, per se. More than anything, we wanted to start “Justice for All” at a point where the player would feel that Phoenix has grown and matured a little since the first game. So while he’s not a rookie anymore, he still doesn’t always know what to do.
Phoenix gains a new skill in the series with help from the Fey family, the ability to break “psyche locks”. How does this enhance the gameplay?
Minae Matsukawa: Gameplay-wise, the Psyche-Lock system adds to the investigation segments by providing players with a chance to interact with characters to obtain different kinds of information that Phoenix couldn’t otherwise. It also gave the investigation segments a sense of direction and a purpose. I think this enhances the investigation segments and makes them more balanced with the courtroom portion.
How did you come up with the name puns for the characters in Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All?
Janet Hsu (localization): Some of the names were based on the character’s personality, background or some other aspect, and some were simply visual gags. In the case of episode 3, a lot of them were the original names Mr. Takumi wrote for the Japanese version, since the names were already English puns to begin with.
Speaking of characters who was your favorite character to write dialogue for?
Janet Hsu: Personally, I enjoyed writing Franziska von Karma and Adrian Andrews. Franziska actually has a lot more depth than people give her credit for, but you’ll have to get to the end to find out why. Adrian is a very deep character, and I think she is one of the more realistic and human characters of the game, along with Acro. Jean Pierre (JP) Kellams, who wrote episode 3, says his favorite character is Moe by far because he is such a stooge.
What were some of your favorite jokes or lines that you put in the game?
Janet Hsu: One word: chewing gum. I don’t want to spoil the scene any more than that. Look for it in episode 4. As for episode 3, JP says he enjoyed writing pretty much everything Moe said. His exact words were, “Moe Curls For The Win!” On the serious front, I loved writing the scene where a certain someone had a discussion with Phoenix about what it is to be a lawyer.
The Phoenix Wright series has become a pretty large hit. Was the success of the series surprising?
Minae Matsukawa: Gyakuten Saiban (as it’s known in Japan) started out small here as well. The original team that made it was no more than a handful of dedicated people, and to see it become so popular around the world is definitely surprising. We’re very happy to have the opportunity to bring this game to fans outside of Japan.
If this game is successful too (and we hope it is) is there hope for more Phoenix Wright games in the future?
Minae Matsukawa: If “Justice for All” does well, we will definitely consider bringing out more Ace Attorney games overseas in the future.