Gyakuten Kenji 2 (逆転検事2 lit. Turnabout Prosecutor 2 ), unofficially known as Ace Attorney Investigations 2, is an adventure video game developed by Capcom. It is the sixth game in the Ace Attorney series, and a sequel to the spin-off game Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.
The game follows prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, detective Dick Gumshoe and the teenage thief Kay Faraday, who investigate five cases. The gameplay is divided into two types of phases: investigations, where the player searches the crime scene for evidence and talks to witnesses, and rebuttals, where they aim to find contradictions in witnesses' testimonies using the evidence found during the investigations.
The game was released for the Nintendo DS on February 3, 2011 only in Japan and Capcom have currently no plans to localize and release the game in the West (lack of manpower stated to be the cause), which prompted the creation of a fan translation patch released in 2015, enabling the game to be playable in English. An Android and iOS port was released on December 21, 2017 in Japan.
Gyakuten Kenji 2 is an adventure game in which players control prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, who investigates five cases; in the fourth case, the player also controls Edgeworth's father Gregory. The gameplay is mostly the same as in the previous game and is divided into two types of phases: investigations and rebuttals.
During the investigations, the player controls Edgeworth directly; they search the crime scene for evidence, and talk to witnesses to learn new information. As the player investigates, observed information is saved as Edgeworth's thoughts; by combining these, the player can obtain further information that would otherwise remain hidden. At some points, the player can use a device called "Little Thief" to generate hologram reproductions of the crime scene using known information about it; the player can walk around in the recreations and point out inconsistencies with the evidence, and update the recreation accordingly. Sometimes the player is able to switch back and forth between recreations of the crime scene at two different times.
A new gameplay mechanic, "logic chess", is used during investigations when a character refuses to testify. The player interrogates them, which is visualized as a game of chess, with the player aiming to destroy the other character's chess pieces. To do this, they need to build up their advantage in the discussion by alternating between speaking and listening; when the player believes they have the advantage, they can choose to go on the offensive. The logic chess sections are timed, with the player having to make decisions before the timer bar has decreased all the way. The player takes damage if they make wrong choices, and the logic chess opponents get more difficult throughout the game.
After obtaining sufficient information and evidence from the investigation, the player confronts other characters and reads through their testimonies of the events in the case. The player can choose to press the character for more information on their statements, aiming to discover contradictions between the testimony and the evidence; if they find one, they can choose to present collected evidence from the investigations to point out the contradiction.
- Turnabout Target
- The Imprisoned Turnabout
- The Inherited Turnabout
- The Forgotten Turnabout
- The Grand Turnabout
Characters and setting
Gyakuten Kenji 2 takes place eight days after Ace Attorney Investigations, and features the same three main characters: prosecutor Miles Edgeworth; detective Dick Gumshoe; and partner Kay Faraday, a teenage girl who is also an avid thief. Supporting characters include prosecutor Franziska von Karma; the daughter of Edegworth's former mentor Manfred von Karma, and newcomer Tateyuki Shigaraki, a defense attorney and former protégé of Miles' late father Gregory Edgeworth. New rival opponents are the female judge Hakari Mikagami, who is part of the "Prosecutorial Investigation Committee" (which follows the actions of potentially troublesome and corrupt prosecutors to justify removing them from duty) and her partner Yumihiko Ichiyanagi, a young and egotistical but blatantly incompetent prosecutor who Mikagami assigns to various investigations in Edgeworth's place.
The game's first case, "Turnabout Target", opens with an assassination attempt on Teikun Ō, the visiting president of Zheng Fa; the president survives the attempt, but his head bodyguard, Gai Tojiro is apparently killed in his place. Miles Edgeworth is called in to investigate, aided by Kay and Gumshoe, and quickly suspects an individual who turns out to be the infamous assassin Shelly de Killer, previously encountered by Edgeworth in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice For All. Edgeworth discovers that Tojiro's second-in-command Manosuke Naitō had killed Tojiro to replace him as head bodyguard, and that the assassination attempt was staged by the president to reverse his declining popularity.
