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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Multi-Platform Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: April 9 Release

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - How do the other systems handle Ace Attorney? With CONTRADICTIONS!

Once billed as “unmissable” for long-time series fans, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is once again about to be ported to new consoles. This time, it's finally releasing outside the realm of Nintendo and mobile, and onto Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

The release date? April 9 for outside-of-Japan. ...It's actually already out in Japan, but we're not too interested in that. One may wonder what the hold-up is, especially since the Japanese version already has full English in it. I'd say it gives CAPCOM, the franchise owner, some time to get more than zero pieces of Ace Attorney merchandise up on the new CAPCOM Store.

There actually is something “new” to this version of Ace Attorney Trilogy that wasn't in previous re-releases. Additional language support! French, German, Korean, and Simplified + Traditional Chinese language support will be added in a post-launch patch, most likely in the summer. If CAPCOM was always up for doing post-launch patches, why haven't they done them to fix some of the series’ infamous typos?

(Though they've fixed the most infamous typo of them all in the first re-release without needing a patch.)

Still, the right observation is, “the differentiator isn't even coming out at launch.” And a lot of Spanish people are upset that their language is ignored despite the original Ace Attorney games being released in Spanish. Oh well. I'm still waiting for Ace Attorney Investigations 2 to come out in English. But enough of that.

Now that Nintendo isn't the only company that gets to talk about Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, how do the others handle it? It turns out... really poorly. Hilariously so. Sit tight, this gets funny:

Shared Description

Every console has the same game description of
“The classic courtroom adventure series that has sold over 6.7 million copies worldwide is finally here. Become Phoenix Wright and experience the thrill of battle as you fight to save your innocent clients in a court of law. Play all 14 episodes, spanning the first three games, in one gorgeous collection. Solve the intriguing mysteries behind each case and witness the final truth for yourself!”
That's a bit less impactful for the Nintendo Switch version, but for the other consoles from companies that never got to play Ace Attorney, yeah, “finally here” is big. Too bad 6.7 million copies for an entire franchise is a tiny number compared to singular AAA titles hitting that within a month. Still, decent description.

I wonder how many of those 6.7 million copies were the same Ace Attorney fans who have already bought Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (or its component games) multiple times across several platforms? I also wonder if the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Wii Ware game I gifted Kamek on the last night the Wii Shop Channel still existed got counted.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch page for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy puts its category as “Adventure, Simulation”. Simulation? They're saying Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a Simulation game? Excuse me? It's entirely fictional. If it's supposed to be a simulation of how actual courtroom experiences are, then that's, uh, problematic.

I know Ace Attorney is meant to satire the courts in Japan (or at least it started out that way), but it's definitely not falling under “Simulation”. Just as a comparison point, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy on the Nintendo 3DS only describes the game as an Adventure game.

Somehow the same exact game became a Simulation title just because it went from the 3DS to the Switch. Nintendo's categorisation system continues to be terrible.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for Xbox One

The Xbox One listing for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy tells us that the game is about 2 GB in size. It also has a questionable category: “Role Playing”. I guess they could've called it Simulation and they fortunately chose not to, but is their “Action & Adventure” that far off due to the action part? 

Are they really taking that “Become Phoenix Wright” description that much to heart? You could argue any game is a Role Playing game if that's their logic, but I don't think it is. For example, The Walking Dead: Season Two's description starts with “Experience what it's like to play as Clementine” but that's classified as Action & Adventure and not Role Playing. 

Maybe they just need to make Ace Attorney out to be something it's not in order to appeal to the Xbox audience. Or maybe there's a shortage of RPGs on the Xbox One and they need to mis-classify games to cover that up.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for Steam

Quite frankly, the Steam listing for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy makes me wonder if I'm looking at the right game. All of the titles on the page are bilingual for both English and Japanese. There's also a bundle that includes the Trilogy, as well as something called “Turnabout Tunes” that seems to be a music collection. However, the page for Turnabout Tunes says it was released April 17, 2014, but it also states the content requires the base game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy to play... which doesn't come out until April 9, 2019. How long have people been waiting for this?

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for PlayStation 4

Sony sucks and doesn't even have a page up for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy as of publishing. What a garbage company. Ace Attorney no search results Phoenix Wright
CAPCOM insists the game is coming out on “your favorite platform” on April 9.
Sony is at least admitting that the PlayStation 4 has no business being your favourite platform.

If you're in KoopaTV's target demographic, you already own Ace Attorney games because KoopaTV has been promoting the franchise since the site's creation, and at every possible opportunity. Still, it should at least be fun to see that there's something uniquely weird about everyone's Ace Attorney descriptions. Something that's a recipient of that much quirkiness must be worth your time! (KoopaTV itself falls under that as well.)

All the console manufacturers are hiring Phoenix as their lawyer.
April 9 has happened! The game is out.
Nintendo later classifies Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games as role playing games, so KoopaTV has a word with them...
The languages patch was implemented August 22.
The series has now sold 8.0 million copies as of December 31, 2020.


  1. Those genre choices are baffling. Don't they at least have a visual novel category? Even if it's not a pure visual novel, it's a lot closer than it is to RPGs or simulations.

    Also, it has a page on the PlayStation Store now:

    1. Alright, I shamed them into doing something.

      And my issue with this page is that they wrote, "Released Apr 9, 2019"

      But past tense is impossible. April 9, 2019 hasn't happened yet.


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