Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jul 272015

Dai_Gyakuten_Saiban_cover_artDai Gyakuten Saiban, or The Great Ace Attorney, is the newest addition to the Ace Attorney series. After its release in Japan on July 9th, fans in the West have one big question: will Dai Gyakuten Saiban be localized?

So far, only one Ace Attorney game hasn’t been localized. Like Investigations 2, Dai Gyakuten Saiban is a spin-off, so the success of Dual Destinies isn’t a good guide. And while the crossover was localized, Professor Layton and Level-5 may be why.

The more time passes without a localization announcement, the more uncertain fans become. Let’s lay out all the details and look at the three biggest concerns for Dai Gyakuten Saiban.

Worry #1: The Setting

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Jinxie Tenma

Your average California girl.

The earliest concerns began because the game is set during Japan’s Meiji Era. Localized Ace Attorney games try very hard, and often hilariously, to pretend they’re set in California. It would be difficult to keep up the facade with a game more rooted in Japanese culture.

First of all, most fans would be fine with Capcom dropping the pretense, although it might be a little late to retcon the entire series now. Second, and more importantly, Dai Gyakuten Saiban begins in Japan but switches to London for most of the game. While there could still be trouble with the first case, it isn’t as a big a problem as it first seemed.

As for the character coming from Japan… it’s not an issue. Ace Attorney’s California already has towns founded by Japanese immigrants, so it’s easy to say Phoenix Wright has a Japanese ancestor. Sure, it would be jarring if DGS’s protagonist was named “Wright,” but his name can stay Japanese. One of his female descendants married a Wright, and there you go.

Worry #2: The Timing

While some fans worried about the game’s content, others worried about the timing of its announcements (or lack thereof). Dual Destinies was teased in January 2012, revealed in September 2012, and announced for the West at the same time.

This makes the lack of a Dai Gyakuten Saiban announcement especially worrisome.

However, Dual Destinies may have been a special case–perhaps the quick announcement was even meant to reassure fans after the Investigations 2 incident. In contrast, Apollo Justice was revealed in June 2006. Forget Apollo Justice, Trials & Tribulations wouldn’t be announced for North America and Europe until April 2007.

Of course, the original trilogy was in a unique position as the GBA versions had been out in Japan for a long time already… but the point is that Dual Destinies’ simultaneous announcement isn’t the norm.

Worry #3: The Reviews

Dai Gyakuten Saiban didn’t receive a stellar reception in Japan. Right now it has an average of 2 and a half stars on Amazon. Most of the negativity comes from claims that the game is “incomplete.”


Apparently it was planned as a trilogy (which can cause problems) and left a lot of loose ends and cliffhangers as a result. This didn’t please a lot of fans. On the other hand, Amazon Japan has a reputation for low reviews, and the review from Famitsu was much more favorable.

Still, if Capcom decided to gauge reception before making up its mind about localization, this could be problematic. In fact, its nature as a planned trilogy also raises concerns. Will Capcom commit to the start of a trilogy without any idea of how the later two games will be?

As much as I believed DGS localization was likely (enough to not consider it a pipe dream), even my faith has been shaken. What are your biggest concerns for this game, and what do you think its localization chances are?

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  4 Responses to “Three Biggest Concerns for Dai Gyakuten Saiban”

  1. 1. So putting your weakest concerns first? As you mentioned, there is a very canon-able explanation for this without changing the setting or anything.
    2. Timing isn’t a big deal given Capcom’s… history.
    3. Oh hey, KoopaTV shout-out. Awesome. 😀 Anyway, poor reception hasn’t stopped Capcom from localising games before, like many of the garbagely-scored Mega Man games.

    • I actually went in the order the concerns have come up, but I suppose they did end up in weakest -> strongest order as well.

      Mega Man isn’t as niche a series as Ace Attorney, though.

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