The second case, "The Imprisoned Turnabout", sees Edgeworth assigned to prosecute Naitō, but on the eve of his trial, Naitō is found dead in the local prison. Sōta Sarushiro, an employee of the Berry Big Circus (which also previously appeared in Justice for All, although Sarushiro did not) and longtime friend of Naitō is suspected of the murder, but Edgeworth's attempt to investigate is stymied when judge Hakari Mikagami shows up and assigns Yumihiko Ichiyanagi to the case in Edgeworth's place. In order to be able to investigate, Edgeworth teams up with Tateyuki Shigaraki. They suspect several inmates, including the assassin Ryōken Hōinbō, but it turns out that prison warden Marī Miwa killed Naitō, believing that Hōinbō had sent him to kill her. Sarushiro is freed, but Mikagami warns Edgeworth that he could lose his prosecutor's badge if he keeps investigating cases he is not assigned to.
The third case, "The Inherited Turnabout", takes place in two different time periods, separated by 18 years. In the past segment, the player controls Gregory Edgeworth, who is accompanied by a young Shigaraki, and is called to defend famous chef Issei Tenkai from the charge of murdering fellow chef Isaku Hyōdō. The other suspects include Tenkai's assistant and adoptive daughter Tsukasa Oyashiki, and fellow chefs Delicy Scone and Yutaka Kazami. Ultimately, neither Gregory nor the assigned prosecutor, Manfred von Karma, are able to make much progress in the investigation, because the body has gone missing. However, von Karma is able to threaten and coerce Tenkai into falsely confessing to being an accomplice to murder, and Tenkai receives a life sentence. Gregory's only victory is getting von Karma a penalty for attempting to conceal the disappearance of the body, which so enrages von Karma that it later provokes him into murdering Gregory (as previously described in the first game).
In the present-day segment of the case, Miles Edgeworth and Shigaraki arrive at Tenkai's former home, which has become an art gallery run by the now adult Oyashiki. Shortly after arrival they witness an older Kazami nearly be gassed to death by a trap, and Ichiyanagi is again assigned to prosecute under Mikagami's direction, with Edgeworth this time investigating as a witness. Edgeworth concludes that Oyashiki was responsible for both the murder 18 years ago and the attempt on Kazami's life, but when questioned, she admits to the latter crime, but not Hyōdō's murder, which she accuses Kazami of being responsible for. The recovered Kazami then arrives and after questioning, gleefully admits to murdering Hyōdō, who he had conspired with to cheat in a cookery contest, but had then been betrayed by at the last minute. Kazami claims that he cannot be charged, since the 15 year statute of limitations for him to be arrested has passed, but Edgeworth and Shigaraki are able to use legal loopholes to prove that Kazami can still be prosecuted; consequently Kazami and Oyashiki are both jailed (though it's implied that the latter has enough mitigating circumstances that she will only serve a light sentence), while Tenkai is released.
In the fourth case, "The Forgotten Turnabout", a badly injured and amnesic Kay is brought to Edgeworth, and is accused of murdering defense attorney Tsubasa Kagome. Edgeworth attempts to investigate, but is eventually brought up before the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee, which threatens to strip him of his badge unless he agrees not to be involved in Kay's case; however, Edgeworth voluntarily gives up his badge and continues to investigate as an aide to Manfred von Karma's daughter, Franziska von Karma. Edgeworth discovers that someone has been auctioning off evidence from legal cases, and finds a tape recording indicating that Kagome's murderer had a burn mark on his or her chin; however, Edgeworth is then arrested on false charges of trying to help Kay escape. When Edgeworth is called to defend himself against the committee, Mikagami reveals Bansai Ichiyanagi, the head of the investigation committee and Yumihiko's father, as the auctioneer and the one responsible for legal corruption in his former position as chief prosecutor. Edgeworth tricks him into revealing his burn mark, identifying him as Kagome's murderer. Kay, having recovered her memories, then remembers being attacked by someone and Shelly de Killer reveals the concept of the mastermind to Edgeworth and Kay.
The fifth and final case, "The Grand Turnabout", begins within an hour (and perhaps less than) of the previous case, with Teikun Ō suddenly turning up dead in mysterious circumstances. Edgeworth re-encounters Shi-Long Lang, who has lost his subordinate team of 100 men due to his mishandling of the investigation into the smuggling ring (detailed in the previous game). Before Edgeworth can investigate too far in, he gets involved with Marī Miwa's trial; Yumihiko Ichiyanagi was due to prosecute, but fails to show up, and upon being questioned by Edgeworth, Mikagami admits that Bansai Ichiyanagi is coercing her into acquitting Miwa and to that end has abducted her adoptive son, Shimon Aizawa.
When Edgeworth tries to rescue Shimon however, he finds out that Bansai's henchmen bungled the job and actually abducted Yumihiko, who helps recover incriminating evidence that his father attempted to destroy, while Kay and Gumshoe rescue Aizawa, who was abducted by a third party. Miwa is convicted, and Bansai's own crimes further established, but no sooner has that trial ended that Shi-Long Lang announces that Judge Mikagami and/or her son is responsible for Teikun Ō's murder.
Edgeworth is again forced to investigate, and discovers that Aizawa is the son of the deceased president, who it further turns out actually died twelve years prior; the "Teikun Ō" seen in the first case was an imposter, who had Ryōken Hōinbō kill the real president, and then covered up his crime with the help of Miwa and Bansai Ichiyanagi. During the investigation Edgeworth is contacted by someone who claims credit for kidknapping Aizawa and assaulting Kay during the previous case, and all involved are shocked when this person is eventually discovered to be Sōta Sarushiro.
Sarushiro is revealed to be Kazami's long lost son; as a child, he was abducted by Hyōdō to prevent Kazami from winning the cooking contest. Hyōdō forced his own son, Naito, to dispose of Sarushiro, hence why Sarushiro had Naito killed. Hōinbō found Sarushiro and brought him to an orphanage; Sarushiro later saw Hōinbō kill Teikun Ō on behalf of the body double, Miwa and Bansai. They betrayed Hōinbō, but Sarushiro helped him escape; he later enacted his revenge on them, manipulating them into killing Naitō and Kagome, and killing the body double. In addition, he was the one who attacked and framed Kay to ensure that Edgeworth got involved and exposed Bansai. Sarushiro is imprisoned, and Edgeworth regains his position as a prosecutor.
Gyakuten Kenji 2 was produced by Motohide Eshiro and directed by Takeshi Yamazaki, and features character designs by Tatsuro Iwamoto, and music by Noriyuki Iwadare. Takuro Fuse, who would later become the character designer and art director for Ace Attorney, was in charge of the game's event images, and the opening and ending sequences to the episodes. While the original Ace Attorney Investigations had taken longer than usual for an Ace Attorney game to develop due to its several new gameplay systems that had to be created from scratch, Gyakuten Kenji 2 went faster due to it already having a base game to build upon, resulting in the developers being able to put more focus on the game's story. According to Eshiro and Yamazaki, one of the major changes compared to the first Ace Attorney Investigations was the addition of an interrogation game mechanic; they chose to present it metaphorically as a game of chess, which was Edgeworth's favorite game. Another such change was the graphical improvements to the game's sprites and background art.
In the summer of 2010, the development team spent five days and four nights in a place called the "Capcom Manor" to work on the game; this was inspired by the filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, who would gather scriptwriters in a hotel room to create the scripts for his films. During their stay in the manor, they discussed the game's plot and the new gameplay system, finalized the direction, and created rough sketches for most characters in the game. For the new character Hakari Mikagami, Iwamoto used a female saint as the main image for her design, and imagined her as being an older woman he could look up to. Another new character, Yumihiko Ichiyanagi, was Eshiro's favorite minor character in the series because of his character arc and how he grows throughout the game. The game was developed for the Ace Attorney series' tenth anniversary; because of this, several characters from previous games in the series made cameo appearances, including Frank Sahwit and Will Powers.
In early 2011, Christian Svensson at Capcom said that there were no plans at the time to release Ace Attorney Investigations 2 in regions outside Japan, due to higher localization costs than estimated returns; according to Eshiro, however, the main reason for the lack of a localization was scheduling, as all the staff working on the game had disbanded and moved to different teams after finishing the game, and were unable to work on a localization. Svensson said that there was a possibility of a release on another platform, and that he would discuss ways for it to happen with Capcom's strategy and R&D teams. In December 2011, Capcom was still discussing internally how to address the Ace Attorney audience, with Svensson saying that there is potential to release Ace Attorney Investigations 2 as a downloadable digital title. The game's potential English release was still discussed internally at Capcom in March 2012, but in January 2013, Svensson said that while Ace Attorney Investigations 2 still was talked about at Capcom, all their Ace Attorney resources, especially ones related to localization, were focused on the then-upcoming Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Dual Destinies.
An English fan translation of Gyakuten Kenji 2, subtitled Prosecutor's Path, was developed, and includes localized names for new characters in the style of Capcom's Ace Attorney localizations. The translation project was done on the Ace Attorney fan site "Court-Records", where a user asked people who were interested in the project to send in applications, which had to be approved for them to become part of the project. Alexa Ray Corriea at Polygon described this approach as uncommon, with most fan translation projects letting anyone help if they want, but said that it made the project more professional. A patch translating the game's first two episodes was released in 2013, and a complete patch for the game was released in 2014. A final patch was later released in 2015.
The game was first revealed in Famitsu in September 2010, and was showcased at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show. A Flash-based demo was released on the game's official website in 2010, and a Nintendo DS demo was distributed in 2011 through the Wii console, Nintendo Zone hotspots, and "DS Station" kiosks at retailers. The game was released by Capcom on February 3, 2011 in Japan for the Nintendo DS, in several different editions: a standard edition, which only includes the game; a "collector's pack", which includes a copy of the game, an orchestral soundtrack CD by Iwadare, a DVD with footage from the game's appearance at Tokyo Game Show, and a booklet with a manga by Iwamoto; an "extended edition", which includes a copy of the game and a Miles Edgeworth figurine; and a "limited edition", which includes all the items from the other editions. An Android and iOS port was released in Japan on December 21, 2017.
On its initial release week, Ace Attorney Investigations 2 was the top-selling game in Japan across all platforms, selling more than 132,000 units. This was lower than the first Ace Attorney Investigations, which sold 172,000 copies during its opening week. The Japanese sales tracker Media Create theorized that this was due to Ace Attorney Investigations 2 having less TV commercials than the first game, and a lower level of consumer recognition according to weekly recognition surveys. They also noted that marketing had been targeting women more than men, leading to an increased interest among women, but decreased interest both among men and overall. During the game's second week, it dropped to fourth place in the Japanese game sales charts, selling an additional 30,910 copies.
Reviewers at Famitsu liked the game's story, saying that the "turnabouts" that come from tense situations are exciting. They also liked the sense of urgency brought about with the logic chess, and called the game's use of sound effects excellent. AsbelGrants at Jeuxvideo.com called Ace Attorney Investigations 2 the best entry in the series, saying that the plot and characters were the game's highlights, keeping the player in suspense until the end. They found the first episode surprisingly strong, as it was a "long and exciting case" compared to other Ace Attorney games' tutorial-like first episodes. They noted how the gameplay was mostly the same as in Ace Attorney Investigations, but did not consider this a problem as they thought it had the best type of investigations in the series, and they enjoyed the implementation of the logic chess feature. They enjoyed the music, calling it memorable.
In 2011, Game Informer ranked the game as 8th on a list of the best video games that had not been released in North America; in 2015, they included it on a list of twelve video games they wanted to see localized, saying that it could possibly be released via the Nintendo eShop. In 2012, GamesRadar ranked it as 7th on a list of the top seven games that "absolutely need to be localized for the west". Rebecca Rudeen at NF Magazine called the lack of a localization unfortunate, saying that the game was a crucial part of Edgeworth's story. Tim Sheehy at Destructoid called the game promising, based on a demo available at Tokyo Game Show, saying that the demo left him wanting more. He wished that the voice acting from the game's trailer had been present within the game itself, but also said that the lack of voice acting would not keep him from wanting to play the game.
- Gyakuten Kenji 2 is notable for having these distinctions in the Ace Attorney series.
- It is the first game that doesn't feature the regular judge who watches over most of the protagonist's cases in the main games. He is however referenced in the ending of the final episode.
- It is the second game to have a culprit appear in the end-credits.
- Underneath his coat, Yumihiko Ichiyanagi wears a blue Themis Legal Academy uniform, though this wasn't known until the official guidebook for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (released in 2013), which states that he studied there, and that the blue uniform he wears was previously the uniform for students taking the prosecutor course until it was changed in later years to the red uniform seen in "Turnabout Academy".
- The third episode, "The Inherited Turnabout" (specifically Gregory Edgeworth's case), is chronologically the earliest one in Ace Attorney's modern-era timeline.
- In addition, the dual-case format is reminiscent of "Turnabout Succession" (the fourth and final episode in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney), which also featured a past case and a present case that are connected. Whereas Turnabout Succession uses the "MASON System" to weave between past and present, The Inherited Turnabout devotes entire acts to each case.
- Since the release of The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and Resolve, Gyakuten Kenji 2 is currently the only game in the series to remain a Japan-only released title.
Box art and merchandise
- title=『逆転裁判』の話がしたい!!! |issue=262 |language=Japanese |journal=Nintendo Dream |publisher=Mainichi
- issue=21 |title=Lost in Untranslation |page=54 |magazine=NF Magazine |publisher=NF Publishing
- Official website (Japanese)